Bill Draft LC1429
supporter
Posted by tom regan (+1765) 7 years ago
Sounds like the Montana Tavern Association is all upset because bars have some competition. So instead of adjusting their businesses to the competition, they will try and use the legislature to remove it. I thought republicans were all about free enterprise and reduced government regulations?

http://laws.leg.mt.gov/le...TY_ID_SEQ=

http://missoulian.com/new...963f4.html
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supporter
Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+15024) 7 years ago
I thought republicans were all about free enterprise and reduced government regulations?


Dammit, Tommy, that made me spew diet coke out of my nostrils! That was pretty funny.

No, Republicans are all about helping themselves and their rich buddies. That Libertatrian talk is just a ruse to fool Tea Party morans.
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supporter
Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+15024) 7 years ago
Thread hijack: More on how completely and utterly stupid the Republican party is:

http://www.newyorker.com/...rland.html
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Posted by Oddjob (+188) 7 years ago
So, what's with the current provision that brewers can't apply for a license to sell beer/wine but are limited to serving "samples"? Did that come from the brewers or somewhere else (like MTA)? Makes sense to me that if you want to sell beer in a bar or a tap room you should have to have the same license.
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supporter
Posted by tom regan (+1765) 7 years ago
This is what I understand from the information I have read on the matter. I haven't read the actual laws. That would be boring.

A brewer's license gives permission to brew beer and sell that beer on premises. This is what we know as the "tap room". They can only sell the beer that they produce. No beers can be purchased and sold by the brewery.

This license has several restrictions insisted on by the MTA when this law was passed. Only 64oz of beer can sold per person per day. This is the dreaded 4 pint limit. They must stop serving beer at 8pm and be closed for business by 9pm. Also, there is a production limit. If the brewery produces over a certain amount, they can no longer charge for the beer they sell in-house. An example of this is Big Sky Brewing, the maker of Moose Drool. If you have ever visited their brewery in Missoula, they give away free samples. Kettle House brewery also in Missoula has reached this limit and has decided to cap production in order to keep their tap house open for loyal customers. No more Cold Smoke Porter at Toppers in Helena.

The retail license which gives permission to buy and sell alcohol. Grocery stores and gas stations have a retail license.

The MTA wants breweries to purchase a retail license, increase the restrictions to the amount of beer that can be sold in the tap rooms. Also, prevent them from selling any food or other beverages, or having any type of entertainment. You wouldn't even be able to order in a pizza. No pool tables, darts, no soda, candy bars, or free popcorn in the tap rooms. These tap rooms are the bread and butter of the micro-breweries and the additional restrictions would essentially put them out of business or severely limit profits.

Then we have the Beer/Wine license, and Liquor license which are issued on a quota system based on population. The MTA lobbied for this system a while back to basically inflate the price of a liquor license. These licenses are transferable when a bar or restaurant is sold, adding possibly millions to value of the establishment. This system also limits the profits of other restaurants by preventing them from selling beer and wine, and prevents new bars and taverns from opening if there is no population increases in a community. When was the last time a new bar opened in Miles City? The MTA also tried to get rid of the BYOB law so people can't bring your own bottle of wine to places that don't have a license to serve alcohol.

Sorry for the long post.
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supporter
Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3044) 7 years ago
I wonder if there is a link to SB-120 where they will allow 3 liquor licenses but restrict a person from owning more than half of the licenses to a single area...more in the article ....

http://www.greatfallstrib...-per-owner.
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Posted by Oddjob (+188) 7 years ago
It appears that the MTA has been able to structure Montana's liquor laws to be nearly as convoluted as Utah's. MTA's mission has always been to protect the population limit for full liquor licenses to increase their value, but I see they have mucked it up to limit beer and wine licenses to retail establishments that make a majority of their annual gross on food sales. That's why they want to prohibit brewers from selling food. MTA wants to protect it's interest in straight beer and wine sales as well as liquor. Until the brewers are able to get rid of some of these MTA-tailored restrictions, they are always going to be behind the 8-ball.

Make no mistake though. There are as many Democrats in the MTA's pocket as there are Republicans. It isn't a partisan issue, it's a special interest trade protection issue.
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supporter
Posted by tom regan (+1765) 7 years ago
A Republican, Roger Hagan is sponsoring the bill. We'll have to wait and see if it makes it through committee. Republicans are in the majority.

Why does Roger Hagan (R) hate thriving business and beer?? That's just un-American.

If the Republicans were smart, they would introduce a bill to remove all restrictions from this industry. Wouldn't that be more in line with their self proclaimed "pro-business, smaller government" philosophy?

http://missoulian.com/new...963f4.html

[This message has been edited by tom regan (3/14/2013)]
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supporter
Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3044) 7 years ago
This is just an observation. In checking the list of members of the ALEC Trade Groups...I found the following:
American Beverage Association
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
Distilled Spirits Council of the US
National Beer Wholesalers
and..Beer Distributors of Ill.

We have Legislators who pay money to belong to ALEC..and, Grover Norquists ATR..is also a member. They are beholden to represent ALEC which is a Corporate Bill Mill. See "United States of ALEC" on Bill Moyer's website. Very revealing. Our ALEC members in Helena are heading many of the committees, etc.

People are enjoying the Beer and Wines made locally...too much, probably...thus, something has to be done or the big Corp. will suffer. So much depends upon who you send to Helena.

Again...this is just my opinion as per what I read and what we are seeing in the Legislature. An aside...Assoc. of Private Schools, Assn. of Christian Schools..and, Assn. of Charter schools...all ALEC members. So watch SB 81 as they try to get tax deductions that will cut into Public Schools. Just sayin'.
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supporter
Posted by tom regan (+1765) 7 years ago
Maybe something good will come out of this whole fiasco. Bill HJ18 is being introduced by Rep. Christy Clark (R) to conduct an interim study of Montana liquor laws. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that a Republican is supporting this bill and standing up against a wealthy special interest. Unlike Rep. Hagan who stated during his campaign, "I am for an economy energized by a hands-off government (especially agriculture, energy and all natural resources), without cumbersome environmental policies and burdensome business regulations...." (10/15/2012)

I was a bit off in my previous post. Bill LC1429 would force current brewers to acquire a beer/wine license, subject to the quota system. If a license is not available, one can be purchased for only $100,000.

http://helenair.com/news/...963f4.html

http://growlerfills.blogs...egislature
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supporter
Posted by tom regan (+1765) 7 years ago
The "brewery killing" bill now named HB616 had its first hearing Tuesday morning. A run down of the hearing is on this blog.

http://growlerfills.blogspot.com/

Big Sky Brewery stood up in favor of the bill. Evidently they believe this legislation with its restrictions on the small breweries will be good for the industry. Here is their explanation.

http://bigskybrewing.tumb...ort-hb-616

What needs to be done is to remove the 10bbl per year limit on the breweries to allow the them to open a tap room. Why they would support a bill that would severely limit the revenue stream of the smaller breweries is a good question. I guess they just don't care about the little guys. They have taken a lot of heat for their position and there is now a petition circulating to boycott their products.

https://www.change.org/pe...-breweries

Some people take their beer very seriously. I encourage all of you to sign the petition. Moose Drool is overrated anyway.
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