Friday, June 26, 2009

Two Articles

Two interesting articles I came across recently.

1) From Reuters: StatoilHydro Fights Lithuanian Alcohol Ban. Norwegian gasoline company fighting Lithuanian ban on night sales of alcohol at gas stations. Lithuania (like most of the former Soviet bloc countries) has serious problems with alcoholism. We're talking 14 liters pure ethanol per capita annually (the U.S. is closer to 9 liters). Banning night sales at gas stations has apparently dropped alcohol related accidents by 45%. But the company, majority owned by the Norwegian government, is pressing to have the ban revoked, alleging that not all of its competitors are complying (probably true). But still kind of funny, because Norway has some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the world. You can't even buy alcohol at gas stations in Norway.

2) From the BBC: Alcohol Link to one in 25 Deaths. That's worldwide. It's 1 in 10 in Europe, and 1 in 7 in Russia...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pennsylvania - The Sheetz Case

Last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Malt Beverage Distributor's Organization v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. At issue was a law which required stores to allow on-premises consumption of alcohol in order to sell six-packs of beer for off-premises use. The court stolidly refused to legislate from the bench and upheld the law.

It's interesting to read some of the editorials about it, because they are perfect examples of modern perception of "archaic" liquor laws. True Pennsylvania has some of the more draconian liquor laws in the country, but the court was perfectly correct to uphold them.
"While a policy determination in this regard may well be accomplished by our legislature, it is not our role to sanction such a momentous transformation," Justice Max Baer wrote.
So the lesson is: angry Pennsylvanians contact your state legislature.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pyramid Workers Arrested For After-Hours Fest

From the Seattle Times. Some (presumably now former) employees of the Pyramid Brewery in SoDo broke into the brewery for a few pints after hours. And were promptly arrested. Ooops.

Pyramid has been going through some tough times recently. Remember they were bought out by Magic Hat last year. Recently they've rebranded all their beers. Which now seem weird and scary to me. Their iconic Pyramid Hefeweizen (the archtypical American Wheat Ale) is now 'Haywire Hefeweizen'. Because apparently that's MORE EXTREME!!!!!!!!

Apparently it's also now five times larger. EXTREME!!!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New TTB Organic Wine Labeling Policies

Quick post. The TTB has released a short information sheet covering their new policy on labeling organic wines. Basically, you can't just say "Made with Organic Ingredients" anymore, unless all the ingredients are in fact organic. So you'll have to say, for example, made with "Organic Merlot and Non-Organic Cabernet grapes" or "55% organic grapes and 45% non-organic grapes". Which is all fine and dandy and prevents consumer confusion in the often poorly regulated organic market.

But the sheet doesn't say how they are treating the wine adjuncts and additives. Is Isinglass organic? Bentonite? (Is it organic dirt?) What would an organic yeast look like? Oak barrels?

But it's back to the Bar Prep for me. Civ Pro, Crim Pro, and Trusts and Estates practice exam tonight. Good times.
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The Twentyfirst Amendment Meets the 21st Century by Russell Hews Everett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The opinions expressed on this page are purely my own, and should not be taken to constitute legal representation or advice.