BG alerts me to a burgeoning beer licensing dispute in Texas whose 29 brewpubs are allowed to sell beer on site but not in stores. A number of groups are supporting the deregulatory drive, but the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas is opposed which “might be enough to kill the bill” according to Laylan Copelin.
My bottom line on this is that the vast majority of regulations curbing the distribution of alcoholic beverages in this country are misguided. Drunkenness is associated with a lot of problematic public health issues, but the correct way to address this is with taxes. Right now in the United States we undertax beer, and it’s cheaper than it ought to be, which deprives us of a lot of much-needed revenue and contributes to crime and other problems. But at the same time, a thicket of obscure regulations serve to protect incumbents from competition and senselessly reduce consumer choice.