Monday, November 25, 2019

Michigan's Liquor Isn't Arriving Any Quicker

And it may not arrive at all.

Expect stores in Michigan to continue to suffer alcohol shortages, right in time for the holidays.

Why? Because due to the State's mandated distribution system, when the largest liquor distributor in the state catches a cold, everyone gets pneumonia.

Basically, the distributor consolidated operations, then royally screwed up said operations, and can't seem to do their job as a result. With the way state liquor laws go, there's no way for anyone else to work around it and as a result expect stores and bars to be low on alcohol.

The Detroit News: Fear of liquor shortage sparks concerns among retailers

Logistical issues at Michigan’s largest liquor distributor have led to roughly $65 million in delayed gross sales and tax payments to the state and dwindling supplies at state liquor stores with no guarantee of a fix before Thanksgiving. ...

Michigan employs a three-tier system when it comes to liquor sales. The first tier, licensed manufacturers, sell their liquor to the state. The state, as the second-tier wholesaler, takes orders and distributes that liquor through authorized distribution agents such as Republic National Distributing Company, which warehouse and then distribute the liquor to the third tier: bars and liquor stores.

State law prohibits liquor stores from purchasing from other liquor stores and limits liquor bars who purchase from liquor stores to one case a month. In that sense, retailers are dependent on their distributor, and Republic National is the largest in the state.

Heaven and the Michigan government forbids that we should have a free market in alcohol sales where a single distributor's problems wouldn't be able to disrupt the entire state.

Note that even when the system "works" as designed, I still can't buy Yuengling, or Spitfire Beer in this state for that matter, nor lots of other fine brands up here.


Anonymous said...

I go about twenty miles north to Yankee Spirits in Massachusetts to buy all my alcohol. My home state of Kommiecticut not only charges sales tax on alcohol, but has this insane pricing scheme called "state bottle minimum" supposedly to "protect" the small mom & pop package stores from the evil giant retail outlets. An example; my wife's favorite wine is $8.99 a bottle out the door instead of $13.99 + tax. Spirits like rum, whiskey, and vodka have even larger margins per bottle. I buy my cases of Sam Adams for much less, and even though I have to pay MA the bottle deposit, Kommiecticut has to give it back to me when I make my returns.

BTW...while in MA to get booze, I also fill my tank with less expensive fuel, go out to dinner with the wife, and pick up some groceries and other sundries. The fools in Hartford will never understand how much more revenue they would have in state coffers if they were to *GASP* lower taxes across the board.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

There will be problems when the locals can't get their booze or beer, Will be rougher for the cops.

Old NFO said...

Road trip!!! :-)

Aaron said...

Witold Pilecki: Yes, Michigan also has the asinine State Minimum Alcohol Price law. I think they're worried that if alcohol gets too affordable, more people will be able to ruinously partake demon rum to excess.

MrGarabaldi: Yep, some people are going to be disappointed when they can't get their favorite brands or even worse no liquor that they want to be found.

Old NFO: Yep, Duty Free is a calling, but its just crazy that you have to go out of this stage to be able to buy a legal product that can be bought in other states without an issue. Sheesh.