Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
We get good beer in Maryland. We really do. Craft brewers seem to love us. For some reason, Maryland sells the most Oskar Blues outside of Colorado. We’re getting New Belgium. All of the breweries that are pulling out of states are staying in MD. Us Marylanders love good beer and we have a beer culture that sustains.
But we’re hampered by Maryland liquor laws. First of all, you can’t ship into the state. I’m sure the state legislature doesn’t want to miss out on the sales tax they could generate in state by allowing shipping. But it’s stupid and counterproductive. No one is going to replace their trips to the liquor store with online ordering, that’s just silly. But as of now, if you want something, the only way to get it is to find it at your local liquor store.
Second, there are no exceptions to the three-tier distribution system. You get what the distributors want to bring in, when they want to bring it in. It’s not up to you, the consumer, to decide what comes into the state. It’s up to these giant conglomerate distributors.
The reason that DC has a better craft beer culture is because they allow more beer to find its way to the consumer. Beer stores and bars in DC can go anywhere in the country and pick up beer. If there is a limited release in California, they can set up a shipment direct from the brewery or go out there on their own and pick it up. It might cost a little extra, but at least the option is there.
Maryland needs to relax its liquor laws. Prohibition has been done for a long time and the laws that are on the books don’t make sense given today’s market conditions. So all I have to say is GET IT TOGETHER MARYLAND!