Free-Market Beer

The new issue of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News has a nice article about the District of Columbia’s laissez-faire rules for beer distribution. (See page 8 in the “digital edition”).

Columnist George Rivers explains that the D.C. rules encourage entrepreneurship, bring jobs and economic activity to the city, and are a big plus for consumers:

While most jurisdictions in the U.S. erect regulatory barriers to limit the sale and consumption of alcohol, DC’s legal framework encourages retailers and wholesalers to compete for consumers’ dollars through increased selection and lower prices.

Rivers notes that beer consumers flee Maryland’s red tape and higher tax burden to enjoy the lower prices in D.C. At the same time, entrepreneurial beer retailers choose D.C. to do business because they don’t have to deal with a burdensome and monopolistic wholesaling industry.

Perhaps the most celebrated beneficiary of DC’s liberal liquor laws was the legendary Brickskeller, once holder of the Guiness World Record for the largest selection of beer.

D.C.’s free-market beer environment also stimulates broader economic activity.

The District’s flexible liquor laws have helped facilitate the logistical challenges behind the pairing of 144 craft beers and food at SAVOR, the nation’s premier beer-and-food event, now in its fourth year.

So up with deregulation, up with jobs and investment, and down the chute with the beer!