Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Promise This Is The Only Time I Will Say This

Not to be political or anything, but apparently a recall attempt is getting under way here in Wisconsin. I am not endorsing any particular candidate, nor am I even suggesting that you vote one way or the other, I'm not even recommending that you do or do not sign a recall petition.

I will just remind you that our Governor had the chance this past summer to veto a bill bought and paid for by MillerCoors and the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association. As a result of that legislation even TheStreet.com recognized that Wisconsin is now a worse place for craft brewers and craft breweries:
"Why isn't Wisconsin ranked higher [than 7th], then? Partly because of production that doesn't even crack the Top 10, but partly because of legislation passed this summer that protects Miller from A-B InBev encroachment that combines the brewer's permit and wholesale and retail licenses given out by municipalities into a single permit under state control and prohibits brewers from buying wholesale distributors. That's great for Miller, but just made life a whole lot more difficult for the more than 70 brewers in the state that aren't Miller who now have a much more difficult path to getting licenses and getting their product on shelves. Wisconsin's total beer output grew only 0.2% during the past decade. Making life harder for most of your brewers for the sake of one doesn't seem like the best way to create growth."
Admittedly MillerCoors (not a Wisconsin company, but headquartered in Chicago) and the Wisconsin Beer Distributors (most of whom specialize in selling you Miller and Anheuser-Busch products) are better off.

3 comments:

  1. And those on the other side of the aisle have repeatedly tried to pass higher taxes on beer. Do you really think that a new Governor would push to have that law repealed? What about the fact that those on the opposite side of the aisle as Walker have repeatedly tried to get higher taxes on beer? Will that help better beer in WI?

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  2. But luckily, in the case of the proposed beer tax increase, legislators listened to the BREWERS and it didn't pass.
    If our elected officials really wanted to support a growing local industry they should listen to the breweries that are making the products instead of folding in to pressure from a group that makes money from a monopolistic system of moving someone elses product from point A to point B (that would be the beer distributors).
    The problem with the previously proposed 'beer' taxes is that it is paid upfront by the brewery adding expense that they can't get back until the beer is sold sometimes many months later.
    A better system, that would also address those pesky 'problem drinker' issues, is an increase in the sales tax on alcoholic beverages. It doesn't increase the 'price' of the beer so no upfront increased expense to the brewery, and it becomes a use tax (which I prefer). I drink a lot and don't have any problem with the thought of paying a bit more at the check-out for my good beer. And it may make the smucks still drinking bud lite think twice about supporting an international company that makes a mediocre product.
    Get him out and support legislators that are really making the best choices for our Wisconsin breweries (and other Wisconsin businesses).

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  3. Hey Anny Mouse,

    Yes, high taxes on beer will help the state and beer. Infrastructure, education and public safety are crucial.

    And beer taxes are at comparative lows.

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