Oklahoma Gov. Signs Sunday Spirits Sales Bill

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin for signing legislation making Oklahoma the 40th state to allow Sunday spirits sales, ending an archaic, Prohibition-era Blue Law.

The law allows retail package liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sunday on a local-option basis beginning October 1, 2018.

“Oklahomans will now be able to vote, county by county, to allow for the purchase of alcohol on the second busiest shopping day of the week,” said Distilled Spirits Council Vice President Dale Szyndrowski. “We applaud Governor Fallin for responding to consumers who overwhelmingly want the choice and convenience of purchasing spirits when shopping on Sunday.

“This will go a long way to protecting the small, retail businesses that were negatively impacted by a loss of foot traffic due to last year’s decision to allow wine sales in grocery stores,” Szyndrowski concluded.

Earlier this year, Minnesota also voted to allow Sunday alcohol sales. Since 2002, 18 states have passed Sunday sales legislation bringing the total to 40 states across the country.

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McKeown Cidery Targets U.S. Market – With Gov’t Help

McKeown Cidery Inc. was granted $188,550 from the Quebec Economic Development Program, in the form of a repayable contribution, to acquire specialized equipment and implement a marketing strategy in the U.S..

The funding loan will enable the company to acquire a canning line, a coding machine and a shrink sleeve applicator to meet the requirements of the American market and to promote its products there.

The company’s products are available across Quebec and in Great Britain, Norway and China. For the company to grow, it has to conquer foreign markets, including the American cider market, where there is increasing demand for craft cider in cans.

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Beer Shipments Fall 4.1% in April

The April 2017 estimate is 14,134,000 barrels, a decrease of 4.1% versus April 2016 removals of 14,744,000 barrels., the Beer Institute said.

Year-to-date, shipments by U.S. brewers are down 3.6% to 53,754,000.

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Craft Tax Bill ‘a $321 Million Federal Gift to Big Alcohol’

The Craft Beverage Modernization & Tax Reform act of 2017 (CBMTRA) – S.236 / H.R. 747 – is deceptive and will benefit Big Alcohol at taxpayer expense.

That’s the argument being made by Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice, who calls it a “dishonest federal measure” that “is being portrayed as an incentive for small craft brewers.  But the real winners are the largest beer and spirits producers in a race to cut their already ridiculously low tax rates.”

Livingston issued a report saying that, if signed into law, the measure would result in:

  • At least $321 million dollars in lost excise tax revenue
  • $177 million dollars to the distilled spirits industry
  • $50 million to Big Alcohol “craft” brewers producing over 2 million barrels annually.
  • Tax giveaways strongly favor huge brewers  ($50 million to 37 breweries producing 2­‑6 million barrels, versus $76 million to 4,910 brewers producing < 2 million barrels)
  • $18 million lost in an “evisceration of tax incentives” meant to promote lower-ABV wine

The report notes that federal alcohol excise taxes have not been raised since 1991, and that this strips away an effective means to control alcohol use through price increases.

Researchers estimate that doubling the federal excise tax would result in a 35% decrease in alcohol-related mortality, an 11% reduction in deaths from automobile crashes, and measurable drops in sexually transmitted infections, violence, and crime

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For 1st Time in 10 Years, Jim Beam Sponsors Car at Indy 500

And it will be the first time ever that the world’s top-selling bourbon and Johnnie Walker, the world’s top-selling Scotch Whisky have faced off as sponsors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Beam is an associate sponsor on Jay Howard’s Honda-powered #77 Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports IndyCar.

While Johnnie Walker has not sponsored a car in the 500 before, Jim Beam’s logo was a familiar sight at the Speedway between 2003 and 2008, when it sponsored cars for Andretti Green Racing.

In 2005, Beam was one of the two primary sponsors on Dan Wheldon’s winning car along with Klein Tools. The following year, Michael Andretti came out of retirement to carry the Jim Beam colors in the 2006 500, finishing third behind his 19-year-old son Marco and winner Sam Hornish, Jr.

Marco Andretti had replaced Wheldon following his move to Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and one of the reasons behind his father’s decision to race in the 500 was the need to shuffle sponsorships around the team because of Marco’s age.

The team placed Beam’s Canadian Club sponsorship on Dario Franchitti’s car for the 500, while Michael Andretti’s car carried the Jim Beam sponsorship. That move led to the last Indianapolis 500 victory for a whisky-sponsored car in 2007 when Franchitti won the rain-shortened race in his Canadian Club-sponsored car.

In addition to the Andretti Green program, Jim Beam also sponsored Team Penske’s cars in 2008, but withdrew from IndyCar at the end of that season. The Bourbon brand also sponsored Robby Gordon’s NASCAR team until 2009, when it largely withdrew from North American motorsports. However, Beam was a major supporter of the V8 Supercars series in Australia between 2007 and 2012 with Dick Johnson Racing.

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Parkway Brewing Expands

Parkway Brewing Co. will expand its operation in Salem, Va., creating 13 new jobs over the next three years.

Parkway currently has a 17,000-barrel capacity.  Mike Pensinger, general manager and brewmaster, said the “expansion will help us expand our capacity and reach new customers as the popularity of craft brews continues to rise in our area, in Virginia and across the country.”

Parkway also will invest $750,000 in new equipment and purchase $20,500 of net-new Virginia-grown agricultural products to help fuel the company’s expansion beyond the Commonwealth, Virginia’s secretary of agriculture and forestry, Basil I. Gooden, announced.

The City of Salem will match the Governor’s Agriculture & Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID) award amount of $150,000 with a cash grant of $150,000 that will be paid out to the company. The city’s matching funds will be used for building improvements. The company is also eligible for an estimated $4,800 in grant funds from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) to be used for job training. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

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