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Total Wine and More Means Total Disruptor

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00December 12th, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|

There is a common saying that “technology transformed the world!” In many walks of life that is true and we see it before our own very eyes. When I first entered the liquor world I heard the same refrain,”technology will […]

TTB to publish regulations Monday on labeling and advertising

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00November 23rd, 2018|Breaking News, Liquor Industry Insights|

On Monday the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is publishing its proposal to amend its regulations governing the labeling and advertising of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages.
See the link included for the most updated unpublished copy.

Illinois Tied House-“Of value” regulations will be final soon

By |2018-11-13T21:43:45+00:00November 13th, 2018|Breaking News, Liquor Industry Insights|

The proposed Illinois “of value” regulations sailed through its final hurdle without objections. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules did not object to the draft rules.  Once the agency adopts the rule, which is a formality, it should become final.

Here is a copy of the “of value” proposed regulations that should become final soon.

Can the states utilize the taxman to cure its ills

By |2020-04-13T20:45:04+00:00September 12th, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|


Many states including my home state of Illinois, do not allow out-of-state retailers to ship to in-state customers. Problematically for these states enforcing these laws are tough and sometimes close to impossible. States try different methods to stop out-of-state retailers from shipping to in-state customers, but the states really lack a strong deterrence for stopping […]

MillerCoors Craft Portfolio: Will its Field of Dreams come true or will it need to find a home run from somehwere else

By |2020-04-13T21:11:03+00:00September 5th, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|


The sad news came out the other day that my hometown company MillerCoors plans to cut 350 salaries positions as part of a restructuring. Although many other brewers made cuts in the past, MillerCoors restructuring worries me, because it faces uncertainty.

In an article in the Chicago Tribune MillerCoors indicated that it discontinued after less […]

TTB Trade Practice Violations Investigations: They are coming hard so you need to be prepared

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00August 29th, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|

TTB Investigation background

The TTB’s (Federal Tax and Trade Bureau) investigations into trade practice violations became a major news story when it was announced that it entered into joint investigations with the Florida and Illinois liquor enforcement agencies. The importance of these issues became very newsworthy when Warsteiner entered into a $900,000 Offer-in-Compromise […]


By |2020-04-13T21:10:48+00:00August 22nd, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|


Because Illinois is a dual licensing state, obtaining a retail liquor license is a multi-step process. The first step to success is obtaining a local liquor license, if you do not obtain the local license, the state license is impossible to get. In order to get the local liquor license, you may need to go […]

Part II of the Tanford & WSWA discussion on the three-tier system- WSWA comes to the dance floor

By |2020-04-13T21:10:21+00:00August 12th, 2018|Irish Liquor Lawyer Interviews, Liquor Industry Insights|


The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It is dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesale distributors and brokers of wine and spirits.

Founded in 1943, WSWA has nearly 400 member companies in 50 states […]

They won’t be coming to the dance together: Alex Tanford and The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America give their strong and opposing views on the three-tier system

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00August 9th, 2018|Irish Liquor Lawyer Interviews, Liquor Industry Insights| this week tackles the issues surrounding the three-tier system. Many people have differing opinions about this matter. To some the three-tier system is a necessary system that helps the state regulate a dangerous and controlled substance. Without the three-tier system the alcohol industry would turn into chaos. Further, its proponents will state that […]

How to minimize your retail establishment’s risk of being punished and fined for liquor violations

By |2018-08-02T22:35:58+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|

This article was published in Irish American News (IAN) magazine, August 2018 edition.

My experience

Today I provide lessons from my experience working with the enforcement team of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC). I worked with the enforcement team advising them on complex issues and difficult cases. During this time, I noticed the […]