A patchwork of sometimes odd, sometimes quaint, often illogical alcohol-oriented statutes and localized regulations blossomed all over the United States in the 1930s; many provisions have not been updated since. In a recent commentary on The Legal Intelligencer, R.J. O’Hara of Flaherty & O’Hara surveys the range of ways that consumer preferences, societal and economic forces, and technology are changing the industry.
…Unlike other national and global industries and markets, the U.S. alcohol industry has not evolved in a homogenous or monolithic way and resists sudden or frequent changes. Rather, it evolves and continues to evolve in small increments, state by state, county by county and city by city. Those who desire to bring about grand changes in the alcohol industry must be patient and persistent, working against entrenched regulatory schemes and unyielding vested interests like water on rock over time.
In our current age, with the explosion of technology and its impact on the broader economy and our daily lives, the alcohol industry has been one of the slowest to adopt new technologies. But that is beginning to change and change rapidly by alcohol industry standards. Some changes are highly visible to consumers, while others are far less visible. The combination of consumer demands and technological developments are the forces that are pushing the change…
Continue reading on The Legal Intelligencer: “The Explosion of Technology and Its Impact on the US Alcohol Industry” (subscription required).