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News Boston bars charged with violating "pay-to-play" rules

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by huuvola, Sep 2, 2015.

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  1. BostonJourno

    BostonJourno Initiate (123) Nov 14, 2014 Massachusetts

    Okay, as promised, here is a link to the full ABCC report. Warning: The report is a poorly-formatted chronological narrative that lacks any section breaks between events. It's very difficult to read. I had to print it out and draw lines with a pen in between each little chunk that begins "On [date], Investigators X and Y...." to make any sense of it.

    And here is a rough flow chart I made to keep track of the various entities involved. I banged this out quickly just as an organizational/reporting aid for myself, so please forgive the primitive look and any factual errors. Not a professional graphic by the Globe or anything, just my amateurish rush job.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. OldManMetal

    OldManMetal Zealot (534) Jun 5, 2015 North Carolina

    You, sir, are what's right with journalism today. @BostonJourno
     
  3. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,463) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    well that explains what a lot of us assumed was going on when Yuengling suddenly appeared everywhere
     
  4. fhyden

    fhyden Initiate (176) Sep 4, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Pay-to-play is real. Macro houses install draft systems all the time with the understanding that their macro (and the craft they carry) will have permanent spots. On top of that, it's not unheard of for the reps of some of the larger craft brands to come in and "swipe a card" to pay for every third or fourth keg.
     
  5. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,113) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    I've heard some Craft breweries installing and cleaning tap lines around Boston in exchange for having their beers on tap. It's in more places than what we're named for cash transactions.
     
  6. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    This happens all over the place. Bars, restaurants, stores, its RAMPANT. Even companies that swear up and down that they don't, do something to make people happy who have their hands out. Its just part of the game, and like the other thread months (or perhaps last year) said, that no one will fess up to it, because it will disrupt the supply chain and get people in trouble. Alcohol is a vice, and it's roots are planted in a history of pay to play, or simply greasing palms to get things done. To change anything would be to upend the whole way things are done. Too much money is involved, just like anything else.

    The crap that goes on to get consumers their beer is insane.
     
  7. fhyden

    fhyden Initiate (176) Sep 4, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Not every distributor, retailer, or brewery does it, but enough do it to make things tough for us in the short term. Superior product and service have been winning out in my market; it's just a long, slow battle.
     
    BostonJourno and rgordon like this.
  8. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    No not everyone does it, but plenty do. Boston is old school, I don't see things changing. For those beer geeks that want to get around it, they know where to go.
     
    beergrrl likes this.
  9. beergrrl

    beergrrl Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2003 New Hampshire

    Just read the report; it's pretty clear that the restaurants are initiating this round, Craft complied, and then invoiced the brewers. PT balked and talked. I wonder if any of the other breweries noted in the report just paid up as a cost of doing business ...
     
  10. beergrrl

    beergrrl Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2003 New Hampshire

    So, I see the 3 November hearings were continued. Was there any preliminary report? Is there a new date?
     
  11. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,113) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Haven't heard anything ... I wonder with Pretty Things closing up shop if it will change any of it.
     
    beergrrl likes this.
  12. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    ita awfully hard to not draw conclusions as to what happened with this recent development.
     
    PA-Michigander and Jason like this.
  13. huuvola

    huuvola Aspirant (225) Oct 29, 2005 Massachusetts

    I noted this in another thread, but I think it's presumptuous to blame the pay-to-play fiasco as the reason behind the end of Pretty Things. There have been hints all along that this wouldn't be a long-term endeavor. Here's an excerpt from a Boston Magazine feature in 2013.
     
  14. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader


    I also think it would be presumptuous to completely dismiss it too.
     
    keithmurray likes this.
  15. huuvola

    huuvola Aspirant (225) Oct 29, 2005 Massachusetts

    Totally agree. I'm not dismissing it. Just saying it's a big leap to make when we have no evidence in support of the assumption.
     
  16. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Knowing the reputation of the owners of the wholesaler, the evidence starts to build.
     
    foundersfan1 likes this.
  17. Dandrewjohn

    Dandrewjohn Initiate (150) Apr 13, 2013 Texas

    Suspending a few liquor licenses for a couple of weeks would probably get their undivided attention. To say this is not really a big deal short changes hard working customers who are getting ripped off. I'm for stopping the corruption and making some examples. It's not acceptable to say bullshit like this is just business as usual.
     
    OldManMetal likes this.
  18. jongullotti

    jongullotti Aspirant (295) Apr 7, 2006 Massachusetts

    I have to think that all of this will just lead to a more discrete pay-to-play system, although I admittedly don't know how that would be accomplished (cash maybe). Having ones beer on tap at a popular bar is just too valuable for a brewery, distributor, and a bar to stop. I'm not implying that it's right (it isn't) but it is part of the game, like it or not. It's good that this practice has been exposed but it will probably adapt and survive.
     
  19. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (462) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    What boggles my mind about all this pay-to-play nonsense is that volume-based discounts are perfectly legal and would get all parties to the same place.
     
    beergrrl and cavedave like this.
  20. beergrrl

    beergrrl Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2003 New Hampshire

    Bad habits die hard in places like Dirty Ol' Boston, where corruption is endemic. Even 20 years ago you handed in your building permit with a crisp Ben, inflation from the 70's when it was only a Grant.

    The most surprising aspect is that they formed shell companies. I guess everyone is afraid of the taxman.
     
    BostonJourno likes this.
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