StateWays - July/August 2015

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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25 StateWays ■ ■ July/August 2015 NABCA CONFERENCE allows constant change to occur within beverage alcohol. "The barrier to entry for new brands is very low in our industry," Brown said. "The three-tier system lends itself to new brands, allowing for the prolifera- tion that we're seeing." WEED AND WHISKEY One well-attended session at the event was a discussion about mari- juana's impact on the control states. Oregon Liquor Control Com- mission Chair Rob Patridge has become an expert on the subject as his state is navigating the legalization and regulation of the drug. Pat- ridge moderated the panel, which included DISCUS President Peter Cressy, Stanford Professor Robert Maccoun and WSWA President Craig Wolf. Both DISCUS and WSWA have offi cially taken a neutral stance on the legalization of marijuana. However, Wolf said, "You don't have to look far for a system to handle legislative and regulatory issues. Just look to the regulations and responsibility within the alcohol industry for a model." Cressy added that the alcohol industry should argue for tough regu- lations for marijuana. "There's a lot we don't know a lot about," he said. "We need to move carefully, and a lot will depend on the next generation of users." "At the very least, whatever regulations apply to alcohol should ap- ply to marijuana as well," Wolf added. "That includes labeling, age restrictions and driving laws. What's lacking in that industry compared to alcohol is the amount of research and education." For more photos from the event in Phoenix, visit The session "When Your Name is on the Label" included (left to right) Facundo Bacardi, Philip Prichard, Moderator Stephanie O'Brien from Vermont, Tito Beveridge, Carolyn Wente and Modera- tor Andrew Deloney from Michigan. Panelists for the session, "Is Brand Loyalty Gone," included Mark Brown from Sazerac, Ernest Gallo from E & J Gallo, Tim Hassett from Beam Suntory and Mark Teasdale from Proximo (seated left to right, with Jeffrey Anderson at podium and Stephen Larson to far right). THEIR NAMES ARE ON THE LABELS A panel discussion about how important authenticity and heritage are when a CEO's family name graces the company's product featured a number of recogniz- able industry stalwarts. Wente Family Estates CEO Carolyn Wente discussed the challenges of passing the company from the fourth generation to the upcoming fi fth genera- tion of owners. The family holds regular meetings to discuss the direction of the brand, and no family member is guaran- teed a job at the business. Bacardi Limited Chairman Facundo Bacardi provided a history of his family's struggle over many generations, from their start in Spain to founding the company in Cuba to the present in Puerto Rico. Tito's President Bert "Tito" Beveridge looked at his fellow panelists in awe, saying "I'm just happy to be here." He emphasized the importance of taking a craft or trade you love and fi nding a way to marry that with what you're good at. In his case, building a hand-crafted vodka brand checked both boxes. Prichards' Distillery President Philip Prichard said some people call his com- pany, which includes 18 brands, "the Dia- geo of craft distilling." He spoke at length about the diffi culty of creating a brand from scratch, but added how fulfi lling and enjoyable the journey has been. The panelists all agreed on one thing: family businesses look for long-term fi nancial and environmental sustainability, since they don't have shareholders and quarterly expectations to meet at all costs.

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