355 – The State of DTC Shipping and Three-Tier System with Alex Koral of Sovos ShipCompliant

Have you heard us talk about shipping bourbon on the show before? Of course you have. Heck, I know I sound like a broken record as we try to become more stewards for reform in this space by talking about it almost every week. But this time you get to hear from an Expert. Alex Koral is the Regulatory General Counsel for Sovos ShipCompliant, a pioneer in the space of alcohol beverage delivery and making sure companies stay compliant since every state is different. We ask why wine gets a lot more slack than spirits when it comes to shipping and what is keeping that back. We also get his opinion on the supreme court rulings over the past few years as it relates to the commerce clause and why change is so reluctant and slow. As you can guess, there’s a lot of red tape and lobbyists involved but the good news is that we are seeing incremental positive change. And Alex gives us a few tips on what we can all do to make change happen at our local level.

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about how long a bourbon can last in a small jar
  • How did you get into the world of spirits shipping?
  • Was the three tier system implemented after prohibition?
  • What is working in the current three-tier model that should be kept?
  • What does SOVOS and ShipCompliant do for producers?
  • Why does wine get a pass when it comes to these laws?
  • What percentage of sales does a winery do with direct to consumer?
  • Why do distributors and wine industry players not want to have spirit shipping equality?
  • Do you find it interesting that conservative states that want an open and free market like TX and TN but still hang on to these archaic ideas?
  • Are states that don’t want shipping getting lobbied too much?
  • Why didn’t the TN Supreme Court case have a wider and quicker effect for domestic shipping?
  • How disruptive could Amazon be to all this?
  • How are these law proposals being presented to decision makers?
  • Is the law of mandating selling through a distributor stifling growth?
  • @shipcompliant
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