2019 is now upon us, and with it comes the first Roundup of the new year! Already there are a number of critical ongoing issues that are affecting the beverage alcohol industry, in particular the government shutdown, now in its 3rd week. With the government at a standstill, beverage alcohol producers, who require approval from the federal government for their formulas and labels, are unable to release new and planned products. While threats of a prolonged shutdown may be just that — only threats — the prospect of further delays will bring compounding difficulties for the industry as it begins the year.
In other news this week, we also look at the upcoming Supreme Court arguments in the Tennessee liquor store residency case, along with a very interesting legal analysis on whether the plaintiffs are even justified in bringing their complaint and what might happen if the Court’s decision is based on this procedural question and not on the underlying legal principles. We then look at what might be included in a rumored sell off of brands by Constellation and why flagship brands tend to struggle. And finally, we celebrate the centennial of our very trusted and valued partner, Wines & Vines!
Speaking of Wines & Vines, stay up to date with the latest trends in the DtC wine market with the Sovos/Wines & Vines 2018 DtC Report. Make sure to download your copy here! (But know that the 2019 Report is coming just around the corner!)
Regulatory News and Discussions
TTB Closes Operations Amid Government Shutdown | Since mid-December, the federal government has been shutdown due to a budget impasse, leading the TTB to cease many regular actions. ShipCompliant
Government Shutdown Means You May Not See Any New Beers or Wines for a While | Breweries and wineries require federal approval for their products’ labels, but with the TTB closed during the shutdown brewers and vintners who want to roll out something new can’t. Fortune
Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Tennessee Retail Residency Case January 16 | The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to soon consider arguments in a case centered around the 21st Amendment and the three-tier system. Wine Business
Will the Roberts Court Stand Down on the Tennessee Wine Case? | An important but may be overlooked question is whether the plaintiff, Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association, has standing to sue? Irish Liquor Lawyer
New Laws Affecting the California Alcohol Sector in 2019 | Winery and alcohol producers now can post on social media about upcoming special events at restaurants, bars, wine stores or other venues in California. Wine Business
How Colorado’s New Liquor Law Will Affect the Craft Beer Industry | As of January 1, full-strength beer became available in grocery stores across the state. 5280 Magazine
Whiskey Sour: U.S. Craft Distillers Say Trump Trade War with Europe Is Killing Export Plans | Washington’s trade dispute with Europe may have faded from the headlines in recent months, eclipsed by grander tensions with China, but the fallout continues for many companies around the country that have long targeted Europe as an achievable export market. Washington Post
Industry Updates: Market Conditions and Developments
State of the Industry: What’s To Come For Alcohol in 2019? | The past year has seen the continued growth of craft beer and craft spirits, an increased number of microbreweries, and a rise in experiential drinking. Beverage Daily
Constellation’s $3 Billion Wine Sale: What’s on the Block? | Last fall, multiple reports surfaced that Constellation Brands is exploring a selloff of several wine labels—among them Clos du Bois, Cook’s, Arbor Mist, and Mark West—as it looks to continue premiumizing its portfolio in line with market trends. Shanken News Daily
Hop Take: Flagship Beers Are Failing Because Consumers Get Bored Quickly | This is the dichotomy of the craft beer business: The most successful craft brands are the ones suffering the most. VinePair
Top 10 DTC Sales Growth Practices | VinQuest 2018 reveals the importance of the human touch in DTC wine sales. Wine Industry Advisor
The Hispanic Consumer Is Key to the Future of the Wine Industry | Taking into account the expected demographic growth, according to research studies by Rabobank, a global agroindustrial bank together with the Wine Institute, by the year 2033 it is expected that Latinos could buy 96.5 million boxes of wine. Abasto
Beer and Eco-Innovations | From small craft brewers to big multinational brewing conglomerates, there’s a growing self-awareness and collective consciousness about how the industry can change and become “greener”. Living It
100 years of Covering the Wine Industry | As the North American wine industry grew and evolved, so did Wines & Vines. Wines & Vines
The Best and Worst Beer and Liquor Trends of 2018 | 2018 was a weird year, as a drinker — and as a person who writes about the craft beer and spirits industries. Paste Magazine
Winemaking Disasters: When Wine Goes Wrong | Making wine is not easy. From natural disasters and vineyard pests to human error and deliberate sabotage, Matt Walls shares some of the trials and tribulations that winemakers have overcome to get the bottle to your table. Decanter
Wine Enthusiast 2019 Vintage Chart | A general guide to the quality and drinkability of the world’s wines. Wine Enthusiast
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