What a Black Night Club Owner and Big Soda taught me about liquor regulation

By |2023-11-09T21:32:51+00:00November 9th, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


A Black night club owner in Western Illinois and PepsiCo seem to be the unlikeliest pair to end up in the same regulatory predicament, but as they say truth is stranger than fiction.

I represented this night club owner who obtained their liquor license after a tough two-year battle. Along the way we encountered a lack […]

Should we blame Al Capone when it’s King George III’s fault

By |2023-10-23T01:44:05+00:00October 23rd, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


I often times hear that liquor laws are outdated and written in a time when Al Capone and his comrades held sway over the liquor industry. Prohibition ended in 1933 and with it came the writing of new state liquor laws. Influenced by the damage Prohibition inflicted, the new liquor laws were written to create […]

Irish Liquor Lawyer wins tough two-year battle for retail liquor licensee

By |2023-10-13T22:59:32+00:00October 13th, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


The Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s decision last month reversing Rock Island, Illinois’ denial of a liquor license represented the beginning of the end of a contentious two-year battle. “The Gathering” was issued a liquor license after the Town of Rock Island decided they would no longer fight.


The local government’s power over a liquor […]

Rene Descartes and the Blue Cloud Dilemma

By |2023-07-31T03:44:20+00:00July 31st, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


Roughly around 1637 Rene Descartes espoused the philosophical maxim, “I think; therefore I am.” Mr. Descartes’ first principle of philosophy was a principle of certainty. Pursuant to this principle, he could not doubt that he existed. Not bad that he had found certainty in his first philosophical principle.

Three-hundred and eighty-six years later, the liquor world […]

Sad Passing of Rock Wirtz, a true gentlemen

By |2023-07-26T12:17:25+00:00July 26th, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|

I am shocked and saddened to hear of Rocky Wirtz’s passing, a true gentleman and a great person. As a state regulator I had numerous meetings with Rocky Wirtz and his leadership team. He was always fair, honest, and treated you with the greatest respect.

As a big Blackhawks fan, I thank him for building back […]

The absurd to the sublime, TTB comments on updates to trade practice regulations

By |2023-07-24T15:50:42+00:00July 24th, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


The TTB entered into a public comment period seeking recommendations from industry members on potential reforms and updates to the TTB’s trade practice policies. The TTB’s opening of comments to the Trade Practice Policies reflects a more active role in the federal government shaping the alcohol industry. In the recent past the U.S Treasury drafted […]

WSWA is walking on crippled legs

By |2023-07-13T22:54:31+00:00July 13th, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


WSWA responded to assertions in Roger Morris’ article, “Does the three-tier system in the US still have legs?” that the three-tier system is archaic and prevents consumers choice. Mainly, assertions were made that WSWA’s efforts at preventing DTC shipping were hurting consumer choice and were not preventing the evils of underage access to […]

Wine Needs to Flex Its Muscles

By |2023-07-06T16:11:09+00:00July 6th, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


Wine faces a threat it may not see coming around the corner. The unholy alliance of the trial lawyer bar and overzealous government bureaucrats threatens serious damage to the industry’s future. The good news is a lot of this can be defeated if the wine interest wakes up and decides it’s time to fight.

Two existential […]

Wisconsin legislation waves goodbye to the 21st Amendment and other constitutional concerns

By |2023-06-23T14:30:26+00:00June 23rd, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


Wisconsin’s new legislation, SB 332, includes legal principles that are so out of the ordinary that when these principles were introduced into law in Illinois, they couldn’t get past step 1 in the legislative process and died a quick death.

The legal faux pas in the legislation derive from the Uniform Law Commission’s work on the […]

Don’t California my Ireland

By |2023-05-30T01:40:44+00:00May 30th, 2023|Liquor Industry Insights|


California is notorious for implementing business regulations that make no sense. These regulations are costly for market participants and raise the cost to do business there. This once great state is seeing something I thought unimaginable in my lifetime, more native-born people leaving than entering the state.

I guess unaware of this trend, my father’s country […]

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