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Personal Page: News & Views May 2014

Posted on  | April 22, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Florida Gets It

Once again, common sense prevails…over avarice. A recent report from Tampa Bay Online kicks off by saying “The walls between whiskey and Wheaties aren’t tumbling any time soon.”

Florida State Sen. Bill Galvano withdrew his bill to repeal the law that requires spirits to be sold separately from groceries, after a companion bill in the House failed to generate any traction. This played out against some classic arguments that we all need to be sensitive to. Proponents of the bill argued open access would “create more convenience and reduce costs.”

But Charlie Bailes, the head of the ABC liquor chain, cut right to the heart of the issue: “It’s not an economic one; it’s an issue of access.” A young Florida State student drove home the point: “As an underaged individual, what is more inviting: a traditional liquor store, which is kind of intimidating, or stores that are family-oriented?”

Sorry. These are not dramatic new arguments. But they get to the heart of the matter. Keep them in mind.

William G. Slone, Chairman

A Timely Report on Taxes

On April 15th, the National Beer Wholesalers Association released an independent study reaffirming the effectiveness of the current state-based three-tier regulatory system and its effectiveness, particularly in the area of tax compliance.

The study also addressed the effectiveness of the system in limiting opportunities for contraband goods entering the distribution channels. Aside from tax issues, consumer confidence in our products can be severely compromised by illegal goods. The study enjoys some added weight, having been conducted independently by KPMG LLP, one of the world’s largest professional services firms.

“This report provides a valuable look at how the regulated, independent three-tier system for alcohol—which traces products from producer to distributor to retailer—contributes to the ease of collecting taxes by state governments,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser.

We hope legislators will pay attention to this study, if they are not distracted searching on line for highly discounted, tax free goods. The full study can be found at nbwa.org/tax-collection.

Jason A. Glasser, Chief Executive Officer

In High Spirits

Raise a rocks glass and let “Gin Reimagined” inspire. Our cover story explores how the Prohibition-era darling’s time has come again, as distillers and bartenders alike are embracing the spirit’s diverse potential. “Dueling Drinks,” on pg. 28, offers a look at the proliferation of brand-sponsored cocktail contests. As we embrace being firmly in the “cocktail renaissance,” it’s a perfect time to check on the “State of the Cocktail Nation,” on pg. 22, in which great bars of all types prove that the key to success is having everything behind the bar in sync.

I’ve especially got spirits in mind as we get ready for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (May 9th-13th). Summer months can get busy, so be sure to check out the events calendar on pg. 102. But don’t stop there. Beveragemedia.com has even more events, and up-to-date info if any details have changed since we went to press. If you’re planning an event, check online first for potential conflicts, and be sure to get us your details as soon as you have them.

Jody Slone-Spitalnik, Chief Operating Officer


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