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Florida State Senate to hear “liquor wall” bill proposal

In Florida the full Senate will hear the proposal (SB106) commonly referred to as the “liquor wall”. After much debate and negotiations the proposed Bill to allow liquor to be sold in grocery and retail stores in late March. The changes to the original Bill included staggering the repeal of the existing law over several years, prohibit new package stores from being licensed within 1,000 feet of schools and also require that small bottles (6.8 ounces or less) be displayed only behind a counter. Lastly, the revised proposal would prohibit liquor licenses from being issued to gas stations that are not linked with locations that provide greater than 10,000 square feet of retail space. If passed in the Senate it would then go before the House Commerce Committee and if approved there would then go before the full House for approval to be sent to the Governor for signature. Source: WGCU, March...

Pennsylvania liquor laws slowly loosening

The state of Pennsylvania as we all know is a control state where the state controls the licensing and sale of alcoholic beverages. Over the past year however, buying alcohol in Pennsylvania has been growing easier. The state liquor code now allows for beer sales at gas stations, six-pack sales at beer distributors and wine shipments directly to consumers. Currently the only alcoholic beverage that has not seen much regulatory change in the state is spirits. Although that may soon be changing as there are a pair of matching bills pending in both the state House and Senate that would create a new license category allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell spirits. Source: Billy Penn, March...

New Zealand wine growing in popularity in the U.S.

New Zealand has now become the third largest supplier of wine to the U.S., trailing only France and Italy. In 2016 the wine imported to the U.S. from New Zealand had a total value of $400 million, compared to $1,960 million for Italian Wine and $1,589 million for French Wine. Interestingly, New Zealand has claimed the number three spot in the largest wine consuming market in the world while still producing less than one percent of the world’s wine. New Zealand wine’s value has grown rapidly in the U.S. over the past months and looks to continue that pace in 2017. Source: Otago Daily Times, March...

Proposed Arizona bill would add additional licenses

A new bill proposed in the Arizona state Senate is looking to increase the number of retail liquor licenses based on population increases in each county of the state. HB2337 has already passed the House and is now moving to the full Senate for approval. The Bill would change the current law of allowing a new Series 7 license for every 10,000 residents of a county down to 1 new license for every 5,000 residents. As more retail locations open that wish to include alcoholic beverage sales the need has increased for these licenses throughout the state. Source: Arizona Daily Star, March...

Georgia liquor bill clears the House legislator

New legislation that would allow craft beer and liquor manufacturers to sell directly to consumers recently passed in the Georgia House legislator. The House voted 147-14 to approve Senate Bill 85. The bill will now move back to the Senate for final approval as the House added an amendment to also include liquor distilleries. If approved it will then move to the Governor’s desk for signature. Georgia is the last state in the U.S. to allow direct to consumer sales from breweries. Source: AJC, March...

Consumers are buying more alcohol online

Consumer purchasing online has been growing consistently every year and that trend also includes the alcohol industry. Just under 75 percent of consumers are categorized as regular buyers of alcoholic beverages. 12 percent of those consumers have made an alcoholic beverage purchase online in the past six months, according to Nielsen’s Harris Poll. The wine category showed the highest percentage of online purchases at 42 percent, followed closely by spirits at 35 percent, and beer at 29 percent. Online alcoholic beverage purchases tend to skew younger with an average age of only 39, 77 percent were male and 71 percent were employed full time. The largest region of online purchases came from the Northeast at 31 percent. As more e-commerce channels are made available and online barriers to alcoholic beverage sales lessen, online purchasing of alcohol is expected to grow rapidly Source: Wine & Spirits Daily, March...