Craft Brew News # 33 – Beer Discrimination and State Protectionism


    Craft Brew News – 06/28/2019
    (Courtesy of Brewbound.com)

    US Supreme Court Strikes Down Tennessee Residency Requirement

    Six months after hearing oral arguments in a constitutional challenge to Tennessee’s two-year residency requirement for obtaining a retail liquor license, the United States Supreme Court yesterday struck down a controversial stipulation that had prevented out of state retailers from setting up shop in the Volunteer State.

    In that case, chain alcohol retailer Total Wine, along with Doug and Mary Ketchum, who bought a mom-and-pop liquor store in 2016 after moving to Memphis from Utah, challenged the two-year residency requirement, which they said amounted to economic protectionism.

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit sided with Total Wine and the Ketchums, ruling that the residency requirement violated the Constitution and the 21st Amendment’s dormant Commerce Clause, which was established to prevent states from engaging in economic protectionism.

    In writing his majority opinion, issued yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito deemed Tennessee’s two-year residency requirement for retail license applicants unconstitutional because it “blatantly favors the state’s residents and has little relationship to public health and safety.”

    The high court added that the 10-year residency requirement for license renewals and a provision blocking publicly traded corporations from operating liquor stores in the state “are so plainly based on unalloyed protectionism that neither the Association nor the state is willing to come to their defense.”

    Deschutes Begins Selling Canned Water

    ** Check out Episode # 42 – Deschutes BrewMaster Brian Faivre **

    In an effort to cut down on single-use plastic water bottles, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery has begun canning drinking water, according to the company’s blog.

    Deschutes, the 10th largest Brewers Association-defined craft brewery, said its canned water would be available to purchase this summer at events throughout central Oregon, as well as Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe’s locations in Bend, Sunriver and Riverbend.

    Bell’s Two Hearted Ale Named Top Beer by AHA

    For the third consecutive year, Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale is the top-ranked beer in the U.S. according to the American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) Zymurgy magazine.

    The Best Beers in America list, now in its 17th year, is populated by a survey of AHA members. Rounding out the top five, in order, were Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, Founders Brewing’s KBS and The Alchemist’s Heady Topper.

    “Receiving this honor once, twice even was incredible. But a third time? I am speechless and incredibly thankful to the homebrewing community and everyone who has helped make this beer what it is today,” Bell’s founder Larry Bell said in a press release.

    Additionally, AHA members named Bell’s the top brewery in the U.S., followed by Founders, Russian River, Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.

    BrewDog Loses Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

    BrewDog’s attempt to draw attention to the gender wage gap ended with a man successfully suing the Scottish craft brewery for sexual discrimination, according to the Independent.

    Thomas Bower filed a lawsuit against BrewDog after one the brewery’s bartenders refused to sell him a discounted Punk IPA, rebranded Pink IPA, in March 2018 unless the man identified as a woman.

    Bower claimed that he felt “forced’ into identifying as a woman so he could buy the discounted beer. So he sued the company claiming “direct discrimination and breach of the Equality Act 2010,” the outlet reported.

    District Judge Phillips agreed with Bower, ruling that the man had been “directly discriminated against” by BrewDog due to his gender.

    “The fact that by identifying as female he was still able to purchase a Pink IPA makes no difference,” Phillips added. “I accept what Dr. Bower says, namely that identifying as female was the only way he could purchase a Pink IPA at a cost of £4.”

    According to Vice, Bower was awarded $1,254 in damages, which he pledged to donate to charity (minus court fees).

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