For centuries, the manufacture and sale of beer, wine, and spirits has been a highly profitable and highly regulated enterprise. And where profit and regulation meet, cronyism and rent-seeking frequently follow.
From moonshiners buying off politicians during the Prohibition era to liquor stores trying to ban supermarkets from selling beer today, regulation has been used to keep start-up brewers, winemakers, and distillers from manufacturing alcohol; to preserve inefficient distribution systems; and to restrict choices available to consumers. Frequently, this regulation has been used for “noble social goals” — hence the famous public choice example of “Bootleggers and Baptists.”
Can markets and consumers win? Join us for a discussion of the history and future of federal and state alcohol regulation and competition, followed by a reception with beer, wine, and spirits.