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Montana brewpubs battle


read 1410 times • 16 replies • posted 2/16/2013 7:39:24 AM

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bitbucket 2159:63
Originally posted by lithy
Originally posted by sthlm
Originally posted by lithy
Just a headís up, I have no idea what is going on with that article, but I would advise anyone reading it to not click any of the links, it seems like every other paragraph is spam with clickable links about medical stuff...

That was not the case for me at all. Perhaps you have a virus on your computer?


Hmm, odd, I loaded it through Chrome and have no issues, but on Firefox it shows up with 3 or 4 junk links.

Off to run some diagnostics...

Anyway, definitely a rough issue for Montana, many states face similar issues because post-Prohibition laws set up many, many oligarchical type markets for alcohol. Sure it is íunfairí to them strip the value out of these licenses, but was it really a fair way to set up the market to begin with?

From the Firefox menu, click Add-ons. When the new browser window opens, click Extensions. Youíll probably find that you have more "help" than you need.
2/25/2013 8:29:01 PM

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bitbucket 2159:63
Basically, this is the Monatana Taverns vs. Montana Brewpubs battle. The taverns have decided that they canít compete, so they are trying to litigate the brewpubs out of business.

As the article notes, "A brewery tasting room can only serve a customer three pints per day. Also, tasting rooms can only operate between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m." Typically, you get a punch card or a wrist band to make sure you donít have a chance to drink more than three beers. And last call is at 7:30. This means that the taverns get to control the "nightlife."
2/25/2013 8:33:26 PM

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bitbucket 2159:63
Having grown up in Montana, Iíve never noticed anything that would lead me to believe that the state is anti-alcohol. Iíve always said that you needed three things for a town in Montana:
1. A bar
2. A Post Office
3. A gas station.

In some of littlest towns they might all be in the same building.

I believe the Post Office is a federal requirement. You need the gas station so you have a way to get out of town, and you need the bar so you have something to do while youíre in town. You might optionally have a grocery store, a feed store or a hardware store, but these are truly optional.
2/25/2013 8:40:52 PM

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brewtopian 2:
I wouldnít say that Montana is anti alcohol in its current state but historically thats not the case. The way that licenses are awarded, by population was intended to limit the number of bars in the state thereby limiting access to alcohol. This law dates back to the early days of statehood when alcohol was a major problem in rural societies.

The effect of this in the modern world is excessively inflated values for those licenses which make it cost prohibitive to open a restaurant or bar. So those that have a license attempt to protect their investment by restricting competition from breweries. The way the problem should be fixed is by changing the law to no longer award licenses based on population and to allow the market to determine how many bars and restaurants a market can support. Of course the downside of that this would completely devalue existing licenses wiping out the investment of hundreds or thousands of operators.

Thereís no simple solution here. Unless the state can find a way to establish a value for every existing license then determine how much of that value had been destroyed and then provide equitable compensation for it they wonít be able to fix the system and make it possible for breweries and taverns to operate on a level playing field.
2/26/2013 11:15:22 AM

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after4ever 6130:230
They should just get rid of that "quota area" system and license all legit applicants. Make the taverns feel like theyíre in a more business-friendly environment. Problem solved. The brewpubs donít seem to mind the restrictions they contend with, if the internet is to be believed.

And the Firefox issue can be remedied with an ad blocker. Iím using it on two different computers and not seeing the spammage.
2/26/2013 1:02:44 PM

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phaleslu 6517:404
Originally posted by bitbucket
Basically, this is the Monatana Taverns vs. Montana Brewpubs battle. The taverns have decided that they canít compete, so they are trying to litigate the brewpubs out of business.

As the article notes, "A brewery tasting room can only serve a customer three pints per day. Also, tasting rooms can only operate between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m." Typically, you get a punch card or a wrist band to make sure you donít have a chance to drink more than three beers. And last call is at 7:30. This means that the taverns get to control the "nightlife."


The taverns vs. brewpubs thing was really crazy to learn. My wife and I visited this past October. Had no idea. My understanding is that because Montana is a less populous state with a lot of representatives, the tavern owners there have banded together for an unusually strong lobby in a state where itís more realistic for small business owners to impact politics. So basically there is one more established, organized group of businessowners dictating rules for another. Tavern owners have organized to make sure all those pesky brewers canít carve into their business too much.

Which, to me, is no way to do business. Donít stack the deck in your favor; just be better.
2/26/2013 1:15:36 PM

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