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cowdery
06-30-2010, 18:48
An ongoing interest of mine is reforming the laws under which beverage alcohol products are sold in this country, which as we all know is very state-specific. I'm interested in collecting your comments, as alcohol purchasers generally and American-made whiskey purchasers specifically, about what you like and what you don't like about the way booze is sold where you live and shop.

Please remember in your comments to mention what state (or states, if you shop in more than one) you're talking about. Members outside the USA are welcome to play too.

One way to think about it is how does your experience of buying alcohol compare to your experience of buying non-alcohol products, such as other beverages like soft drinks, fruit juices or milk.

Feel free to comment on all sales channels, i.e., bars & restaurants, retail stores, mail order, etc.

I certainly want to hear about states where you, as a whiskey enthusiast, have availability problems, but feel free to talk about any aspect of the consumer experience.

Feel free also to talk about your interests as a citizen and taxpayer aside from your interests as a consumer. Some of the public policy goals of alcohol regulation are: the promotion of temperance, the establishment or maintenance of orderly alcoholic beverage markets, the collection of alcoholic beverage taxes, and the restriction of access to alcoholic beverages by those under the legal drinking age.

And by all means, tell me what you would like to see changed. Tell me how you think it should be.

ThomasH
06-30-2010, 20:06
Ill start by saying that Ohio (my place of residence) wasn't always a bad state to buy alcohol in. The selection here used to be great until 1995 when the state started using agency stores and closed all its state run stores. Ever since then, the selection has dwindled and trying to get major new brands introduced into the state is quite an intensive process. I wish more new products were available here and I especially wish our stores were open on Sundays. Most of the problem with the way the liquor business is run here is due to the state's reluctantance to change the way they do business, not so much the public's opposition to alcohol being sold!

Thomas

Chu'Wuti
06-30-2010, 21:35
Hi, Charles,

I recently acquired your book and am enjoying reading it in bits and pieces--thank you for the education!

I live in Oklahoma. Here, alcohol cannot be sold on Sundays. The liquor stores close at 9 p.m. Saturday evening and cannot reopen until 10 a.m. Monday. They must also be closed on some holidays:

New Year's Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas DayIn addition, no alcoholic beverage above 3.2% alcohol may be sold in grocery stores--that means no wine in addition to the higher proof liquors such as whisky.

I went shopping at my favorite liquor store today and hoped to find a Sazerac Rye, as my son likes it and wants me to try it. What did I learn? We can't get it in Oklahoma.

We cannot get it in Oklahoma--at all. The distributor for Sazerac Rye--as well as distributors for some other whiskies, wines, and so on--are not on the "list." From what I understand, the state liquor lobby develops an approved list; maybe the ones who get approved pay a nice hefty fee to be allowed to sell their products in Oklahoma? I don't know, as I haven't asked. Maybe it has something to do with the "establishment or maintenance of orderly alcoholic beverage markets, the collection of alcoholic beverage taxes," but I don't really think so. It definitely has something to do with temperance beliefs--after all, this is a strong part of the Bible Belt!

I can get my favorite Scotch as well as a number of others. Bourbons are hit and miss; same with wines. My DH and I generally shop in Sacramento, CA or Portland, OR when we want to pick up anything we can't get in Oklahoma.

Most restaurants offer a very limited selection (3 wines, 3 "other) of wines and other beverages. Bars, on the other hand, have a greater selection but generally not the high-end/higher quality things (i.e., no good Scotches, no good bourbons, etc.)--most of the drinkers who go to bars in our town are college students (mostly undeveloped palates) or people who are happy with Coors or Budweiser.

Shipment of alcoholic beverages to individuals in the state of Oklahoma is illegal. I know some people have things shipped in as "grape juice," but it is definitely illegal, and if anything broke and were identifiable as alcoholic, they would receive a very hefty fine.

It can be frustrating if I let it, but I've lived here a long time. As I mentioned, we often shop out-of-state (CA, OR, sometimes KS or CO) to find alternatives. That helps--as long as we can travel!

Thanks for your interest!

Chris24
06-30-2010, 22:31
I live in WA.

I don't mind paying taxes on liquor. I don't like paying a higher prices than other states, but the key to me is availability.

The state does provide a large special order list, but you must order by the case which is usually 12 bottles. Additionally many that I used to be able to get in Colorado or NY are nowhere to be found.

Liquor delivery or at least in state availability from all distilleries would be a god send. There are so many different bourbons (and rums and others) that I would purchase if I saw them at my local store.

I would be the state's best customer given the opportunity.

Our state has several initiatives to remove the state's monopoly on liquor, so I'm looking forward to voting this November.

Josh
07-01-2010, 13:27
I'm in Michigan, of course, and we are a control state. But as control states go, our system is fairly easy-going. The state monopoly is on the wholesale level. All liquor stores (for some reason they are mostly called Party Stores up here) are privately owned and operated, as are the distrubtors. Perhaps as a result of this dusties are pretty easy to find. This system is only for liquor. The state does nothing (other than taxes and bottle/can deposits) to regulate wine, beer, cider, etc.

The state also sets minimum prices for liquor at the retail level, with a decent amount of profit built in. This does not stop retailers from tacking on even more profit, but there are enough retailers that sell at the state minimum that there is a a lot of downward pressure on those prices. The minimum prices themselves are tolerable, no more than $2-5 more expensive than in neighboring non-control states. If there is any gouging, it is usually with higher-end stuff. Many stores that advertise "state minimum" pricing will charge more for top shelf products.

My two biggest complaints are selection and distribution. The state grants 4 or 5 companies the right to be liquor distributors. Oscar can probably speak more to this with specific examples of his dealing with the distributor that handles BT, but often a lot of shenanigans go on with distributors trying to pressure retailers into carrying certain brands in order to get special releases or whatnot. I suspect some of the gouging on the upper end is a result of this sort of thing.

Selection is really not too bad, but there is a lot of room for improvement. I don't know how much is the result of delibrate decisions by producers or what, but the following American Whiskeys I like are unavailable in Michigan:
Four Roses SBBS Annual Releases
Four Roses Mariage
Very Old Barton BiB, 80, 86
HH BiB 6 y/o (white label)
Rowan's Creek, Noah's Mill, Black Maple Hill
Willet's Pot Still bottle
Old Fitz BiB
Very Special Old Fitz
Weller 12 y/o
AAA 10 y/o
Rittenhouse BiB
Geo. Dickel Barrel Select
Mellow Corn BiB
Virginia Lightning (recently de-listed)
Any private bottlings.
Any Wild Turkey special releases
Unavailable in handles: Old Forester Signature, Four Roses

These are available, but fairly hard to find, (although I do know where to find all of these):
Very Old Barton 90
Old Charter 10 y/o
Old Forester Signature
Weller Antique 107
Four Roses, yellow label, small batch and single barrel (new to the state)
Buffalo Trace Antique Collection
Old Rip Van Winkle 90 & 107
Pappy Van Winkle 15 y/o
Wild Turkey Rye
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye

I do shop in Illinois (Binny's), Indiana and Kentucky fairly regularly and I find they have a much, much better selection than we do here. One thing that annoys me about Indiana, though, is that liquor stores are closed all day on Sunday and for many years liquor stores were not allowed to sell groceries, so a lot of them are pretty seedy and one has to walk past racks of girly magazines when entering or exiting the store. Michigan has a number of these seedy ones as well. As a result, my wife refuses to go into them. This has means I often end up spending more than I would if she wasn't there, so I guess that's a good thing from my perspective.

One of the things I love about shopping in the three states mentioned above is the availability of private bottlings. I like trying a different spin on some of my favorites, or even stuff I don't like too much.

I have always had a great experience shopping at Binny's, especially when Joe brings out the shopping cart o' dusty magic.:bowdown:

harshest
07-01-2010, 13:50
Well Josh hit on a lot of the things I was going to say about Michigan. As relative new bourbon drinker I do wish there was more of a selection, I don't understand the reasoning of not letting certain products not be sold here. The one really big gripe I have is that liquor never goes on sale, unlike beer and wine. In other control states the state will sometimes set sale prices on certain products, but not here. I do like the fact that if a store doesn't carry a product and it's available you can have it ordered and there is no minimum.

I don't have a big problem with MI setting a price for products I just wish they didn't limit the products that are sold here.

I would also like to see the market opened up so that stores could get any product that is available from any distiller. I know that will never happen but who knows.

OscarV
07-01-2010, 13:54
I think one of the problems in MI is as Josh stated with the selection of annual and special releases, but also the bigger problem is our fellow consumers.
Why should a store stock all the bourbon that is available to them from the MI catalog when their customers only want vodka, spiced rum, Canadian (brown vodka) whiskey, schnapps and for that super special occasion Bailey's Irish Creme.
I have no problem with a lot of retailers when it comes to making a special order for me, they are glad to do it.
When it comes to beer you can't beat MI's selection, we are 2nd to none, but that is because the consumers support the wide beer variety.
It's the MI indoor culture, beer, cigarettes and euchre.

sku
07-01-2010, 14:05
We have it pretty good in California. There are no restrictions, as far as I'm aware, on hours of operation of liquor stores. Liquor can be sold in supermarkets and internet shipping is legal.

We don't have spirit auctions like New York, which I would like to see.

Of course, we have the three tier system and other restrictions like everyone else and I would love to be able to buy from a wider variety of sources (international websites, ebay, direct from distilleries), but compared to what I've seen in many other states, we don't have much to complain about.

ACDetroit
07-01-2010, 15:32
As a dusty hunter in MI, I can not really complain much about our system. It is still possible to find old stuff on the shelves here if you are willing to look for it. The current line up for bourbon is great and if you build a rapport with the store owner the special order feature can get you just about anything one could want.

The 3 distributors her in MI are National wine and spirits, General wine and Liquor and I believe J Lewis Cooper. To the defense of the 3 distributors, they have to deal with the State commission when purchasing booze. here is a quote for the commission.

Uniform Price, Taxes & Mark-up:
All off-premise retail licensees must sell spirits to consumers at the uniform price set by the
Commission. This uniform price is determined as follows: Vendor of Spirits files price
quotations with the Commission. The Commission takes the per case quoted price as submitted
by the Vendor of Spirits and determines the per bottle price, then adds a 65% mark-up to it. A
series of specific taxes (4% specific tax for school aid fund, a 4% specific tax for the general
fund, a 4% specific tax for convention facilities & tourism and a 1.85% specific tax for liquor
purchase revolving fund), are then calculated on the price after the mark-up. The 1.85% tax is
added only on sales to off-premise licensees. In addition, there is a 6% sales tax collected
separately by the retail licensee. All retail licensees receive a 17% discount on purchases from
the Commission that is calculated before any specific taxes but after the mark-up has been added
to the Commission’s cost. On-premise retailers may sell spirits at any price above their cost.

So the mark up on bottles in MI starts at 65% and that's at the State level, by the time it hits the consumer what is it???

If any of you have interest in reading how it all works (I've gone thru this myself) here (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/cis_lcc_vendetail_57657_7.pdf) is a link to the Mi requirements on Liquor, not great but we deal with it.
As for Josh's comment on the BT rep in MI... he actually works for Sazerac corp, which I would guess is an affiliate of BT. As a group we had the opportunity to meet Mr. Schorer at a BT tasting in the Ace Deuce (Ann Arbor tot he non local). It seemed funny walking into a bourbon tasting where the first drink offered was Rain Vodka, but we moved on. The tasting went thru the BT line with I believe BT, ETL, ERSB, Blanton's and maybe Sazerac Rye? Correct me if I'm wrong. The rep knew his time lines and dates well enough, by but from our perspective little about the product and directed several questions from the group of 50 or so patrons towards our group of say 11 guys. Then attempted to insult us answering a question from the room with "I don't know maybe you can ask the bourbon geeks!" way to promote the brand and support you demographic.

My only other complaint which doesn't apply just to Michigan and has been repeated over and over on this board and other places is the general lack of knowledge of whiskey at the POS level. This goes fro retailer, restaurants etc. (no not BINNY'S Thank you Joe and Brett!) It just seems to me if I wanted to sell something I might want to know a little about it!:smil41df29a15fb35: :smil41df29a15fb35: :soapbox: I think I done rambling now, sorry for the lengthy post.

Cheers!
Tony

edit for spelling

ILLfarmboy
07-01-2010, 15:37
One thing that annoys me about Indiana, though, is that liquor stores are closed all day on Sunday and for many years liquor stores were not allowed to sell groceries, so a lot of them are pretty seedy and one has to walk past racks of girly magazines when entering or exiting the store. Michigan has a number of these seedy ones as well. As a result, my wife refuses to go into them.

That's an aspect of living in a control state I'd never even considered. My wife wouldn't mind, but I wouldn't want to go shopping with my Mom and have to walk past porn.

I gotta say, if I had to live in a control state I'd complain a lot more that it seems the average control state resident here on SB.com does. Growing up in a free state has spoiled me.

OscarV
07-01-2010, 15:38
My only other complaint which doesn't apply just to Michigan and has been repeated over and over on this board and other places is the general lack of knowledge of whiskey at the POS level. This goes fro retailer, restaurants etc. (no not BINNY'S Thank you Joe and Brett!) It just seems to me if I wanted to sell something I might want to know a little about it!

Yeah, bars and resturants don't have a clue as to what bourbon is here in MI.
If they have more than a few brands they are from Beam Global.

MarkEdwards
07-01-2010, 16:32
I'm in Texas, specifically the Dallas/Fort Worth area, in Arlington.

We have a crazy quilt of wet and dry areas. I grew up in Balch Springs, where you couldn't even buy beer. My dad had to drive 30 miles to buy a six pack. He'd buy it, and drive home, drinking a beer - this was before it was illegal around here to drive while drinking beer!

The law forbids buying any alcoholic beverages before 7am, and the liquor stores are closed on Sundays. Arlington only recently began allowing grocery stores to sell wine.

Oh, almost forgot my favorite weird experience. Cash registers beep the "check id warning" for alcohol-free beer, but not for alcohol-free wine. Both have less alcohol than cough medicine, which has no restriction...

ratcheer
07-01-2010, 18:56
Alabama - strict control state. Cannot order via internet. Stores open late and close early. No Sunday sales. High taxes. Limited selection.

Bleh!

Tim

BBQ+Bourbon
07-01-2010, 19:31
Missouri is a great place to be a drinker. Every store carries whatever spirit they care to have, and I don't recall a day when liquor sales were prohibited. Prices for current bottles are among the best in the country and selection is great.

I came from Kansas, and that seemed like the most inbred, backwards state possible. After reading Sandy's post, it seems Oklahoma has Kansas beat, by a good margin.

cowdery
07-02-2010, 12:36
Being in Chicago I have Binny's, which is probably all that needs to be said. I buy here and in Kentucky and there isn't a lot of difference, except that in Kentucky I can buy all of the oddball BIBs and that sort of thing that doesn't make it up north. Prices are about as good as anywhere, as are hours of operation. Although I have Binny's, I can also buy spirits at supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, just about everywhere. There are no minimum prices so stores can have closeout sales. They can do whatever they want. The state limits hours of operation and every place that sells alcohol has to be licensed, and has to prominently post their license number, but other than that it's pretty loose. I know when I worked in sales promotion for liquor companies we loved Illinois because you can do just about anything here. I'm talking about anything legal, but for the right price you can do anything anything too.

SBOmarc
07-02-2010, 13:11
I can't really add anything to the California experience that has not already been said. We do pay more because of the 3 tier system. I don't know what can be done to remedy this. Availabilty isn't always the best and once you add in the shipping to get internet bottles you usually end up paying even more.

We do have places to shop like Hi Times and now Total Wine and Spirits. The first being THE place to go, but no real break in price...The second with great prices but limited in availabilty.

I will also add that the American Whiskey selection in bars is getting better, but it had to as it could not have gotten much worse.

jburlowski
07-02-2010, 13:16
I live in KY so selection is not a problem. However, since there a lot of knowledgable bourbon drinkers in these parts, the limited editions / specialty bottlings sometimes have a tendency to sell quickly.

In terms of laws, the irritants are few and minor. Some localities have some hour restrictions on liquor by the drink (particularly Sunday mornings). Also, until the last year or two, many localities closed liquor stores on Sundays.

Lastly, like many places I've lived, you can't buy a drink on election day until the polls close. Man, just when you really need a stiff one. :smiley_acbt:

ratcheer
07-02-2010, 13:44
This is an unusual and great thread, Chuck. Thanks for starting it.

fishnbowljoe
07-02-2010, 14:27
The three states that I buy most from are Illinois, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. As far as Illinois and Kentucky are concerned, my experiences are almost exactly like Chuck's. I am about 55-60 miles to the nearest Binny's, and about 20 miles or so from Everett's. FWIW, Everett's is just a couple of blocks inside the state line with Wisconsin. The one thing I've noticed here in Illinois are the differences in taxes. Illinois as a whole had a tax increase on alcohol a year or so ago. The main difference I've seen here is in county taxes. Some have extra taxes on liquor, and some don't.

Wisconsin is just a bit farther from me than Everett's. Wisconsin is not quite the same as Illinois when it comes to purchasing alcohol. For one thing, the taxes are a bit cheaper. The selection is different too. It's not better or worse, just different. The are laws against distributing across state lines, so there is a slight a difference in what is available. It's almost funny in a way. I can drive just a few minutes north of Everett's, and have different things to choose from.

I consider myself pretty lucky when it comes to purchasing bourbons. I live in an area where, for the most part, I have a great selection to choose from. I can also find a dusty or two from time to time. What I can't find here, I usually manage to pick up on my trips to Kentucky for the KBF or Sampler. All in all, not too many complaints. :grin: Cheers! Joe

harshest
07-03-2010, 10:24
I think one of the problems in MI is as Josh stated with the selection of annual and special releases, but also the bigger problem is our fellow consumers.

You aren't kidding. This (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dleg/Copy_of_top30products_jul_09_to_dec_09_285379_7.xl s) document from the MLCC shows the top 30 sales by liquor code for the last half of last year. Not only are there no bourbons on the list there aren't even any whiskeys on the list. I find it had to believe that JD didn't make the list. Apparently this is a gin, vodka and rum state. And by rum I mean Capitan Morgan...

Rughi
07-03-2010, 10:54
Apparently this is a gin, vodka and rum state...

Oh, don't be so harsh on your state. That list speaks of alcoholics getting their fix, not enthusiast choices.

It looks to me like all of the top 20 are Alcoholic's Maintenance Products - none of these sales are to people who can even plan ahead enough to buy 750's. Only a few of the top 30 are even party mixers.

But then again, what do I know? I judge spirits one bottle at a time, not a thousand cases at a time.

Roger

Josh
07-03-2010, 21:29
Oh, don't be so harsh on your state. That list speaks of alcoholics getting their fix, not enthusiast choices.

It looks to me like all of the top 20 are Alcoholic's Maintenance Products - none of these sales are to people who can even plan ahead enough to buy 750's. Only a few of the top 30 are even party mixers.

But then again, what do I know? I judge spirits one bottle at a time, not a thousand cases at a time.

Roger

You have a good point, Roger, but Harshest and Oscar also have a good point. The Detroit metro area was the former U.S. headquarters of Hiram Walker, which happens to be right across the Detroit river from Windsor Ontario which was the world headquarters of Hiram Walker and the location of the Canadian Club distillery. Hell, there's a section of Windsor called "Walkerville" and Hiram Walker himself and his whole family are buried in Detroit. I've even been there to pay my respects.

My point is that Michigan is Canadian Whisky country. The folks at my favorite pub, after serving up kick-ass microbrews from all over the state, buy each other shots of CC. I once had a convo with a barmaid who could give you a 20 minute lecture on every single style of beer made in the U.S. and the British Isles in which she said, "I don't really care for bourbon. I tried some Southern Comfort on the rocks last night and it was just way too sweet."

Yes, there's a lot of typical alkie fare sold here like there is everywhere, but Detroit's drinking culture, like its sports culture, is pretty thoroughly Canadian. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Love ya' Gary! :D

doubleblank
07-05-2010, 11:14
Texas is a great state for buying alcohol with the exception of shipping hard liquor which is prohibited. But that generally isn't a problem as Texas has a great selection of all fine spirits. Store hours are reasonable. At some of the megastores like Specs, you can get your bourbon, wine, beer, glassware, on-site roasted coffee beans, gourmet cheeses, fresh produce, walk into the humidor and grab a single or box of cigars, head to the deli for a great sandwich, etc etc at a single location.

The only significant change I could hope for would be to allow grocery stores to sell hard liquor. Liquor stores can sell groceries here, but not vice versa. Grocers often sell beer as a loss leader to get traffic into the store. They might do the same with cheaper spirits too like rum and vodka.

Bars can still have happy hour.....but they can't advertise exactly what that is until you enter the premisis.

Randy

ILLfarmboy
07-05-2010, 13:08
Bars can still have happy hour.....but they can't advertise exactly what that is until you enter the premisis.



We don't have happy hour anymore, well, not exactly. I don't remember when the current law went into effect. Some, or all of it, of it may have been before my time. But I think I remember ladies nights.

http://www.state.il.us/lcc/docs/HappyHourLaw.pdf

Frankly, I think it is asinine. For instance we can't have two for one drink specials but we can have half priced specials, if the price stays the same for the full business day. Serving two or more drinks to one person for consumption by that person (exception for wine by the bottle or carafe) is verboten. Boilermakers are an exception, but I wonder how widely this is enforced/observed. I've been out drinking Turkey and water or Jack and Cokes and ordered a shot or had one bought for me, while still having a full glass and was served, no problem, as recently as this May. The only time I ever remember being told I couldn't have more than one drink at a time was on one of the Riverboats up in the Quad Cities. In fact, they wouldn't let me order drinks for both myself and the woman I was with. She had to order it herself. That was more than 10 years ago. Back then we still had ladies nights (I think). Reading the law, it would appear that is no longer allowed.

ErichPryde
07-06-2010, 03:56
Oklahoma is an interesting example to bring up. Many Sazerac items are not on "the list." Rock Hill Farms, Sazerac Rye, Buffalo Trace- none of those can be brought into the state. the BTAC doesn't make it into OK, either. at all.

Interestingly, I've found dusty RHF IN OKC, so at one point it was on "the list," in about 1997. I'm not sure when it fell off of the esteemed and glorious list, but it did.

Strangely, OK was selling Four Roses products a year before the clamor on this board lit up about Four Roses being outside of kentucky. I have no idea why, but they had both the small batch and single barrel available. Only "recently" did most other states get FR products... Not sure how this happened.

Another distinct advantage of OK is the relatively low liquor tax. Some examples: PVW 20 regularly priced @ 70, Four Roses mariage available for 59, the newest tradition release was 89, Rare breed regularly priced at 32. Most everything that is available in Oklahoma is available for about 7 dollars less (at 40 dollars) than it is in Kansas and many other states.

Although there is significantly more selection in KS, Rock Hill farms didn't make the list there, either. Kansas has the same ridiculous no-sunday sales law.


There is an upside to having no liquor in grocery stores though, and it hasn't been mentioned yet- MOST grocery stores do not care to carry more than the "big names" and a couple of other required selections. They only have so much shelf space. Can they order it for you? maybe. This wouldn't be a problem, Except the other thing that happens when grocery stores pick up liquor, is that there seems to be a reduction in the number of liquor stores that actually WILL stock the things you want. Perfect example is here in tucson.

I have three options- I can go to bevmo, where everything is available and disappears the same day it comes in, I can go to the super-seedy, porn filled hellhole down the street that most assuredly won't have what I'm looking for because all they sell is 24 oz cans of beet and 40s and don't bother to stock more than 2 kinds of "bourbon" (and one of them is crown), or I can go to the grocery store.

I miss the fact that there were/are more liquor store options in OK and KS. With 6 different stores all carrying the same item (say, Lot B), one of them is bound to be cheaper than the others. Here, only two, maybe three places, can even GET something like Lot B and with no competition, it is bound to be as high as they can sell it for.


There is a relatively weird advantage to being in Tucson, though. 1.75L bottles of things like Jack and Jim have some odd prices. Jack Daniels is regularly priced at about 32 bucks for a 1.75L. I've seen a handle of Maker's for the same price. In OK or KS, it would be slightly over 40, maybe even closer to 50, for either one. The same weird pricing is true of handles of Jim, Sailor Jerry, and quite a few others. I guess if I cared to get any of them on a regular basis, I'd be set.

OscarV
07-06-2010, 04:17
- MOST grocery stores do not care to carry more than the "big names" and a couple of other required selections. They only have so much shelf space.


The big chain grocery store here in MI has liquor and like you said they only stock the 3 or 4 top sellers, but they sell at state minimum.
I think this has an influence on the overall market. Consumers think they are getting the best and stick with those familiar brands when shopping elsewhere.

p_elliott
07-06-2010, 08:28
One of the Grocery stores here HyVee that sells liquor the liquor section is "normally" but not always a section attached to or a store adjacent to the store. These are full blown liquor stores and some like in the case of the one in Maryville Mo have a great selection of bourbon. The HyVee here in town just added hard liquor and they have just a few selections. I think they are testing the waters. I should maybe buy more there but they only have WT 101 and KC that I like (or maybe all they have) for bourbon. The local liquor store has had WT on sale since HyVee started selling it.

bonneamie
07-06-2010, 19:57
This is a very interesting thread. It's worth reading just to see the variety of experiences around the country.

Michiganders, you can read the current price list at this site:

http://www.michigan.gov/dleg/0,1607,7-154-10570_14173_15087---,00.html

Chuck's blog post is appropos too. http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/

cowdery
07-07-2010, 00:44
I think Amy meant to link to this blog post (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/07/this-independence-day-think-about.html).

The crazy thing about this crazy system and this crazy HR 5034 is that HR 5034 will make it even crazier.

PaulO
07-07-2010, 08:30
Josh said; "I do shop in Illinois (Binny's), Indiana and Kentucky fairly regularly and I find they have a much, much better selection than we do here. One thing that annoys me about Indiana, though, is that liquor stores are closed all day on Sunday and for many years liquor stores were not allowed to sell groceries, so a lot of them are pretty seedy and one has to walk past racks of girly magazines when entering or exiting the store. Michigan has a number of these seedy ones as well. As a result, my wife refuses to go into them. This has means I often end up spending more than I would if she wasn't there, so I guess that's a good thing from my perspective."
Living in Indiana, the no Sunday sales annoys me too. I'm surprized no one has challenged the constitutionality of it. I think the people that support this would even admit that they are using the government to try and impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us.
As to the sleazy liquor stores with dirty magazines, they do exist, but mostly in bad neighborhoods of large cities. Another type of store is the bullet-proof bunker, where all the transactions go through a slot in the glass. I try and stay away from those places. If a person passes into Indiana from Chicago, you might want to not stop too soon. Likewise, our capital has some areas I would avoid (just like other large cities). The "region" and the bad parts of Indy don't represent how most of the state lives.
The places I shop at are nice. I know two stores within an hours drive of me that are as nice as the Binny's I visited in Skokie. The only unique thing of interest that Binny's had were some of their single barrel purchases (with the sticker). The Illinois taxes were higher. KY has the best prices and selection. IN is about in the middle.

texascarl
07-07-2010, 10:04
Another KC bourbonian here, living on the state line has it's advantages. Missouri has better bourbon selection and has better "on sale" prices as a rule of thumb. Sunday liquor sales is now a town-by-town thing in Kansas, and Shawnee where I live allows Sunday sales. FWIW, I buy Four Roses products, David Nicholson 1843 bourbon and White Horse scotch (only) in Missouri at this time.

IowaJeff
07-07-2010, 12:08
I live in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa is a control state. My main gripe is a lack of selection. Secondary to that is the lack of quality liquor stores. The grocery stores in the area generally have at least a large beer/liquor/wine aisle, and many have an attached but separate store. They have a decent selection overall, but the American whiskey selection is usually limited to MM, WT, Evan Williams, JB products, etc. that are on the state list.

There are numerous smaller liquor stores in town, but really only two that frequently special order anything. There is one 40 minutes away from DSM in Ames that has a great selection. Anything not on the state list has to be specially ordered by the store through the state. The store has to fill out a form and pay an additional tax/fee for special orders, which raises the price for many of those products. PVW, 4 Roses, Elijah Craig, most BT products, all have to be specially ordered. I think the large grocery chains have driven a lot of business away from liquor stores, which mean less selection, because a grocery chain is not as likely to special order items.

Individuals can have only have one liter 'imported' into the state at a time without going through the state (4 liters if 'imported' from outside the US). That makes it very inconvenient to purchase online. I can only buy one bottle at a time and thus can't combine shipping. $10-15 is a lot to add to the price of an individual bottle. This also technically means I cannot go to Missouri, stock up, and bring it back to Iowa. That's just plain nonsense.

In sum, were it not for a couple of great liquor stores willing to step out and special order items, the DSM area would be a bourbon/rye wasteland.

jfw
07-07-2010, 22:44
In MD, we generaly have good prices and a fairly good selection (now that Four Roses is sold here). The most annoying thing about MD is that you can't ship into the state (the bill to change that keeps getting stuck in committee here even though they have the votes to pass the bill if they can get it out of committee).

But even within the state, the rules are inconsistant. Some counties allow liquor stores to be open on Sunday, some don't. Montgomery County only allows hard liquor to be sold in county controlled stores. The good news there is that they generally have the best prices in the state.

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dlctmpl.asp?url=/content/dlc/liquor/home/index.asp

You never really know what you are missing until you visit a Binny's or Liquor Barn to see the selections available there.

ratcheer
07-08-2010, 09:35
You never really know what you are missing until you visit a Binny's or Liquor Barn to see the selections available there.

I am afraid that I have just about fallen out of the bourbon discussions, because there is basically nothing interesting on the Alabama shelves to talk about. I was complaining about the selection variety five years ago and things have only gotten worse since then. :smiley_acbt:

Of course, there seems to be about 300 vodka choices.

Tim

dean_martin
07-08-2010, 10:03
I am afraid that I have just about fallen out of the bourbon discussions, because there is basically nothing interesting on the Alabama shelves to talk about. I was complaining about the selection variety five years ago and things have only gotten worse since then. :smiley_acbt:

Of course, there seems to be about 300 vodka choices.

Tim
I feel your pain. However, because I live near the AL/FL line, weekend trips to P'cola are no big deal. Just wish some of the 4Roses special bottlings were available. On the plus side, I've found that there are at least one or two abc stores in each region that seems to carry more than just what's on the retail list. Have you looked for the abc store in your area that also sells to restaurants, bars, etc.?

The wifey and I are planning a trip to Louisville in the fall. I hope to return with Rittenhouse, Willett and a 4roses - maybe that new L.E. small batch and perhaps some various bib.

foxflyer5
07-08-2010, 12:24
You never really know what you are missing until you visit a Binny's or Liquor Barn to see the selections available there.

i was just looking at Binny's today. im not sure if i can have them ship to PA or not. PA is so crazy that i just assume its not allowed, but the only thing i could find on the control board's website talked specifically about wine. anyone in PA get shipments of online orders?



Of course, there seems to be about 300 vodka choices.


my lady says i can sit there and drink whiskey by myself all i want,
but not vodka, vodka is the alcoholic's drink.

OscarV
07-08-2010, 13:12
my lady says i can sit there and drink whiskey by myself all i want,
but not vodka, vodka is the alcoholic's drink.



Sound advice, she's a keeper.

Joshua
07-08-2010, 13:29
I have one complaint that seems pretty universal across the liquor buying experience...

There seems to be a general disregard for customer taste and poor treatment for the whiskey enthusiast. Almost every store I go in looks at me like I'm going to steal something, or gets pushy about me buying a product. When a store makes me feel bad for not buying some junk I don't want... that's not a good experience.

I know it's not just me either, I have seen it with others. "What are you looking for? Oh this Bookers is really good, it's about the best bourbon there is. It's better than what you're looking for." or "This Old Crow Reserve is a really great deal, you should pick up this instead."

I know at least 2 other's on this board have complained to me about the below experience...

"What are you looking for?"
"Just browsing, seeing if there's anything sitting around for a while or specific bottlings"
"Oh I can order anything you want."
"No thanks, I'm after out of production bottlings"
"Well what do you want, I can order them."
"I don't mean to be rude, but I'm looking for things you can't order anymore"
"I can order anything, what do you want me to order for you?"
...come on, can't you take a hint? Stop being pushy and trying to guilt me into buying a bottle.

Don't try and lecture people that know more about bourbon then you do, then try to make them feel like their knowledge is wrong because you got your information out of advertisements and info on the bottle.

jfw
07-08-2010, 22:02
It took me a bit of time to connect that noone browses in liquor stores (unlike almost any other type of store) except for the people on this forum :lol: . I get the strangest looks when I leave without buying something even afer I try to explain they don't have what I was looking for.

ggilbertva
07-09-2010, 06:06
Virginia as a controlled state has improved their bourbon selection and overall liquor selection over the last number of years (from sucks to just ok). The prices are still quite high so it's not very often that I really shop in the state ABC stores. Montgomery Cnty, MD has the cheapest prices around as they are a not for profit controlled county so I can find things like EWSB for $18 or Bookers for $35-$40 (if they have it on sale) and I've picked up OWA for $15. Bob McDonnell used the privatization of the ABC stores as one of his gubernatorial points in his bid for election. I think the VA Gov't does a lower than average job in controlling liquor sales and moving product here in the state and allowing the private market to model places like IL and CA would certainly be an improvement.

ratcheer
07-09-2010, 06:59
It took me a bit of time to connect that noone browses in liquor stores (unlike almost any other type of store) except for the people on this forum :lol: . I get the strangest looks when I leave without buying something even afer I try to explain they don't have what I was looking for.

Hmmm, you are right. I will be in a store carefully browsing when someone else swoops by, picks up a bottle of this and a bottle of that, then heads for the checkout. Sometimes I will make a comment to them, something like, "Well, there's a man who knows what he wants."

They are usually getting Jack Daniels and Canadian Club, or some such.

Tim

gblick
07-09-2010, 08:07
I was talking to a small store owner the other day, and he told me 'the powers that be' were trying to legalize Sunday liquor sales and also the sale of liquor in grocery stores here in Texas. He told me that if it passed he would likely go out of business. If it's going to put the small mom & pop liquor stores out of business, I'd rather just leave it as is. I don't care about it not being sold on Sunday (I've got a few bottles bunkered, so I won't likely run out on that one day), and I also like having a special store just for liquor to shop in rather than a grocery store. The only drawback to not being open on Sunday is when I'm out on Sunday and can't do a little browsing or dusty hunting.

IowaJeff
07-09-2010, 08:34
I was talking to a small store owner the other day, and he told me 'the powers that be' were trying to legalize Sunday liquor sales and also the sale of liquor in grocery stores here in Texas. He told me that if it passed he would likely go out of business. If it's going to put the small mom & pop liquor stores out of business, I'd rather just leave it as is. I don't care about it not being sold on Sunday (I've got a few bottles bunkered, so I won't likely run out on that one day), and I also like having a special store just for liquor to shop in rather than a grocery store. The only drawback to not being open on Sunday is when I'm out on Sunday and can't do a little browsing or dusty hunting.

I think grocery stores selling liquor does hurt the independent stores. The ones that survive usually have some other niche, like distributing to bars, or a huge wine selection. Liquor stores predominantly make their money selling beer, JD, cheap vodka, capt'n morgan, etc. If you can get that at a grocery store that is closer, most people do. One of the independent liquor stores here in IA has a radio commercial that says "if you want milk and bread, go to the grocery store; if you want the best prices and selection on liquor, go to your local independent store."

Rutter
07-09-2010, 09:01
All of our grocery stores here sell beer wine and spirits 24 hours a day except for the daft sunday trading hours where they can only be open for 6 hours.

As a result of this we have very few specialist stores, so most off licenses need to take up valuable bourbon space by selling sweets smokes and magazines and so end up being a smaller version of the big grocery stores however they can't beat them on price.

cowdery
07-09-2010, 13:26
I'd like to introduce a principle into this conversation. It's not a principle that all endorse but many do, including me.

The principle is that unfettered markets best serve the interests of buyers, sellers, and the community at large. Therefore, the state must have a compelling reason for any restriction it wants to impose because any such restriction creates a harm that must be justified by a greater good.

This means that the alcoholic beverage market will best serve the interests of alcoholic beverage buyers and sellers if those buyers and sellers alone control all decisions about products, pricing, distribution, and marketing.

Whether or not such an unfettered marketplace best serves the interests of the community at large is the more difficult question. Even so, if any state-imposed restriction harms the interests of marketplace participants, then the state should have to prove that the benefit of its restriction to the community at large is significantly greater than said harm.

What the states tend to offer instead is a very general justification for state control based on general interests such as promoting temperance and preventing underage drinking. It usually fails to show how a given restriction will advance any of those interests, or acknowledge and balance that against how marketplace participants will be harmed.

It always amazes me when people who identify themselves as conservatives and free marketers enthusiastically embrace a socialistic (i.e., management by the state) solution to alcohol-related social problems. The socialists, of course, like it too.

The other great irony is the tension between promotion of temperance and maximization of alcohol tax revenues.

mrviognier
07-09-2010, 13:41
Well said; but you have to know that 'principles' and 'politics' are somewhat oxymoronic.

The state does have a compelling reason to its way of thinking: it wants the revenue. That's why the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will never be abolished, why UT, VA, etc have state stores, and why some municipalities in MN have a retail monopoly. Sure, it flies in the face of free market capitalism, and doesn't serve the best interests of the consumer...but no governmental body - large or small - is going to walk away from the cash flow once it's theirs.

Sad but true...

cowdery
07-09-2010, 15:09
Then the interesting question becomes why is Illinois different from Utah? My opinion is that in most cases, it is a vestige of decisions made 77 years ago. Then you have to ask, why was Illinois different from Utah 77 years ago?

My further opinion is that there is no more justification to the particular regime of this state or that than the spin of a wheel. The spin of a wheel maintained by inertia.

ratcheer
07-09-2010, 15:22
In Alabama, one of the stated (by law) goals of the ABC is "promoting temperance". IMHO, they do a pretty good job of it. :skep:

Tim

mrviognier
07-09-2010, 19:12
...there is no more justification to the particular regime of this state or that than the spin of a wheel. The spin of a wheel maintained by inertia.

Absolutely...but the spin is maintained by money.

The only good thing in all of the madness? The ONLY reason prohibition was repealed was that the congress agreed to allow states unfettered rights to determine the laws governing the production, distribution and sale of beverage alcohol within their own borders.

So it could be worse...:rolleyes:

cowdery
07-09-2010, 20:16
Of course it's about money, i.e., tax revenue, but were that the whole story, the states would all gravitate to a model that maximizes revenue and the system would move in the direction of uniformity. Instead the opposite is true.

mrviognier
07-09-2010, 21:12
But, if THAT were true, then states would gravitate towards controlling everything. Each state determined their own system long ago...and each system is mighty hard to break down.

cowdery
07-09-2010, 21:51
Like I said, inertia. They choose systems 77 years ago, more or less at random, and can't imagine changing them in any way.

ILLfarmboy
07-09-2010, 22:26
At random?



I had always figured the greater the stranglehold the drys had on a region or state at the time of repeal, the less laize faire its "system" ended up being immediately following repeal.

Trace Tippler
07-11-2010, 13:01
Another Californian story with not all that much new to add. It's easy here buying liquor. You can buy seven days a week, most grocery stores sell it, we've got a big box chain, BevMo, that has a pretty darn good selection of all kinds of liquor, and if you want a 1.75L of something popular, Costco is often a good place to find it. Also there are many one-store places that have been around for many years and can order just about anything you want.

What may make it interesting is this fall's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. There are a lot of state budget offices and think tanks trying to calculate exactly what effects this will have if it passes, and some of these calculations predict an overall decrease in sales of alcohol. Since the total revenues from sales of marijuana + alcohol would likely increase substantially, no one really knows what legalization might do in terms of liquor sales, prices and the like. And goodness knows what the federal response might be to it all.

Should be an interesting fall around here. :)

Cordially,
Trace T.

mrviognier
07-11-2010, 14:15
and if you want a 1.75L of something popular, Costco is often a good place to find it.

I think Costco is going back to the 'old days', winnowing down their spirits selection to just the top 2 or so big brands in each category. So, while prices will be fair, selection will be limited.

Trace Tippler
07-11-2010, 14:39
I think Costco is going back to the 'old days', winnowing down their spirits selection to just the top 2 or so big brands in each category. So, while prices will be fair, selection will be limited.

That definitely seems to be the case with liquor at the Costco store I go to. Being in California, they have been moving a lot of their stores here to larger and larger wine selections at the expense of liquor shelf-space. The only time this seems to change is around the holidays when they do have a fairly extensive selection of gift-boxed spirits.

Cordially,
Trace T.

ratcheer
07-11-2010, 19:35
Don't feel too bad. Costco doesn't even sell liquor, here. Beer and wine, yes, but spirits, no.

Tim

mrviognier
07-12-2010, 05:23
Costco was making a lot of profit on the old system, and figured 'bigger selection = more profit'. They found that really didn't work with the spirits' expansion, hence the move back to the old system.

Can't feel too bad for you, Ratcheer...you may not get booze in your Costco, but you're just 20 miles away from Frank Stitt's restaurants!:rolleyes:

ratcheer
07-12-2010, 06:13
Can't feel too bad for you, Ratcheer...you may not get booze in your Costco, but you're just 20 miles away from Frank Stitt's restaurants!:rolleyes:

Ha ha, how true. Believe it or not, I have only been to one of his restaurants, one time. The food was great but the atmosphere just didn't fit what my wife and I were expecting / wanting. We never went back.

Now, I am retired and it is hard for us to afford such things.

Tim

burghguy
07-31-2010, 08:13
i was just looking at Binny's today. im not sure if i can have them ship to PA or not. PA is so crazy that i just assume its not allowed, but the only thing i could find on the control board's website talked specifically about wine. anyone in PA get shipments of online orders?



my lady says i can sit there and drink whiskey by myself all i want,
but not vodka, vodka is the alcoholic's drink.
I just wanted to let you know that I have received shipments of liquor from Binny's and I live in PA.

BourbonJoe
07-31-2010, 08:56
I just wanted to let you know that I have received shipments of liquor from Binny's and I live in PA.
Shopper's Vineyard will also ship to PA.
Joe :usflag:

BourbonRob
08-01-2010, 11:01
I just tried....they won't ship to Alabama....

Haven't found anyone yet...

StraightBoston
08-01-2010, 17:39
Surprised that none of the members from Massachusetts weighed in. Most that I've talked to shared my experience -- selection sucks in general and dusties, especially back to tax-strips, basically don't exist. Beer and wine are available in groceries or convenience stores, but hard liquor is only sold in privately-owned liquor stores ("packies").

Most of us hit Julio's in Westboro and Federal Wine and Spirits in Boston for selection and "special" bottles, but we go to the New Hampshire state stores for price. That is to say, the control state up north, with state-owned and operated stores, has the hands-down best prices (for what they have -- although "what they have" includes a handful of cases of BTAC and JRPS17!)

Taxes? Distributor markup? Dunno.

dean_martin
08-02-2010, 09:16
I just tried....they won't ship to Alabama....

Haven't found anyone yet...

I see you're from Spanish Fort. I live just up hiway 31 from you. Hit I-10, drive to Pensacola and open a UPS Store box. Use you're FL address for shipping. That's what I do.

cowdery
08-02-2010, 15:00
I see you're from Spanish Fort. I live just up hiway 31 from you. Hit I-10, drive to Pensacola and open a UPS Store box. Use you're FL address for shipping. That's what I do.

People helping people. It gives me a warm glow.

OscarV
08-02-2010, 15:04
In answer to the thread's question.
No problem here.
23 South to KY and 94 West to Chicago.

Rughi
08-02-2010, 15:18
People helping people. It gives me a warm glow.

Stop, Minelli Time!

:smil41df29a15fb35:
People, helping people
Are the luuuuuuuuuu-ckiest people...

CorvallisCracker
08-02-2010, 15:23
It gives me a warm glow.

Ooooo, what color? Warm fuzzy pink? Radioactive blue? UFO green?

ratcheer
08-02-2010, 16:45
I just tried....they won't ship to Alabama....

Haven't found anyone yet...

It is strictly forbidden to ship alcoholic beverages to Alabama, a felony, in fact.

Tim

cowdery
08-02-2010, 17:11
It is strictly forbidden to ship alcoholic beverages to Alabama, a felony, in fact.

Tim

And nobody wants to do time in an Alabama whiskey prison.

smokinjoe
08-02-2010, 18:53
I honestly can't complain about Georgia. I travel a fair amount throughout the country, so I can make some pretty good comparisons. Pricing is competitive, if not better, than most other states that I visit. Selection is very good. The last couple of years have seen an explosion of new availability of craft beers and bourbon, which is what I buy the most of, so, it works for me. :D Actually, in a weird way, the better availability here has taken a lot of the fun out of going to other states, and load up on products that weren't available in Georgia. BT, ETL, BTAC, Four Roses, and one-offers, etc. are recent additions to the shelves here. Generally, the larger retailers are knowedgable and helpful. They seem to be the recipients of personal attention, education and sales promotions from the producers. This definitely is a plus for the consumer. From a bourbon distillery standpoint, Jimmy Russell (a couple of years ago)and Jim Rutledge (May 2010) have toured the area promoting their whiskies, which is always a good thing. There are no Sunday sales of liquor and beer in Georgia. This can be somewhat of a bitch if I run out of beer on a Sunday, but it's usually not a big deal for me. But my feeling is, Heck, if I can't plan better than that....well, I deserve to go without. ;)

All in all, I give The Empire State of the South solid marks in meeting my alcohol buying expectations.

bigtoys
08-02-2010, 19:01
no complaints. Binny's is great. They often order what they don't have in stock.

Just shipped 6 cases of wine from CA; some from wineries and some ourselves at the UPS store to ourselves.

BourbonRob
08-03-2010, 08:46
Thanks for the UPS Box suggestion.... 56 miles for me...that's worth the drive any day!!!

Waiahi
08-04-2010, 18:39
Hawaii

We have pretty high taxes on all alcohol.

You can't buy alcohol between the hours of 12am and 6am. I've been to many a party that has ended before anybody wanted it too, because somebody forgot to collect the funds for a beer run before midnight.

Another law that drives me crazy? In drinking establishments and restaurants, each patron is only allowed one alcoholic beverage at a time. An entire beverage must be finished before a new one is served.

My problem here is that I love to sip on whiskey while also drinking beer...which in Hawaii is technically illegal.

Another stupid law, is the open container law.

Drunk driving is drunk driving. You have a BAC that is measurable and the ultimate evidence for conviction. The only thing an open container prohibition does is encourage people to litter their empty beverage containers...which in Hawaii means tossing your empties at the beach or on the roadside.

Finally, I've noticed a new practice here in Hawaii...and I was curious if other people in the country have seen the same - big chain C-stores like 7-11 now electronically scan your Hawaii Driver's License when you attempt to purchase any alcohol.

Call me paranoid, but I absolutely despise the idea that all of my personal info found on my Driver's License is now in a scannable bar code in which a company like 7-11 now gathers at POS.

fishnbowljoe
08-04-2010, 18:51
Some of the gas stations/convenience stores here in Illinois scan you drivers license when your purchase cigarettes. :rolleyes: Joe

Waiahi
08-04-2010, 19:00
BIG BROTHER is watching us all.... :hot:

OscarV
08-04-2010, 19:12
All in all, I give The Empire State of the South solid marks in meeting my alcohol buying expectations.


How enlightening, I love to hear positives reviews.
But I have never heard GA referred to as the NY Of The South before this.

ratcheer
08-05-2010, 06:28
How enlightening, I love to hear positives reviews.
But I have never heard GA referred to as the NY Of The South before this.

I have heard it for many decades, Oscar.

Tim

harshest
08-05-2010, 06:33
Finally, I've noticed a new practice here in Hawaii...and I was curious if other people in the country have seen the same - big chain C-stores like 7-11 now electronically scan your Hawaii Driver's License when you attempt to purchase any alcohol.

Call me paranoid, but I absolutely despise the idea that all of my personal info found on my Driver's License is now in a scannable bar code in which a company like 7-11 now gathers at POS.

In MI we have the magnetic strip similar to a credit card that a few places use. According to the law the magnetic strip contains no personal information other than the holder’s license number, date of birth and license expiration date, but who knows...:skep:

BourbonRob
08-05-2010, 09:28
I haven't heard of the scanning licenses before...That would freak me out alot! In AL, they just ask for my DOB to buy tobacco or alcohol...even though I never give the right one....

Makes you wonder...Do I even remotely look under 21???? Infact I'm usually older than the clerk...

The 80+ yr old lady in front of me yesterday thought it was a joke when the clerk asked for her Birth Date....

She said "my birthday"...."no its not my birthday"....

OscarV
08-05-2010, 09:32
A few years ago people were using their driver's license in the credit card scanner at a gas station to get free gas.
It didn't last long because while they got free gas they also left the store with their name and address.

ILLfarmboy
08-05-2010, 15:41
I haven't heard of the scanning licenses before...That would freak me out alot! "....

My wife had claimed this was a new law here in Illinois. In fact, unless I'm ill-informed, it is store policy at wal Mart and a Target, and possibly other retailers as well. They began doing this earlier this year. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. I avoid, when I can, buying alcohol at such places. (there's no magnetic strip on our driver's licenses, I guess it optically scans them)

With the way things are now-days, I don't trust that information on what I purchase won't be compiled. Retailers would naturally want to do so for advertising and marketing purposes and then Big Brother could get hold of that information. I can see some bureaucrat denying me treatment under ObamaCare, because records indicate I drink too much alcohol and eat too much junk food.

cowdery
08-05-2010, 16:40
Pennsylvania is experimenting with vending machines that sell wine. When you read about them you feel like you're reading a story in The Onion, but it's all true. The machines not only scan your ID, you also have to blow into a breathalyzer.

It started with the tobacco companies, when they would do promotions in bars where they gave away free cigarettes. They scanned IDs to document legal age but also to capture addresses so they could use direct mail advertising.

BourbonJoe
08-05-2010, 17:25
Pennsylvania is experimenting with vending machines that sell wine. When you read about them you feel like you're reading a story in The Onion, but it's all true. The machines not only scan your ID, you also have to blow into a breathalyzer.

It started with the tobacco companies, when they would do promotions in bars where they gave away free cigarettes. They scanned IDs to document legal age but also to capture addresses so they could use direct mail advertising.

See, the PALCB is at the forefront of alcoholic beverage sales. :horseshit:
Joe :usflag:

jburlowski
08-06-2010, 11:17
I first ran into the scanning practice at liquor stores in Minneapolis about 9-10 years back. It started after some highly-publicized busts for selling to under-aged buyers. The stores claimed they were doing it to retain proof that they asked for and checked ID. (And to be sure that the clerks followed policy of checking everyone's ID)

imbibehour
08-11-2010, 20:31
live in DC, but have also lived in the nearby areas of Northern Virginia (NOVA) and Maryland (Montgomery County).

DC is a big market and filled with knowledgeable consumers, and also people who just want to sometimes spend money. So there are lots of options. However, many of the stores are small and you can run into varied prices, and selections that are small also. Then of course if you travel outside of downtown areas and other neighborhoods that haven't quite gentrified it's the typical... what can I get behind the bullet proof glass thing. But you can really get just about anything... If I really want I can buy wine online and have it shipped to my house (haven't done this yet) where as in most states they do not allow this.

Tax on sales in DC seem to be 9%. NOVA has the ABC stores for spirits but I can't say I bought many spirits when I lived in VA, but there's plenty of places to get fine wines and lots of micro-brew beer. Montgomery County Maryland I discovered has the state run spirits stores, some of them are stacked fairly well and their prices seem to be the best and have only 6% sales tax.

Interestingly enough the new VA governor is trying to get out of the state liquor business

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... id=topnews (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/04/AR2010080407323.html?hpid=topnews)

trends: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sp ... id=topnews (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/metro/alcohol-sales-in-virginia/?hpid=topnews)

So my buying experience is pretty good, but I have to run around a lot sometimes. I don't have really good beer near me, or wine, but down near areas or work or places I pass through it does the trick. I haven't really had to get involved with proprietors to desperately get something that I want (yet!).

Alcohol is available in grocery stores in NOVA, in a few places in DC, and is not at all available in grocery stores in Maryland.

As for changes or how I think things SHOULD be... There isn't anything that really gets me or upsets me that I would want something done differently currently except perhaps if people want things online from other states shipped to them they should be allowed.

fishnbowljoe
08-15-2010, 20:06
I already posted on this subject, but had to add a little something. I have told many people here in chat and in person, that the stores near me know nothing about bourbon. They know me now, but when I first started on my bourbon "thing", all I got was, "If you buy case, 10% discount." I now have the pics to prove my story. Here's a couple of pics of a liquor store close to my house. I laughed out loud when I saw the sign out front. I just had to take a couple of pics. :lol: Joe

OscarV
08-16-2010, 03:20
"If you buy case, 10% discount."

Do they realize that 3 bottles makes a case for Stagg and Larue, tell them to get them ordered.

p_elliott
08-16-2010, 09:54
I already posted on this subject, but had to add a little something. I have told many people here in chat and in person, that the stores near me know nothing about bourbon. They know me now, but when I first started on my bourbon "thing", all I got was, "If you buy case, 10% discount." I now have the pics to prove my story. Here's a couple of pics of a liquor store close to my house. I laughed out loud when I saw the sign out front. I just had to take a couple of pics. :lol: Joe

I wasn't humorous when you described it but the picture is.

Luna56
08-16-2010, 23:01
Chuck, my experience here in NH is much like what you'd expect in a control state (which NH is). Because we have no sales tax here, some liquor stores are positioned right on the state border with Massachussetts and the parking lots are always full. While I've mentioned here before that our bourbon selection is fairly scant though our prices are excellent, one is dealing with a staff that knows little besides which aisle bourbon can be found in, and can on occasion work a cash register properly. And, as I've said before, the only dusties you'll find in NH are the creepy, tattooed, tobacco wheezing old ladies at the registers.

NH has a good selection of SMS and the prices are very good. But our very own Great American Whiskey is under represented. A few years back I undertook an email campaign to convince the powers that be at the NH Liquor Commission that they NEEDED to carry Four Roses bourbons. Two years later FR1B appeared on some of the shelves (you're welcome, ingrates! ;) ) Of course, I can't claim all the credit. But I sure do deserve it!

In truth, I can always find something excellent here at an attractive price. I figure what I save on my everydays I can splurge with on an "exotic" found somewhere else (Julio's, Binny's, etc).

Cheers!

RedVette
08-19-2010, 12:06
A few more fun facts about Oklahoma.

The liquor stores cannot chill the beer or wine, it must be sold warm. Which also means it is stored warm, and you know how that helps the shelflife.

Besides, holidays and sundays, liquor stores are also closed on voting days, and we seem to have 5 or 6 of those a year.

Since grocery stores and gas stations can only sell 3.2 beer, (also in our county, restaurants can only serve 3.2 beer on sundays, no wine or spirits) and most beer is sold in grocery stores, the local distributors of mainstream beers choose to only distribute the 3.2 product, therefore you cannot find full strength Bud, Coors, Corona etc anywhere in the state.

Liquor stores can only sell products that have alcohol in them. Want a cigar? Gotta go someplace else. Tonic water, ditto. Bag of ice? Forgetaboutit.