Update on Freddy’s: Barring a miracle, the saloon will be demolished so some fatcats can have a new arena. Freddy’s supporters staged a protest and last hurrah. RIP.
These raids illustrate the problem with selective enforcement of health/safety regulations. The first thing I thought of when I saw this story was that a rival bar owner snitched because they were losing business to these three establishments that evidently had a pretty good selection and are good at providing what their customers want, even if that means flouting the rules a bit. The update above also speculates that a competitor turned them in. These raids also demonstrate the absurdity of health/safety being rules being enforced by SWAT-esque raids of agents sweeping into an establishment and seizing non-conforming product. This treats business owners like criminals, as if they would intentionally (or through gross negligence) put their customers at risk of harm. As anyone who has been through the hassle and expense of setting up and running a business can tell you, they have very powerful incentives to keep their customers healthy and happy. This is especially true of small, local businesses who cannot absorb the financial costs that reputation damage entails. In cases like these, especially, where the goods in question are sealed, obviously designed for human consumption and sold in other states/countries with no adverse effects (except for the odd hangover:), why do any of the product need to be confiscated? My guess is to keep up the pretense that such regulations are actually in place for health and safety purposes instead of just another tax.
Speaking of alcohol and taxes: Hate the Sin, Tax the Sinner?
Xaq’s guide to Homebrewing for Fun and Profit
Danner’s Beer of the Week: Highland Oatmeal Porter
Should we boycott UPS for refusing to ship beer? The author of that post seems to think so, but I’m not so certain. UPS cites regulatory costs and legal hurdles for shipping beer to retailers in other states and given the propensity for the states to enact absurd and conflicting regulations, as a shipper, I might throw up my hands and decide it’s not worth it anymore as well. I’m no expert on the three-tier distribution system either, but I’m pretty sure the distributors are allowed to discriminate as well. I know this situation involves shipment to retailers, but remember that it took a Supreme Court decision to allow direct shipment of wine to consumers. But, I have an open mind, so if you think I don’t have all the facts, please enlighten me.
And, the Onion responds to the above news in typically awesome fashion.