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About beerismysavior

  • Birthday 09/15/1987

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    Beer, whiskey, cocktails, welding, eating
  • Location
    Washington, DC

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Brooks Robinson

Brooks Robinson (6/123)

  1. What was the former legal/regulatory environment in MoCo? Alcohol in the USA vs. Maryland Maryland has no state regulations, all alcohol laws are governed locally. This is the only state in the entire country that functions this way regarding alcohol laws. The *only* state! (courtesy of click nathan via wandrlymagazine.com) Full Control Jurisdiction vs. Control Jurisdiction Please see this link, and read with a heavy helping of salt"¦ Control Jurisdiction Explained. Montgomery County is the only standing full control jurisdiction in the US. Control jurisdictions control one facet of the alcohol industry either by serving as the distributor or retailer, often times in one or many of the three alcohol industries: beer, wine and liquor. MoCo is the last place in the US where you have to buy beer through the county run distributor. How did that affect the sale, production, and consumption of beer? Three-tier System Review The Standard US System for Beer (Alcohol) Straight-forward explanation of how beer is bought and sold in most states around the US. This ignores several unique situations by state, but provides a basic overview. Montgomery County Basic Setup Montgomery County is a full control jurisdiction. The government acts a secondary distributor within the county. This adds both tax and overall cost to alcohol in all forms, including beer. Montgomery County Workaround before July 1, 2014 law change Prior to July 1, 2014 breweries had an additional option to work around the four tier system. They could do this by establishing a shell corporation and becoming an NRD, or Non-Resident Dealer. In real terms, this allowed them to drive beer to county warehouses and use DLC as their primary distributor for Montgomery County. NRD breweries enjoyed a mild strategic pricing advantage over those that continued using the four tier system. That being said, most craft beers coming out of non-regional breweries were being sold at the "˜Special Order' markup, which is still a non-competitive unfair tax to consumers. Workaround Still a Four-tier System for Tax Purposes The primary purpose for this brewery as an NRD work around was logistical. Because the government didn't have a "˜true economic interest', many breweries became NRD's to gain a logistical advantage in shipping. As a retailer I've struggled continuously to receive shipments on time, correct orders and the like. Brewers were able to get one step closer to their end consumers by becoming NRDs. This did however cost them financially because NRDs are taxed at a higher rate than NRBs. Ordering "˜Stock Item' Beer Either the DLC keeps a continuous stock of any given beer or they choose to make it a special order item. This is the ordering/distribution cycle for stock items. Ordering "˜Special Order' Beer Ordering NRD Beer in a variety of scenarios Depending on which beers a Montgomery County retailer decides to purchase and what means they go about that could set off a large number of scenarios regarding how that beer gets to them. The major takeaway from the graphic below is that the government's involvement in beer distribution obfuscates the entire process. One Final Note Regarding the Sale, Production and Consumption of Beer All of these intricate and complicated ordering/sales cycles all lead to one road: consumers pay more for their beer at a significantly higher tax rate. This also creates undeniably large advantages and disadvantages in what should be a fair market system. What about the law has changed? Self-distribution below 22,500 Bbl/year As of July 1, 2014 Maryland class 7 microbreweries and Non-resident brewers will be able to self-distribute in Montgomery County. The below graphic accurately depicts the change in purchasing power/brewer distribution/retailer environment. Less Tax / Cost for the Consumer What does the change mean? For (small) Brewers; the big winners Montgomery County is now a more favorable place to own and operate a brewery than the District of Colombia. You are allowed to self-distribute, pour pints in a manufacturing only facility (no food required) and there are no zoning restriction on "˜commercial or manufacturing' districts that DC breweries put up with. Seemingly overnight, what was the worst place in the entire country for small craft brewers to operate will become one of the most favorable business climates to operate in. For Retailers; a significant victory for the prudent Purchasing power has weight and consequences. Variety of beers available will quadruple (from local breweries). Kegs will be cheaper and ordering will be significantly easier (assuming many breweries adopt self-distribution). For Consumers; a mild victory with some unintended consequences More options at a lower price and fresher beer. An inevitable surge in the local craft beer scene and a progressive disengagement in regional craft + big beer. Overall likely a progressive and positive movement, just a shift in purchasing decisions that have little to do with individual purchasing power. Who was involved? What formerly prohibited activities are now allowed? Emily Bruno and Jeffrey Ramirez did a bunch of research and case compiling which Julie Verratti then presented to MD ABC / Montgomery County DLC. To be clear, Emily and Julie are married and Julie is loosely related to Jeff. Emily, Julie and Jeff all have varying degrees of ownership in the business. They decided to open a brewery and a confluence of events led them to seek business in Silver Spring. Discontent with the state of affairs, Emily and Julie began researching ways to create legislative change. Jeff weighed in with professional brewing experience and then the collective that is Denizen's formed a pitch. Being the extroverted personality of the group, Julie went before several different rounds of politicos and put the state of affairs into a frightening matter of fact sense for legislators (sheep). They recognized that the current legislative structure was unfavorable to the only industry showing significant growth in the last 5+ years so the state of Maryland and Montgomery County came to an agreement. They decided to allow small breweries the ability to self-distribute. What I gather they didn't anticipate was me. Being the eccentric, crazy person that I am, I researched the hell out of this and figured that the legal structure presented loopholes for nearby DC breweries as well, otherwise known as NRB (Non-resident breweries). At the time of writing this, over 3 different well-known local breweries have filed applications with MD ABC to change their status from NRD to NRB. What are Republic's plans under the new legal framework? Over the phone / in person only Who are you working with and to what end? Over the phone / in person only
  2. Still learning my way around this strange place... Love it already!

  3. I tasted this 4 or 5 months ago and distinctly remember hating it. I got it as a sample from a distro rep so I didn't pay for it but the nose alone was pretty wretched. Similarly, I had an employee tell me they loved it. To each their own I guess.
  4. Introducing myself... My name is Brett and I'm the bar manager over at Republic in Takoma Park. I'm here to learn, share stories and network with some folks in the industry. I'm a huge beer nerd and a novice collector/advocate of fancy and rare whisk(e)y.
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