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Stores selling beer that isn't distributed to them...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by HomeBrewed, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. joeebbs

    joeebbs Savant (360) Pennsylvania Apr 29, 2009

    oh, it was distributed to them alright.
  2. danscott

    danscott Savant (370) California Jul 15, 2006

    Recently, CA ABC has been going all out to identify and enforce absolutely everything against code and nail the perps.

    Example: A major non-profit in Napa Valley has been raising money for decades with an event to sell "homewine" which, like homebrew, is illegal. This year, ABC showed up and shut them down. As a result, we passed a bill legalizing the use of homewine and homebrew at non-profit events starting in 2014, woo hoo!!!

    But, the lesson is.... if a business has been breaking ABC law and getting away with it, even for decades, they had better think twice about advertising what they are doing.
  3. danscott

    danscott Savant (370) California Jul 15, 2006

    The brewers are more upset by this than consumers.
  4. ne0m00re

    ne0m00re Savant (390) Ohio Feb 19, 2008

    I can't speak for Illinois legislation, but in Ohio a brewery is licensed to sell their beer directly to a retailer in addition to distributors, so it's perfectly legal for an establishment with a liquor permit to purchase beer directly from those breweries (especially when they are in the same state).
  5. ediaz

    ediaz Savant (370) Florida Nov 23, 2011 Beer Trader

    I can't imagine I'd be too upset with them. Majority of this site trades which is generally understood to be a no-no, so pot calling the kettel black. As long as I get my beer, I'm not terribly upset about how it gets here.
  6. juliusseizure

    juliusseizure Savant (455) New York Feb 11, 2009 Beer Trader

    What you are suggesting is blackmail as well. Either you have a problem with this behavior and you report it. Or you let store carry on. Insinuating someone is doing something illegal in an effort to score free beer, is blackmail.
  7. Phunhog

    Phunhog Zealot (75) California Jul 16, 2008

    You bring up an interesting point.....ABC is starting to try and enforce all these antiquated laws. I for one hope somebody DOES get popped for this. It will call attention to the bad laws and hopefully the law will change. Somebody needs to take one for the team!!
    danscott likes this.
  8. I enjoy trying new beers I would otherwise not be able to obtain, so of course I am in favor.
  9. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (655) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Beer Trader

    Actually, the word you're looking for is probably extortion, not blackmail, and without a direct threat, its probably neither. Just saying "Hey, I see you're selling some beers we dont get disto'd here" is an observation of a fact, not a threat. Just to be clear.
  10. So almost everyone on here thinks this is ok because it benefits you? I agree that many of the restrictions on alcohol sales are stupid, but you are forgetting that this practice is unfair to the many other retail outlets that abide by the regulations. As long as people want something they can't get, there will be a black market for it, but I don't necessarily see those who flaunt the system as some kind of folk heroes.
  11. olekern

    olekern Aficionado (175) California Sep 25, 2010

    Please define precisely what you mean by "three-tier system" and if this means a supplier/brewer selling directly to a retail store, then this is absolutely not true. I work for a distributor. Smaller suppliers/brewers sell directly to retailers all the time - especially when they are very small. When they get bigger, they just don't have the resources to distribute, then they contact a distributor.
  12. joeebbs

    joeebbs Savant (360) Pennsylvania Apr 29, 2009

    That brewer may have also set themselves up as a distributor. Here in PA Philadelphia Brewing Company self-distributes all their beers. (or at least all in the SEPA Market)
  13. olekern

    olekern Aficionado (175) California Sep 25, 2010

    And I'm pretty sure they CAN do this if they want in California too! It would depend on whatever is negotiated in the distribution agreement (i.e. exclusivity or certain exceptions). The vast majority of the time, the distributor has full exclusivity.
  14. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (705) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    90% of this is related to taxation. States get mighty pissy when they don't get paid.
    keithmurray and dizztracted like this.
  15. Phunhog

    Phunhog Zealot (75) California Jul 16, 2008

    If stores are selling beer that isn't distributed they should just go all in and sell homebrew too!! It would make a lot of us very happy!!
  16. Are you in Napa?
  17. It's funny... but here is a poll... How many of you are actually Retailers.. It's illegal and wrong.. It hurts the Breweries, the distributors and retailers.. Which in the end hurts you the consumer...
    How? There is no control.. Who maintains it? Who ensures freshness? Just freshness alone.. But what do I know, I'm just a retailer..
    Vav, semibaked, maltmaster420 and 2 others like this.
  18. I just want to know where the hell a store like that is near where I live. And I'm calling bullshit on the "it hurts the consumer" argument. The only person it hurts is the distributor and I have absolutely no love lost for them. Who ensures freshness? I do because I look at the damn bottle. And, at least with high gravity beers, I don't care if they've been on the shelf for a year. Or two.
    SoCalBeerIdiot likes this.
  19. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Advocate (605) Massachusetts May 28, 2010 Beer Trader

    Actually i think the saying goes snitches end up in ditches
  20. flabeer

    flabeer Aficionado (220) Florida May 22, 2007

    Legalities aside, the retailers are paying retail prices for the grey market stuff. They are then adding on their markup, which in these cases, can be substantial. It's a loser all around except for the store scavenging.
  21. azorie

    azorie Champion (760) Florida Mar 18, 2006 Verified

    I wonder how many Westy bottles have been resold illegally? must be Like 10000 times or more since so many have said they had it and they never went though the beer line to get it. or the cafe in Belgium (at the monastery ).:D:eek::rolleyes:

    not counting the 6 pack they sold recently.
  22. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poobah (1,000) New Jersey Feb 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    Either one is correct
    stayclean and regularjohn like this.
  23. CSpoons

    CSpoons Savant (255) Delaware Nov 13, 2012

    Never seen this but I wish it'd happen near me.
    ediaz likes this.
  24. mizary

    mizary Aficionado (200) Ohio Oct 25, 2007

    I bought fat tire in a bar in ohio once... I was all excited.. I thought NB had decided to start distributing here... Nope... someone at the bar just bought a bunch in IN and decided to sell it at the bar... Not surprisingly that bar is now closed.
    azorie likes this.
  25. olekern

    olekern Aficionado (175) California Sep 25, 2010

    Not quite sure where taxation comes in here. If were are talking sales tax, then both the consumer would pay it when they buy at retail. I'm sure the retailer pays their share as well.

    If we're talking excise tax, like with California, then if the beer originates in CA, the supplier remits it to the state. If it is brought into CA from another sate, then the distributor pays. If the state feels they are not getting their money for a supplier's products, then they will audit both supplier and distributor and make a decision who needs to pay them.
    OneBeertoRTA likes this.
  26. leprakhan

    leprakhan Savant (415) California Dec 28, 2009 Beer Trader

    I don't believe that to be true. I know a bottle shop that deals with multiple vendors but also picks up in house specialties from breweries to sell at the shop. They said it is a grey area. Where the main no no is any beer that is distributed through a vendor in that area can not be sold without going through the vendor first. If nobody distributes said beer then it's fair game, but I do believe that varies state to state

  27. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Advocate (650) California Jan 2, 2010 Beer Trader

    State excise tax on beer is nothing compared to spirits. In many states its $.20 or less per gallon.

    I'm not 100% sure but I think in many states there is nothing stopping distributors transfering bottles across state lines to another distributor. In Total Wine's case, as they continue to build Warehouses I don't see why they wouldn't ship out product to stores in different states that don't receive the product anywhere else.
  28. DaKur

    DaKur Savant (400) Rhode Island Nov 15, 2012

    I would say sweet! Then thanks to the store.
    JUST REMEMBER....SHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Why ruin it????
  29. I would imagine most every state prohibits retailers from selling beer not purchased from in-state licensed wholesalers or, where legal, self-distributing breweries - the main reason being that the state excise tax has not been collected on out-of-state purchase. (As often noted, the District of Columbia in the major exception - and there is a procedure there for retailers to pay the DC ET).

    Besides the state tax collector not caring for the act, other retailers - who obey the law - are never too happy about the competition unfairly offering goods they can not legally obtain, nor would the properly licensed wholesale distributors who supply the "bootlegging" retailer like such illegal products competing with his own brands.

    Here's the NJ ABC rule, and below some examples of the possible penalties, from the ABC Handbook:
    Numbers (in bold) are the days the license will be suspended for the first, second and third offenses.
    semibaked, azorie and Chaz like this.
  30. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (850) New York Mar 21, 2010 Beer Trader

    Because it has a negative impact to the stores who are playing by the rules.
  31. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (705) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    Let's just say, it's complicated, but distributors do make the payments to the state for many beer taxes. Here's a report from the distributor side on who pays what.

  32. CassinoNorth

    CassinoNorth Advocate (560) New Jersey Apr 5, 2013 Beer Trader

    Defintely wasn't saying it was illegal, I knew you guys had a deal worked out like that, thanks for the full explination though.

    I know it's legal. It's just interesting to me.
  33. striker2160

    striker2160 Advocate (580) Minnesota May 5, 2013 Beer Trader

    15 bucks for a can of heady is price gouging pure and simple. I can't believe people stick up for the greedy liquor store owner. All I can say is WOW.
  34. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poobah (1,000) New Jersey Feb 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    That is an assumption you are making. Who says they don't have a deal with a store in a different state and they trade product?
  35. So mailing beer to people is illegal?
  36. chrisp450

    chrisp450 Savant (405) Minnesota Oct 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    If you are using USPS, yes. That is my understanding.
  37. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,390) Washington Sep 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    Yup. As of now (changes may be coming), individuals can't send alcohol USPS. Fedex/UPS either. That's why I send out "glass and ceramic artwork". I used to drive OTR trucks. At the time (may have changed by now, don't know) the state of Pennsylvania had a law that any truck transporting alcohol through the state had to have a permit. The company I drove for had about 300 trucks, and about 100 of those trucks had the window decals that allowed alcohol transport. My truck was one of them. I used to take containers of Budweiser to the docks in Newark, NJ, for shipment to England (made cry a bit on the inside). One time a dispatcher sent a truck without the permit on one of these loads. Sure enough, the driver gets pulled over, he gets a ticket, and the company got a fine. And that's just one state, without getting into federal laws.
  38. MrDave

    MrDave Advocate (695) California Jan 23, 2013 Beer Trader

    Freddie no longer loves many of you.
  39. DrankIT

    DrankIT Aficionado (140) New York Jun 13, 2013

    let me get this straight some of us BA's are upset that local beer stores are selling hard to find beers that some of us either trade for or hunt down out of state because the brewery doesn't distribute to you? Wish I had your problems... kudos to the store owner for being aggressive in pursuing the craft beer market. I would be a regular in that store!
    ediaz likes this.
  40. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Savant (495) Minnesota Dec 10, 2006 Beer Trader

    I'm not upset at all. I actually couldn't care less. I was just curious as to how common of a practice this is.
    JackMcAwesome likes this.