BevAlc Roundup | Oral Arguments in Tennessee Residency Case, Economic Nexus in Wyoming Affects DtC Shippers, Bev Alc Market Grows to $253B, and 100 Years Since Prohibition Began

Daniel Kostrzewa | January 22, 2019

This has been a rather busy week for the beverage alcohol industry! As happens every January, the annual reports and industry checkups are coming out, which are always big news. But this week there was also oral arguments before the Supreme Court on beverage alcohol issues — the last time that happened, nearly 15 years ago, the result was the modern direct-to-consumer market! While we don’t necessarily expect such big results this time around, it’s still big news.

As such, we’ve devoted an additional section of the Roundup to looking at reactions to the oral arguments, including our very our own take. We then look at more standard regulatory updates, including a couple changes in Wyoming and Texas that could affect DtC shippers we’ve reported on in the last week; those and a look at new rules permitting distillation on tribal lands. Then we review the industry reports that have come out this week, including the preeminent Silicon Valley Bank Report on the Wine Industry. Finally, we calm things down a bit and look at ways to use samples to improve your sales to distributors and retailers.

But that’s not all folks! Indeed, this week we have our very own report coming out. That’s right, we are poised to release the 2019 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report — check out highlight previews and sign up to get notice when the report is released. And if you’re going to be at the DtC Wine Symposium in Concord on the 23rd, make sure to hear directly from Larry Cormier, General Manager of ShipCompliant, as he presents on the key highlights from this year’s report.

Before the Court — TWSRA v. Blair reviews

Tennessee’s Weird Liquor Law Should Be Struck Down. But Expect More Wine Cases to Come | Undoubtedly, Tennessee’s is a dubious law, but the problem for its opponents is precisely that the 21st Amendment returned liquor-control power to the states. Washington Post

Justices Weigh Text and History of 21st Amendment In Challenge to State Residency Requirement for Liquor Licenses | At today’s oral argument in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Blair, the justices considered exactly how expansive that regulatory power is. SCOTUS Blog

Justices Slam “Economic Protectionism” in Supreme Court Liquor Case, 100 Years After Prohibition | Exactly 100 years after the nation ratified the Eighteenth Amendment and began Prohibition, on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a case that could set a major precedent for how states can regulate the wine and liquor industry. Forbes

Tennessee’s Weird Liquor Law Should Be Struck Down. But Expect More Wine Cases to Come | Undoubtedly, Tennessee’s is a dubious law, but the problem for its opponents is precisely that the 21st Amendment returned liquor-control power to the states. Washington Post

Regulatory News and Discussions

Wyoming’s New Economic Nexus Rules May Affect DtC Wine Shippers | Wineries shipping direct to Wyoming consumers will need to comply with new sales tax nexus rules, if they exceed threshold sales. ShipCompliant by Sovos

Distilling on Tribal Lands Is Now Legal in the U.S. | The recent repeal of an early-19th century federal law creates new business opportunities for Native American spirits producers. SevenFifty Daily

Texas Introduces New Filing Frequencies for DtC Wine Shippers | Direct shippers will going forward need to file more frequent reports to Texas regarding their direct sales to Texas residents. ShipCompliant by Sovos

Wine Institute Q&A on TTB Shutdown | Nine out of 15 federal government departments are currently closed and will remain closed until the President and Congress can reach agreement and enact funding legislation to reopen these departments. Wine Institute

Industry Updates: Market Conditions and Developments

U.S. Beverage Alcohol Spending Hits $253.8 Billion in 2018, +5.1% Versus 2017 | Consumers continued to increase spending in the beverage alcohol category. Bw166

State of the Wine Industry Report 2019 | Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank predicts that the U.S. wine industry will be challenged over the next 5 years. Silicon Valley Bank

The Wine Industry Needs to Evolve – SVB Report | The 18th annual State of the Wine Industry Report, required reading for pretty much anyone involved with the U.S. wine industry, indicates long-term trends have taken the business to a transition point. Wine Business

Total U.S. Wine Market Tops $70 Billion | Findings are part of New Wine Analytics report. Wine Business

A New #FlagshipFebruary Campaign Aims to Save Core Beer Brands Before They Disappear | The nation’s most pioneering and influential old craft breweries, all of which built their businesses on a flagship or two, are struggling mightily – and not so successfully — to compete in a world where a decent number of upstarts don’t even craft a core beer. Forbes


On This Day 1919 . . . Prohibition is Ratified | One hundred years ago, on 16 January 1919, the United States Congress ratified the 18th Amendment leading ot the complete prohibition of “intoxicating liquors” in the country. Drink Business

6 Ways to Get More Out of Your Samples | Importers and distributors on how to make the most of sample bottles and time with buyers. SevenFifty Daily

The Restaurant Wine List Is Dead. Long Live the Wine List | A trend in “micro lists” is a boon for wine lovers. Bloomberg

The Prohibition-era Origins of the Modern Craft Cocktail Movement | Prohibition may be long dead, but the speakeasies and cocktails it spawned are still with us. Napa Valley Register

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