Posted on | January 20, 2015
Written by | BevNetwork
Governor Cuomo has announced a number of changes in the administration for his second term, including the reassignment of State Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen as New York’s Medicaid Inspector General. The Chairman previously held legal oversight responsibilities in areas such as real estate and consumer fraud, so moving to Medicaid is no stretch.
Since the core of his experience was outside of beverage alcohol, I can understand why he has been so engaged with members of the industry and has opened many doors for input. He’s a hands-on learner, and a good listener. That’s not to say that everyone always agreed with his decisions, but at least they were not made in isolation.
So before the Chairman left the industry, we thought it would be helpful to gather his perspective on a broad variety of issues that he worked on and we continue to face. In Part 1 (see page 8), he reflects on the SLA’s progress. Worth a read, and you can be sure it will be influencing the next administrator.
William G. Slone
DRINK IT OR SNORT IT
Every time you turn around, there is another university study on the evils of alcohol. Get ready for the next round of reports if consumers—of drinking age and below—start to enjoy access to powdered alcohol. After a flurry of initial publicity and backlash, the product is still going to be marketed.
The DISCUS Presidents’ Forum already has already issued a warning: “The possibility that this product could be snorted or abused in other ways far outweighs any legitimate use claimed.”
But the New York City-based pop culture and news website Gawker gets to the heart of the potential problem, describing powdered alcohol as “the world’s sneakiest and most efficient way to get drunk,” adding, “its makers hope to unleash it on an unsuspecting public this fall.”
Five states have already banned powdered alcohol (Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont). New York is currently considering a ban, as separate bills are being introduced in both the Assembly and State Senate. Time to speak up.
Jason A. Glasser
Chief Executive Officer
CRAFTING A WINNER
Being in the business, sometimes we know too much. When we talk about “craft,” we are usually thinking about scale, ingredients and techniques. But for consumers, “craft spirits” could have many meanings—and may be based on what they know about craft beer, or craft cocktails. And they may be confused as to how “new” small-batch whiskies can suddenly appear on the shelf, at 10 years old.
These are just a few of the issues sprouting up in our cover story on page 20. With several brands facing legal challenges over how they represent their products, and with the term risking overexposure, everyone who sells spirits needs to be more aware of the what’s behind each craft spirit.
February, of course, also means Valentine’s Day is near. Wine and spirits have long been favorite gifts for the occasion, so make sure you are prepared with some special product picks and signage, whether cute or unabashedly romantic. See our Valentine’s Day edition of The Find (page 12) for some ideas, including special drinks.
Chief Operating Officer