Tuesday, January 24, 2006
On this day:

Beer wholesalers oppose "reasonable alternative" to keg ban

One state legislator is proposing a statewide keg registration system to keep track of keg purchases, but the Alabama Wholesale Beer Association remains dead set on an outright ban on keg sales to individuals.

(Mobile Register) MONTGOMERY -- State Rep. Jamie Ison, R-Mobile, said she is ready once again to propose a statewide beer keg registration system that would create a record of each purchase, giving law enforcement officials a paper trail back to those who provide kegs at under-21 parties.

Ison said she's responding to criticism she has heard in recent days over a near-ban on private keg parties that has already cleared the Alabama Senate. She said she wants a "reasonable alternative" to that bill, sponsored by Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro. ...

Under Ison's bill, a keg buyer would be required to fill out a purchase form containing an identification number on the keg. The ABC Board would work with retailers to coordinate the record-keeping. Ison has already won passage of a local bill creating such a system in Mobile County, but she has been unsuccessful in her efforts for a statewide system. ...

Ison said she's heard complaints from consumers, ranging from members of Mardi Gras mystic societies to the owners of "kegerators," refrigerators, equipped with a tap, to house kegs in private residences. Rep. James Buskey, D-Mobile, has also expressed skepticism on behalf of fraternities and sororities and other groups that hold alumni functions.

Finally, we come to the real reason why the beer wholesalers are fighting so hard for a ban:

Consumers also stand to be hit hardest economically should an outright ban pass, because the price by volume is lower the larger the container. Retailers also prefer to sell kegs or draft servings from kegs, because their profit by volume is greater than on containers. Manufacturers and wholesalers' profits, meanwhile, are generally expected to be greater selling smaller containers than kegs.
(Earlier posts on the proposed keg ban are here, here, and here.)