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Association News: Update for Connecticut’s Alcohol Beverage Industry

Inside Vino et al Wine and Spirit Superstore

Submitted by the WSWC, CBWA, CPSA and CRA

To our members, our customers, our employees, and all those with an interest in the alcohol beverage industry:

wswc logoWe, the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Connecticut, Inc., the Connecticut Beer Wholesalers Association, the Connecticut Package Stores Association and the Connecticut Restaurant Association represent the vast majority of the wholesalers and on and off premise retailers of the alcohol beverage industry of the State of Connecticut. Together, our members employ thousands of Connecticut workers and contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy.

It is now well known that on August 23, 2016, the large, Maryland-based, retail package store chain known as Total Wine & More filed suit against the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut Liquor Control Commission, challenging various sections of our state law as it pertains to the sale and pricing structure of alcoholic beverages. The laws being challenged by Total Wine include minimum bottle pricing, quantity discounts and post and hold.

ct beer dist logoThese laws have been on the books in one form or another since the end of prohibition and ensure competitive pricing for the public, a wide variety of choice for the consumer and an orderly, transparent and fair system for all stakeholders from the small local family businesses to the large, national, liquor store and restaurant chains.

All four of our associations, on behalf of our membership and in defense of the industry, made the decision to help the state defend our laws. Each association has hired legal counsel and each association petitioned the U.S. District Court to allow each of our associations into the case as party defendants, to join with the State in defending our laws against Total Wine’s challenge.CPSA logoOn Tuesday, November 8th, all four of our motions to intervene in the case were granted by Judge Hall of the U.S. District Court. Our defense of our laws and our involvement in this lawsuit is now underway, but the hard work of raising awareness to our member companies and the general public has just begun.

The purpose of this letter is to keep you all informed as to the latest developments regarding the Total Wine lawsuit, and to assure you that all four associations, representing the vast majority of the alcohol beverage industry, are working together and committing our time, energy and financial resources to defend our laws and to protect the industry. We will be keeping you posted as to any new developments in the weeks and months to come.

We thank you for your attention and ask for your continued support.CRAlogo 349 Forest Green and 471

The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut, Inc. (WSWC), consists of seven member companies. They are Connecticut Distributors, Inc. (CDI); Hartley & Parker Ltd, Inc.; Eder Brothers, Inc.; Allan S. Goodman, Inc.; Slocum & Sons, Inc.; Winebow, Inc.; and Opici Wine Co. of Connecticut.

The Connecticut Beer Wholesalers Association (CBWA) consists of eight member companies. They are A. Gallo & Company; F & F Distributors, Inc.; G & G Beverage Distributors; Northeast Beverage Corp. of CT; Rogo Distributors; Levine Distributing Co.; Dichello Distributors, Inc. and Star Distributors, Inc.

The Connecticut Package Store Association (CPSA) consists of hundreds of package stores throughout the state, ranging in size from small, “mom and pop,” family-owned liquor stores to large package store chains with multiple locations throughout the state.

The Connecticut Restaurant Association (CRA), is a not-for-profit association dedicated to servicing every type and size restaurant. CRA represents more than 600 restaurants throughout the state.

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