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April 21st, 2010

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09:24 pm - A letter to my Congresscritter about HR5034
Caveat: I can't stand hops, so I don't drink beer, ale, lager and the like. Stout I can almost get my mouth around, but it's not a low-end alcoholic drink. Menthol makes me vilely ill, so heavy-on-the-mint booze is right out for me.

Caveat: I have nothing against moderate drinkers of anything, even the stuff I abhor. Getting drunk because you've got no other idea of fun? There a reason why you're following me or on my Flist? It's not for that. I'm just a little short on the kind of money I'd need for my idea of fun for the sake of fun. Getting drunk isn't a high for me--it's misery, as I get the hangover FIRST. I never get the high others do. Getting dizzy is no fun for me, so I drink moderately, for the tastes of it.

Caveat: I am making a distinction between mass produced and handcrafted/small runs. Mass produced can be found almost anywhere with ease. The stuff I'm concerned with takes deliberate seeking. Deal with it.

Here's the letter. If you want to use some of it in a letter to YOUR congresscritter or senators, feel free. Retweet or repost to those you know will be interested, and get them to write, too.

I could wax poetic about the small-run wines of this state. I did, and then my browser ate 30 min of it, so I'll be briefer this time.

If you go here, you'll get an overview of the issue. The link below has the dry text of the proposed Act.

HR5034 is bad for CA and for those who live in other states, but who want to buy our wines (among other alcoholic beverages concerned).

The backers are in direct competition for money that could be spent here, with small businesses, instead of there, from large wholesalers who sell only what makes the best profit for them.

HR5034 is good for beer wholesalers and BigBreweryBeer.

CA doesn't have much of that, but there are a number of small independent "handcraft" breweries, some of them in our own district. They would be left in the dirt, like the small-run, boutique, and other independent wineries and distilleries in this (and other) state(s).

Many of these are enterpreneurial, family owned, or run as a (very) small business. I happen to enjoy many of them, as do many many visitors to our state. Too many of them can't get them in their local area, whether it's a State-run store (PA, VT, etc), or simply too small an area to carry "esoteric" (read: independent) wineries, and often they live in a state where they cannot buy directly from the winery in this state or any other.

Friends who visit are astonished that they can go to an ordinary grocery store, big or small, or stores like Trader Joe's (a CA company) and find wine & liquor next to the paper towels or canned goods, not in a small separate store mostly selling Big Brands only.

Free our wineries, breweries and distilleries from the shackles this act would put on them--and from which some prior acts have kept our wineries from selling to customers directly in other states already: by defeating this bill, if possible, before it gets to the floor for a vote out of committee.

This is not cheap hooch, designed to get as big a buzz a possible, quickly, that our state produces. These are higher quality, higher-priced, harder to find (much less get) in other states.

There will be no swilling of these products outside of a seedy bar with "attendant criminal behavior" the scare tactitians will have you believe will occur if our products can get to a consumer in another state directly.

There will be dinner & conversation parties among friends & foodies, because you just don't swill wines of this class, unless you're exceedingly rich and don't care about your liver.

Big wholesalers have citizens in many other states over a barrel--and it's not a Spanish oak sherry cask, either.

Don't let them shove our state's businesses around--let everyone have the liberty of pursuing the happiness our wines, craft beers, and unique distilled spirits can bring a gathering of friends.

A. Marina Fournier, Bay Area voter
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated

(2 comments | and then you say)


[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
This is causing an uproar up here in Oregon as well. Our thriving small vineyard wineries could be decimated, and the days of being able to enjoy Fat Tire at a reasonable price outside of Oregon could be over too. Stupid bill, I hope it goes down in flames!
[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Write your congresscritter! Go ahead and copy my letter, changing what needs to be changed, if you like!

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