USPS Alcohol Shipping Bill Reintroduced in Congress
Last week, Congresswoman Jackie Speier reintroduced a bill to allow the US Postal Service to get a slice of the alcohol shipping pie.
The bill, called the USPS Shipping Equity Act, would allow USPS to ship alcohol directly from licensed producers and retailers to consumers over the age of 21 in states where direct-to-consumer shipping is allowed.
“In most states, private carriers such as FedEx and UPS are already delivering alcoholic beverages. It makes no sense to create a competitive disadvantage for the USPS by barring them from these kinds of shipments, especially given the Postal Service’s dire financial condition,” Rep. Speier said in a release. “Congress needs to lift this ban for the benefit of beverage manufacturers, consumers, and our struggling postal service.”
This is not the first time the congresswoman has attempted to push through legislation like this. It’s actually the fourth attempt by FedSmith’s count. A similar bill was introduced in 2015, then again in 2017 [see WSD 10-26-2017], and in 2018 it was folded into a broader postal reform bill. But, each time, the bill didn’t make it very far.
Suppliers and retailers generally favor loosening shipping regulations. In fact, the current bill is endorsed by WineAmerica, the Wine Institute, the American Craft Spirits Association, the US Association of Cider Makers, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and the Distilled Spirits Council.
BIGGER PICTURE. This bill is being introduced as the retailer shipping debate rages on throughout the country in Missouri, California, New Hampshire, Illinois, New York and Tennessee. So far, results have been a mixed bag.
But several cases are hinging on the Supreme Court. You’ll recall, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this year on a case that could potentially determine whether states have the constitutional right to discriminate against in-state and out-of-state retailers [see WSD 01-16-2019].
HEAVEN HILL POURS $1 MILLION INTO DEEP EDDY DISTILLERY, TASTING ROOM EXPANSION
Heaven Hill brands has invested nearly $1 million in building out the Deep Eddy distillery and tasting room in Dripping Springs, Texas, marking the largest enhancement to the facility since opening in 2014, per a release. The company expects more than 75,000 visitors will make the trip to the distillery annually.
There’s now a 38-foot bar, performance stage, a new bottling line, new merchandising area, and the capacity to seat 200 people as well as a designated space for flavor innovation where visitors can taste test new, developmental flavors.
“As an Austin born-and-bred vodka, Deep Eddy is committed to inviting visitors into an interactive space that reflects the authenticity of the brand,” says Deep Eddy president John Scarborough. “Deep Eddy is excited to take its brand identity to the next level with an innovative new space offering guests a chance to experience its products in an immersive and unique way.”
SAZERAC PARTNERS WITH BEER DISTRIB IN TEXAS FOR ABA PORTFOLIO
Sazerac has partnered with Texas-based beer wholesaler Andrews Distributing Company to handle Sazerac’s Alternative Beverage Alcohol portfolio in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Corpus Christi areas.
The full list of which Sazerac brands Andrews will distribute is still TBD. But they will distribute “a variety of brands from Sazerac’s ABA portfolio,” such as Stroyski, Flash Point Cinnamon and Vera Cruz, which are wine-based products that closely resemble spirits packaging.
“The Andrews and Sazerac teams are still collaborating to build the best assortment of Sazerac’s ABA brands to add to our portfolio,” an Andrews spokesperson told sister publication Beer Business Daily. “Our team should know the full details of which brands and packages we will have over the next couple weeks.”
Andrews plans to launch the Sazerac portfolio in on and off-premise channels on June 17.
DELICATO FAMILY WINES ADDS TO BOTA BOX PORTFOLIO. Delicato Family Wines has released Bota Box Nighthawk Gold Buttery Chardonnay. Nighthawk Gold Buttery Chardonnay joins the Nighthawk Black Red Blend and Nighthawk Black Cabernet along with the complete Bota Box portfolio of wines. It is available at a suggested retail price of $23 per 3-liter box.
PALM BAY INTERNATIONAL INTRODUCES CONFETTI WINES. Palm Bay International has added Confetti wines to its portfolio. It is produced in northern Italy’s Trentino region, and will launch with three expressions; pinot grigio, rose and a red blend. The wines are priced at approximately $12 a 750 ml.
JACK DANIEL’S RELEASES NEW COUNTRY COCKTAIL FLAVOR. Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails (an RTD line) has released Southern Citrus. The whiskey is blended with grapefruit and citrus flavors and will be sold nationwide in six-packs of 10 oz. bottles at a suggested retail price of $8. The new flavor joins the line alongside Black Jack Cola, Cherry Limeade, Berry Punch, Downhome Punch, Lynchburg Lemonade, Watermelon Punch, and Southern Peach.
HEAVEN’S DOOR LAUNCHES LIMITED RELEASE. Heaven’s Door Spirits has launched the final bottles of their 10-Year-Old 100 Proof Tennessee Straight Bourbon. The 10 Year Tennessee Straight Bourbon is presented in a commemorative box with a replica of Bob Dylan’s original hand typed lyrics of “Maggie Farm” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” They are available for pre-order on ReserveBar.com and for purchase in stores later that month.
STOLI GROUP UNVEILS LIMITED EDITION BOTTLE. Stoli Vodka has unveiled the “Spirit of Stonewall” limited edition bottle to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which was a pivotal moment in the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The bottle was designed by Lisa Marie Thalhammer, best known for her iconic 13-color rainbow “LOVE” mural located on Blagden Alley. The bottle features emblematic LGBTQ imagery. The limited-edition bottle is available at a suggested retail price of $23.
FOLEY FAMILY WINES INTRODUCES ACROBAT 375ML CANS. Foley Family Wines has introduced Acrobat Rose, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir in 375ml cans. The wines are now available nationwide.
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