Posted on | March 21, 2014
Written by | BevNetwork
The Blame Game (Again)
Johns Hopkins University recent released a study which tied liquor stores to violent crime in Baltimore, MD. According to Dr. Jacky Jennings, neighborhoods with an alcohol outlet, compared to similar neighborhoods without one, have “about a 3.3% increase in violent crimes.”
This is not the first time or place where researchers have made such a connection. The crux of the issue, however, is that correlation is not causation. When CBS Baltimore asked Dr. Jennings about the precise nature of the uptick in crime—whether it was happening inside liquor stores or in close proximity—she responded: “That’s a great question. We did not seek to look at that in this study. We just looked at the association.”
Associations such as this one are hardly uncommon in the arena of public policy, in which the name of the game is often “Who to blame?” Absent of accounting for cause and effect, studies like this easily become political footballs. While this particular one is bouncing around Maryland, we are always one politician away from such research being applied with a non-thinking brush here in that collection of neighborhoods we like to call New York.
William G. Slone
Keeping Brunch Real
In a kerfuffle that was over almost as soon as it began, a few weeks ago New York City restaurants were prohibited—then allowed (again)—to serve “bottomless” drinks at brunch. The news gained immediate attention in the press, thanks largely to how silly it all sounded. Who wouldn’t get a chuckle out of the idea of liquor control officers busting into a restaurant at high noon and telling diners to “Step away from the mimosas.”
In hindsight, the media frenzy played out remarkably quickly and cleanly. The State Liquor Authority, to their credit, saw the media reports and listened. Their response—citing “a limited exception in the statute when the service of alcohol is incidental to the event, such as in the case of certain brunch specials”—essentially saved the day. Or at least saved the sanctity of unconstrained enjoyment of Bloody Marys on Sundays.
It’s a reminder that the law is often not as simple as it seems; accordingly the SLA was able to “take a balanced regulatory approach” and willing to let businesses do business not only within the letter of the law, but in the spirit of common sense.
Jason A. Glasser
Chief Executive Officer
Time for Tequila
Lately, the tequila category has proved it has depth that goes beyond the perennial popularity of shots and margaritas. “Tequila to the Max” looks at innovation within the category from ultra-premium expressions to flavors and barrel-aged offerings to keep tequila fans engaged on- and off-premise for Cinco de Mayo and beyond. We also examine the beer category for 2014, both the craft and mainstream segments. See “U.S. Beer Market Forecast” on page 30.
It’s officially spring and hopefully starting to feel that way, so in the spirit of “spring cleaning,” consider “Minimalist Cocktails” on page 40. Some bartenders save time without sacrificing flair by applying a “less is more” philosophy behind the bar. On the wine front, we recently spoke with Rocco Lombardo of Frederick Wildman & Sons about the iconic Folonari brand’s recent makeover and new Amore Italia campaign.
Chief Marketing Officer