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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Saving You From Beer

In Georgia, we have a first hand look today at crony capitalism and its destructive effects on your liberty.

After the end of prohibition, Georgia adopted a three-tier system for selling alcohol. Brewers and distillers make it, then a distribution company sells it for them, and retailers purchase and resell to the public. With the rise of craft breweries, however, the three-tier system creates a problem.

When people go on brewery tours, they want to buy beer on site. The three-tier system prevents that from happening. A law in Georgia’s Senate, SB63, would change that. The law would allow consumers, when they visit a brewery, to buy up to 144 ounces of beer, about a 12 pack, on site without having to go through a retailer.

The distributors and retailers are angry that the law might pass and, naturally, are claiming such a law is against consumers’ interests.

Martin Smith is the Assistant Director of the Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association.

Mr. Smith seems to think you need protection from the craft breweries in Georgia. According to a report by Walter Jones for the Morris News Service, Mr. Smith said, “The three-tier system has been beneficial to consumers because it allows all brewers, large and small, equal access to consumers.”

As one brewer pointed out, “When you visit a winery, you don’t go back there when you want a bottle, you go to the retailers.” But Mr. Smith responds that is nonsense and gives away the game with “It simply shifts existing jobs and revenue.

See, allowing breweries to sell to the on site customers deprives Martin Smith’s distributors of money. He doesn’t really care about you.

And the Georgie Beer Wholesalers Association has taken Governor Deal to breakfast and given more than $1 million in contributions to members of the Georgia legislature.

If you live in Georgia, you might want to call Martin Smith at (404) 231-4292 and tell him to stop claiming he knows what is best for consumers.

Then I suggest you go here, put in your address, and call your state representative and state senator to demand they support Senator Hunter Hill’s S.B. 63.

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