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BevAlc Roundup | Federal tax relief could be included in Senate’s overall tax reform plans, high hopes for the 2017 vintage, and we now know wine is older than we thought.

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 14:57

In today’s round up we go through a review of the rules for interstate wine shipping based on an interview with ShipCompliant’s own Alex Koral, examine an all-time low in global wine production, and look at the problems of categorizing whisky.

 

LegislativeUpdate

 

TTB Newsletter | Top stories include upcoming updates to permits online and FDA guidance for menu labeling requirements that will be required in May 2018. TTB

Cheers! Senators Propose Lowering Alcohol Tax | Senators propose amendment to their tax reform package to include long-discussed Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform provisions. CNN

Arkansas: Federal Judge Denies Injunction Against Grocery Store Wine Expansion | A request for a preliminary injunction to block a state law permitting grocery stores to sell all types of wine, not just Arkansas and so-called small batch wines, was denied. Arkansas Matters

PA House Committee To Vote On Modernizing Liquor Licensing | The Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Liquor Control Committee is set to vote on a measure to lift liquor licensing restrictions that have been in place since the repeal of Prohibition. Legal Intelligence

Commission Tentatively Endorses Plan To Legalize Sunday Retail Alcohol Sales In Indiana | Members of the Alcohol Code Revision Commission said overwhelming public support for Sunday sales prompted them to endorse a preliminary draft of a legislative proposal authorizing Hoosiers to purchase carryout alcohol on Sundays. NWI Times

 

IndustryUp

 

Sales Of U.S. Wines Up 4% In October | A rising tide lifts all boats, and despite the significant personal losses wineries and their workers faced due to wildfires in October, U.S. wine sales continued to lift the industry’s fortunes higher. Wines & Vines

Thirstie Launches The First Fully Integrated Ecommerce Solution For The Multi-Billion-Dollar US Alcohol Industry | The new ecommerce platform lets customers order alcohol and wine directly from the websites of global alcohol brands. Digital Commerce 360

Why Asian Whisky Has Seen Such Explosive Growth On The American Market | According to Nielsen Answers On Demand, Japanese whisky has grown more than 43% in volume and 21% in value for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 7. Forbes

Overall Beer Market To See Lower Volumes, But Craft Should Enjoy 5 to 6 Percent Growth, Report Says | Craft beer’s days of heady double-digit growth may be over, but it is expected to produce volume growth of 5 to 6 percent this year and outperform the broader category, according to a new report. CNBC

California 2017: Wildfires, High Quality And An End To Drought | The 2017 harvest across California is being hailed as excellent in a year that witnessed an end to a five-year drought as well as savage wildfires in the north of the state. The Drinks Business

 

JustFun

 

Protecting The Essence Of Scotch | Scotch distillers depend upon peat bogs but climate change could destroy them. Daily Beast

The Improbable New Wine Countries That Climate Change Is Creating | Though experts remain devided on which areas of the world will lose and which will win, they all agree that the world’s most famous wine regions are not going to remain the same. Quartzy

Earliest Evidence of Wine Found In Giant, 8,000-Year-Old Jars | The new research pushes chemical evidence of wine 600 to 1,000 years before the previous oldest estimates. Washington Post

Tapping Into The Beer Cocktail Trend | Why cocktails that spotlight the dynamic characteristics of craft beer are gaining traction. Seven-Fifty Daily

Genetically Modified Wine? Experts Find The Gene That Adds Flavour To Beer And Wine | Researchers in Belgium have discovered the gene in yeast responsible for giving beers and wine their sweet flavour. The Drinks Business

The post BevAlc Roundup | Federal tax relief could be included in Senate’s overall tax reform plans, high hopes for the 2017 vintage, and we now know wine is older than we thought. appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

Orchestrate 2017: #LevelUp and Learn from Industry Leaders

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 19:33

ShipCompliant is excited to sponsor Orchestrate 2017 at the North Warehouse in Portland, Oregon! If you’re planning to attend the conference this week, make sure to stop by our booth and say hi to our awesome team. And be sure to sign up for our own Alex Koral’s presentation, “Ease the Burdens of Invoicing and Reporting,” which will take place at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday.

#LevelUp at Orchestrate 2017

Orchestrate is the largest annual event for all Orchestrated users to gather in one place to learn, collaborate, network and contribute to the future of business management software in the craft beverage manufacturing space. The theme for this year’s event is vintage gaming, exemplified by the #LevelUp hashtag.

Attendees will hear from an exciting mix of keynote speakers: Brad Windecker of Orchestra Software, Barb Sessler of Revolution Brewing Co., Zack Rice of Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Jeremy Danenhauer of Modern Times Beer, and Justin Smith of Grayton Beer Co.

Make sure to use the hashtags #Orchestrated2017 and #LevelUp to connect with fellow conference attendees and share pictures or insights.

Ease the Burden: Share your experiences and learn from your peers

Alex Koral will be hosting the “Ease the Burdens of Invoicing and Reporting” session on Wednesday morning at 11:15. The idea behind the panel is to foster a discussion on best practices for breweries when it comes to accounting solutions and practices.

Throughout the discussion, we’ll:

  • Analyze the various manners available to breweries for invoicing and reporting
  • Ensure accuracy in reconciliation and accuracy of invoices
  • Utilize technology to streamline your processes
  • Develop methods of preparation in case of an audit
  • Understand how technology solutions can assist with invoicing and reporting

We want to hear from breweries of all different backgrounds on how they manage their accounting needs, what works, what hasn’t worked, how their accounting practices have evolved, what they wish they knew more of when they started, what they wish they were doing better now, and more. The goal is a friendly discussion among a few brewery accountants or operators that informs our audience about the range of possible accounting solutions that are out there.

While this will be under the umbrella of O-Beer and ShipCompliant, we don’t want this to be an advertisement. Feel free to also talk about how you don’t use these services, or where you wish these services were better.

The post Orchestrate 2017: #LevelUp and Learn from Industry Leaders appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

BevAlc Roundup | Shipping rules for retailers and wineries across the country, global wine production at all-time lows, and a record cost dram proves to be a fake.

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 17:01

In today’s round up we go through a review of the rules for interstate wine shipping based on an interview with ShipCompliant’s own Alex Koral, examine an all-time low in global wine production, and look at the problems of categorizing whisky.

 

LegislativeUpdate

TTB Newsletter | Top stories include updates to formula information pages and notice of waivers for reporting requirements for businesses affected by the California wildfires. TTB

Everything You need To Know About Shipping Wines Across State Lines In 2017 | Here are the most important things to know about interstate, direct-to-consumer wine shipping. VinePair

Maryland: Delegate Proposes Bill To Allow County To Sell Alcohol In Grocery Stores | Del. Eric Luedtke announced Monday he’s planning to introduce a bill in the General Assembly next year to allow county-run alcohol stores to operate inside grocery stores in Montgomery County. Bethesda Magazine

DISCUS Seeks To Cut Excise Taxes | Dysfunction threatens to kill a bipartisan bill that would cut producers’ taxes and possibly consumer prices. Wine Enthusiast

IndustryUp

Global Wine Production Falls to 56 Year Low | Global wine production is forecast to fall to its lowest level in over 50 years due to the terrible frosts that struck Europe’s wine producing powerhouses earlier this year. The Drinks Business

Is The Wine In Your Glass Friendly To The Environment? There Soon Will Be New Ways To Know | Whether we want wines that are “natural,” biodynamic, organic or sustainable, increasingly we want to know that winemakers are doing their best to protect the environment and not relying on chemicals to ripen their grapes. Washington Post

Wildfires Spared the Vineyards, but the Wines Could Suffer | As the smoke has begun to clear in recent days, those who depend on grape-growing and winemaking for a living have been relieved to find that the fires largely spared one crucial element in their path: the vineyards. New York Times

Welcome To The Club: Beverage Clubs Increase Sales and Build Brand Loyalty | Beverage clubs are marketing tools that guarantee sales and let producers showcase special bottlings while spreading brand awareness via personal storytelling. Spirited Magazine

JustFun

The Problem With Whisky | How we categorize the different types of whisky needs to be more dynamic than just geography. Daily Beast 

The Wine Glass Ceiling | ‘Much of the hard work was being done by women but they were rarely allowed to occupy the top jobs’. Financial Times

A New Test To Make Sure Your Beer Is Gluten Free | One thing that’s good is beer. One thing that’s bad is celiac disease. Unfortunately for people with the latter and others sensitive to gluten, they generally can’t enjoy the former. Forbes

World’s Most Expensive Dram Was A Fake | A dram of vintage Scotch bought by a Chinese millionaire in a Swiss hotel bar for £7,600 was a fake, laboratory tests have concluded. BBC

The post BevAlc Roundup | Shipping rules for retailers and wineries across the country, global wine production at all-time lows, and a record cost dram proves to be a fake. appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

Direct-to-Consumer Shipping: Missouri Decision Outlaws Retailer DtC Sales

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 17:05

As of August 28, 2017, retailers are prohibited from making direct-to-consumer (DtC) sales to residents of Missouri. Previously, Missouri had operated as a reciprocal state for retailer DtC sales, permitting retailers in California, Idaho, and New Mexico to ship to Missouri residents.

The Missouri rule changed with the passage of H.B. 115 in late July. With this rule change, it is now illegal for any retailer, both in-state and out of state, to sell and ship orders of beverage alcohol to Missouri residents.

The rules surrounding retailers’ ability to make and fulfill DtC orders, like most beverage alcohol regulations, can be complicated. Most retailers in the industry at least seek to remain compliant with the relevant rules. However, due to either a lack of awareness or the complexity of the rules, sometimes they miss their marks. Despite the lack of malicious intent, failure to comply with regulations can create the image of rampant lawlessness, which casts a shadow on the entire industry.

ShipCompliant’s clarion call is that compliance with regulations is both a necessary part of a business’s success and not as hard as it may seem. When information is provided in a clear and accurate manner, a business can better understand what its compliance needs are, and move forward in a compliant manner. As such, we have planned a series of articles to discuss regulations for retailer DtC sales. This first post highlights the Missouri rule change, while the following posts will further detail the regulations surrounding these rules and the political conditions that have created this situation.

 

What Are Retailer Direct-to-Consumer Sales

To succeed as a participant in the beverage alcohol industry, a business has to follow the rules as they apply to the type of sales it engages in. At the heart of these rules is what license a business is operating under, whether that’s a Federal Basic Permit, a Special Festival Permit, or a Direct Shipper Permit.

“Retailers,” for this series of articles, means businesses licensed to make final end sales to consumers (the “third” tier). This designation distinguishes them from licensed suppliers, like wineries and breweries, whose primary business is making beverage alcohol – even if they can also enjoy some retail privileges like selling out of a tap room or making DtC sales. “Retailers” in this article also refers to those making sales for off-site consumption, as opposed to bars and restaurants.

Many states allow off-sale retailers to deliver directly to their customers. However, these types of sales are not the focus of this post. Such deliveries are restricted to in-state, or even in-city or in-county delivery, limit the means by which a retailer can receive an order, and may require using a vehicle registered by the licensee for the purposes of making deliveries.

Our focus here is on sales made to customers in a different state from where the retail store is located, which require the retailer to use common carriers (such as FedEx or UPS) to fulfill the order.

 

What Changed in Missouri?

Prior to August 28, section 311.462 of the Missouri Revised Statutes was still in effect. This provision permitted retailers both in Missouri and out of state to ship two cases of wine to each Missouri resident per year. Under the state’s reciprocal rules, only retailers in states that gave Missouri retailers equal protection from licensing and tax requirements could sell to Missouri residents. Nevertheless, many out-of-state retailers and in-state retailers enjoyed this allowance.

These rules fell under judicial scrutiny earlier this year in a lawsuit promulgated by a Florida retailer who argued Missouri’s rules discriminated against out-of-state retailers in favor of in-state retailers. However, with the repeal of section 311.462, the claim of discrimination became moot, as all retailers are now on equal footing: No shipping permitted whatsoever.

The rules and politics of retailer DtC shipping can get quite complicated. Stay tuned to this blog in the coming weeks as more articles on this topic will be published.

The post Direct-to-Consumer Shipping: Missouri Decision Outlaws Retailer DtC Sales appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

Amazon Wine to Shut Down by Year’s End

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 18:51

Amazon Wine will shut down by the end of the year. The online giant informed wine sellers they will no longer be able to sell their wines through the Amazon Marketplace after December 31.

 

How Does This Affect Me?

Wineries and other wine sellers who use Amazon Wine will need to find other means to reach customers and distribute their products. As the Amazon situation demonstrates, it can be tricky to compliantly operate as a marketplace provider in the beverage alcohol market. The good news is there are other online marketplaces available.

Established online marketplaces are a potential alternative, and some, like eBay, already offer services for wineries. Or, you can look for wine-specific marketplaces, like Vivino. Another option, Woot.Wine, has been an active marketplace for wineries for many years. However, Woot is also an independent subsidiary of Amazon and could potentially fall into the same troubled area as Amazon Wine.

Of course, operating your own personal shopping platform through your website is always an option. The advantage Amazon Wine or other marketplaces bring, though, is that a wider range of buyers will have a chance to see your wines, as opposed to only your active fans who actively search for your products.

 

Why Is Amazon Wine Shutting Down?

Amazon’s announcement is not wholly unexpected. Ever since purchasing Whole Foods earlier this summer, Amazon has been in a regulatory limbo.

Many states’ Tied-House rules – and in particular, California’s – prohibit most cross-tier collaborations between producers and retailers. As long as Amazon acted merely as a marketplace for producers, it could claim its hands were clean. But, with the purchase of Whole Foods — including Whole Foods’ retail liquor licenses — Amazon could no longer maintain that claim.

Amazon’s position became even more tenuous after it began signaling it would use its Amazon Fresh and Prime Now to market wine sold from its Whole Foods locations. By both serving as a marketer for wineries and a retailer, Amazon would be entering a regulatory minefield.

If nothing else, it would be competing against itself — any wines sold by a winery through the Marketplace would potentially compete with sales at Whole Foods locations. Or worse, Amazon would be set for potential cross-tier shenanigans and collusions. For example, if Amazon required wineries using its Marketplace to also distribute to Whole Foods locations, or vice versa, that would be a paramount example of illegal inducements prohibited by Tied-House rules.

As a result, Amazon was faced with a difficult choice of options: Convince regulators it somehow wasn’t violating Tied-House rules, convince legislators to change Tied-House rules, or shut down either Amazon Wine or Whole Foods liquor stores. Amazon made the decision that maintaining Amazon Wine was the least profitable choice.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon can succeed in establishing a functioning liquor market through Amazon Fresh and Prime Now. Amazon now faces the difficulty of having to act as a compliant retail licensee, and will be restricted by those rules.

Anyone paying attention to this market knows online sales by retailers is an extremely fraught affair. Only 13 states currently allow out-of-state retailers to sell directly to their residents.

For more on retail direct to consumer, stay tuned to this blog and our social media accounts over the next several weeks as we plan to post a series on retail DtC.

Many states permit in-state retailers to deliver to customers. However, various regulatory restrictions – such as restrictions on using common carriers – could complicate Amazon’s established business model. Amazon will also only be able to fulfill from local Whole Foods stores that have liquor licenses, though it will be able to offer whatever those stores are licensed to sell — including beer and spirits. While this is no small number, it will likely mean many past customers of Amazon Wine may not be able to enjoy its replacement.

It’s a bit too early to predict what affect Amazon’s decision will have on the DtC market or on the beverage alcohol industry at large. A great number of wineries use Amazon to market their products to a wider range of potential customers than they can reach on their own. These wineries will have to find new resources.

But if Amazon can raise more awareness of DtC sales, there could be residual effects for other market participants. One of the main benefits of DtC wine sales has been the opportunity for wine drinkers to find products in their local markets. If the wine they want is not on Amazon – or is no longer available on Amazon – they’ll be cued to search elsewhere online. In that case, Amazon will be limited to marketing products sold through its Whole Foods licenses. If customers keep asking for wines not available in these stores, that could spur an expansion in the number of wines carried at Whole Foods.

And then there is the potential regulatory impact that Amazon could have. With the retail giant joining the ranks of brick-and-mortar retailers through its Whole Foods acquisition, it could throw its weight and money behind more pro-retailer regulatory changes, including any efforts to expand retailer DtC.

Because of its size, Amazon has an immense impact on various industries whenever it does anything. The decision to shutter Amazon Wine will no doubt affect the entire beverage alcohol market, not just DtC sales. The nature of these effects, though, are only going to become clear in the coming months.

The post Amazon Wine to Shut Down by Year’s End appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

BevAlc Roundup | Special section on California Fires, Craft Beverage Modernization Act, and results from GABF

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 20:37

It’s been a trying couple of weeks many of our clients, partners, and friends out in northern California, and we wish them all safety and a quick recovery. Today, our roundup includes a special section on the fires and where those affected can look for recovery support, but a look at how the Craft Beverage Modernization Act is gaining support and a review of the results of the 2017 Great American Beer Festival.

California Wildfires

California Fire Relief Resources | Guidance on relief resources available from regulatory agencies for those affected by the wildfires. ShipCompliant

Governor Brown Issues Order to Speed Up Wine Recovery Efforts | Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday issued an executive order aimed at speeding up recovery efforts in areas devastated by a spate of ferocious wildfires, including Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. Mercury News

Status on 110 Wineries (And Wine Businesses) – Good, Bad, or Gone | Status report on wineries affected by fires; write in to Wine Industry Insight to let the community know how you are doing – don’t rely on rumors. Wine Industry Insight

Legal Hotline Created For Fire Victims | A coalition of private and public legal organizations have created a hotline in an effort to provide legal aide to fire victims across the state. Napa Valley Register

After the Fires, What Will Become of California’s Wine Crop? | The vines that do survive might be tainted. We simply don’t know enough yet. Slate

LegislativeUpdate

TTB Newsletter | Top stories include a webinar on submitting domestic malt beverage formulas and a call for volunteers to help develop COLAs Online and Permits Online. TTB

Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act Reaches Backing from 51 Senators | Brewers Association, Beer Institute, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, American Craft Spirits Association, Wine Institute and WineAmerica praise majority support in both House and Senate for Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Brewer’s Association

Buffett Continues Wholesale War in Texas | A company owned by the Sage of Omaha is still suing for the right to distribute wine. Wine Searcher

Iowa’s Bizarre Booze Laws May Make You A Criminal | Iowa’s personal importation rules highlight the strange divide between spirits and beer and wine in the state. Des Moines Register

IndustryUp

Cultivating Diversity and Innovation In the Beverage Workplace | Four experts in their fields give tips on how to get ahead, and raise others up. SevenFifty Daily

It’s All About the Delivery | Delivery services are changing the way we think about wine. Wine Searcher

Americans Are Obsessed with Joining “Wine Clubs” | Americans are falling in love with subscription services, allowing “experts” to pick everything from their clothing to their dinners — and more. New York Post

Clickbait Headlines Blame Millennials For Killing Craft Beer. Are They? | Beer sales are losing ground to wine and spirits, and the growth of craft beer sales is slowing dramatically. VinePair

JustFun

2017 Great American Beer Festival Medal Winners Analyzed | Annual insights and analysis of GABF winners based on entrant’s geographic spread and styles submitted. Brewer’s Association

3 Wine Harvesting Myths Debunked | Why harvest dates are about more than sugar and acid, hand-harvesting isn’t always best, and more. SevenFifty Daily

Looking For A New Career? What It Takes To Be A Competitive Wine Taster | When it comes to the heady world of wine tasting competitions, coming from a great wine producing country can be a disadvantage. The Telegraph

The post BevAlc Roundup | Special section on California Fires, Craft Beverage Modernization Act, and results from GABF appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

California Fire Relief Resources

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 16:40

As recovery begins in the areas of Northern California devastated by fires last week — and as fires continue to burn in some places — it is hard to put our feelings of sorrow for those affected into words. The fear of living through fire is trauma enough; when that is topped by actual loss, loss of home, loss of livelihood, even loss of loved ones, the trauma can seem inconsolable.

As recovery begins, we at Sovos again extend our deepest sympathies for those who have suffered. But we also want to offer support as best we can. We’ve compiled a quick guide on how those recovering can seek relief from regulatory agencies.

 

Federal Recovery Services

At the Federal level, the TTB has already responded to the fires with this announcement of a tax penalty waiver.

To receive this waiver, you must first ensure you are in an area declared a Major Disaster by FEMA. To check the list of areas declared Major Disasters, go here. If you are in an affected area, you must then also contact the TTB National Revenue Center to receive forms to request the waiver. You can contact the TTB NRC:

 

By mail: 550 Main Street, Room 8002, Cincinnati, OH 45202-5215

By telephone (toll free): 877-882-3277

Via online inquiry: Use TTB’s National Revenue Center Contact Form

 

You should also file a claim for an excise tax refund for any products lost or damaged. This claim must be filed within 6 months of the loss, and cannot be used for products already covered by insurance. Information on the TTB’s disaster claims policies, including how to fill out form 5620.8, can be found here.

Though it is not alcohol-specific, the IRS has also announced relief provisions for all businesses and individuals affected by the fires.

FEMA support is also available for those affected. You can apply for FEMA assistance here, or read the FEMA guide for disaster recovery here.

 

California Agency Relief

The California Board of Equalization (BOE) offers a standard three-month extension for filing sales, property, and alcohol taxes. The list of impacted counties whose residents can seek relief is available here. General information on seeking disaster relief from the BOE is available here.

The California Franchise Tax Board has announced tax extensions for individuals and businesses affected by the fires. More information on the extended due dates, how to receive replacement tax forms, and other relief is available here.

The California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control has itself been adversely affected by the fires, having to close its Santa Rosa office over the last week. It is expected to issue specific advice to those harmed by the fires soon. In the meantime, look here for information related to the Napa earthquake, which addresses relocations, issues of breakage and loss, insurance regulations, and more when it comes to disaster recovery.

 

Other State Agencies

Only the Iowa Department of Revenue has issued a specific notice providing relief for those affected by the fires. However, Sovos has heard South Dakota is also looking to adjust fees and penalties, though on a case-by-case basis. Iowa’s statement largely follows IRS policies, and can be read here.

State agencies will often follow the lead of federal agencies, so we do expect that more states will be open to offering waivers and extensions to those affected by the fires. If you are concerned about specific states, we recommend reaching out directly to the relevant agency and explaining your circumstances.

 

General Relief

For those looking for more information on how to receive relief, Hinman & Carmichael has put together this guide to agency relief.
Wine Institute has also created this page for resources for those affected by the fires, with lots of information on seeking insurance claims and sources for offering donations.

The post California Fire Relief Resources appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

California Wildfires Tear Through Wine Country

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 17:01

Tragedy has struck the California wine country in the form of flames. Since Sunday night, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties have been embattled by a series of fires. As of Wednesday morning, the fires had consumed nearly 150,000 acres and 2,000 structures while taking 21 lives with scores more still unaccounted for.

We at Sovos are incredibly saddened by the loss and devastation that these fires have wrought. Our hearts go out to our clients, our friends, and our colleagues whose lives and livelihoods have been ravaged by fire.

We have heard reports of complete destructions at several wineries, with many more experiencing losses to structures and acres of vines. These, along with the homes and communities in Northern California, are what make wine country a unique and special place. We know that even if tasting rooms and fermentation tanks still stand, the horror of the fire does not stop at the winery gates.

We wish you all strength as you move to recover and rebuild and we send our ongoing support for the firefighters and other first responders who continue to fight to bring the fires under control.

While reporting and compliance obligations may be the last thing on your mind right now, we want to make sure you have the latest updates. The Sovos Regulatory Analysis team will be monitoring the situation, and we will provide updates as we learn of them.

 

Wineries Impacted by California Wildfires May Request Compliance Extensions

 

During past natural disasters, state and federal regulatory authorities have extended or offered impacted taxpayers an extension of time to meet their normal compliance obligations, without fear of penalty exposure.

Sovos has been monitoring the situation to determine if any such extensions would be forthcoming due to the current wildfires in northern California. Based on recent communications, our understanding is that no official mass extensions have been offered. Rather, we have been told any relief would most likely be handed out on a case-by-case basis.

In other words, impacted wineries are encouraged to seek any extension by directly contacting the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and/or the California Board of Equalization (BOE) either via phone or email:

Phone: 1-800-400-7115 (TTY 711)
CDTFA Email 
BOE Email

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further information as circumstances dictate.

The post California Wildfires Tear Through Wine Country appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

BevAlc Roundup: First National Economic Impact Study of the American Wine Industry, Licensing Dilemma, and Small Brewery Taprooms

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 04:00

In this roundup, we take a look at the first national economic impact study of the American wine industry, the licensing dilemma, and the large impact that small brewery taprooms are having on direct-to-consumer sales.

LegislativeUpdate

The License Piggyback Dilemma — If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is | Many people figure there must be an easier way to get started than by locating a facility and applying for the complicated licenses and permits. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Hinman & Carmichael

Online Retailers Dominate Direct Wine Shipping In Pennsylvania | Pennsylvanians embraced their new ability to easily order wine directly from out of state, receiving $24.3 million worth at their homes or other addresses last year, according to new data from the state Liquor Control Board. The Inquirer

A Timely Message from Our Florida Colleagues on the Tied House Laws, the Three-Tier System and the Need for Reform | While the industry benefits from the basic framework and ideology of tied house laws, our modern economy demands more targeted exemptions and special classifications to both promote and regulate growth, according to Marbet Lewis. Hinman & Carmichael

Craft Tax Gives Fat Cats the Cream | A bill supposedly aiding artisan wine producers will do more for the major players, W. Blake Gray argues. wine-searcher.com

IndustryUp

Wine America Unveils the First National Economic Impact Study of the American Wine Industry | WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, today unveiled a national economic impact study showing the wine industry’s total benefit to the American economy at $219.9 billion in 2017. Wine America

Bourbon Produces Consdier the Pros and Cons of Non-GMO Corn | Why some whisky brands are chooosing to use non-genetically modified corn. SevenFifty Daily

Interstate Wine Sales Threatened by Shippers | Common carriers, such as UPS and FedEx, are coming down hard on wine retailers who ship interstate. The crackdown is not a new law; UPS and FedEx are enforcing existing laws in many states that have not been friendly to wine shipping. wine-searcher.com

Winestyr Offers A New Twist On Wine Distribution In The United States | Most American wine sold by the large distributors is produced by about three major wine companies with holdings that reach beyond U.S. borders. Forbes

Amazon’s Plans To Sell Booze Run Afoul Of Regulators  | As long as Amazon sold alcohol online, things were simple (sort of). But as a brick-and-mortar retailer, Whole Foods has to comply with local regulations, and in most states these days there’s a holdover from the repeal of Prohibition that doesn’t permit “manufacturers” (i.e. wineries) to be in the retail sales business. Forbes

JustFun

The Next Big Thing In Beer Is Being A Small Taproom | As states relax their rules on breweries selling directly to consumers, many are finding that a small footprint can have a big impact. NPR

Popping Cork Sound “Makes Wine Taste Better” | People who drink wine after hearing the sound of a cork popping are likely to think it tastes better, suggests a small study conducted by an Oxford University professor. decanter.com

How Apple’s New Technology Will Overturn Wine Marketing | Improved functionality of Augemented Reality in Apple phones could soon make the process of selecting a wine much more interactive. Meininger’s Wine Business International

7 Tips From Jancis Robinson For Women in Wine | The world-renowned wine critic talks about being a woman in the business and gives advice to the next generation. SevenFifty Daily

The post BevAlc Roundup: First National Economic Impact Study of the American Wine Industry, Licensing Dilemma, and Small Brewery Taprooms appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

4 Ways Wineries Can Prepare for Holiday Shipping

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 16:52

It’s October, which means the holiday season is approaching accompanied by the regular peak in direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine sales. ShipCompliant — along with our friends at Wine Shipping — put on a webinar detailing strategies to best handle the increase in holiday orders.

Jennifer Goodrich of Wine Shipping provided an overview of what the busy season means for wineries and suggestions on how to prepare. The biggest takeaway: Success down the road requires planning today. Here are four ways wineries can get ready for the holiday rush:

 

1. Over half of all DtC shipments happen in October, November, and December, as packages waiting out the summer heat are released, wine clubs send out year-end orders, and consumers order gift packages. On top of that, wineries must also compete for delivery space against everyone else sending gifts and holiday items across the country. Wineries can best handle this surge by preparing their delivery schedules and being aware of peak delivery times, particularly the week before Christmas. They should also look to set customer expectations to avoid any unpleasantness that could come from late deliveries.

2. Encouraging customers to make purchases earlier in the season can help ensure those customers receive their wine on time. One solution is offering discounts or reduced shipping fees for customers who order in October or early November. But simply letting customers know about the busy shipping season can also be effective in helping them place orders in advance.

3. Wineries need to understand that many of their holiday orders are actually gifts. They should then plan their gift offerings early. Setting up specific gift packages — for example, a predetermined selection of wine or other items — can make ordering easier for customers looking for a pre-packaged gift idea. When using a fulfillment center, like Wine Shipping, it’s also necessary to fully inform them of your gift kits to ensure the correct packages are sent out. Part of that is getting the right packaging in place so the gift items are kept safe and will arrive looking beautiful.

4. When selling a gift package, be sure to include the proper messaging in the box. Gift cards with a holiday message are great! Price lists and receipts…not so much. But do consider including information on your winery and what you have to offer. Someone who receives a gift this year could easily become a buyer in their own right next year.

 

Getting ahead in the holiday game is the most guaranteed path to success as things get busier. To learn about more tips for success in DtC shipping, access the webinar. And, as always, be on the lookout for more webinars by ShipCompliant.

The post 4 Ways Wineries Can Prepare for Holiday Shipping appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

BevAlc Roundup: Wine shipping webinar, Sonoma’s tasting room limits, research results on craft beer buyers and spiked ice cream!

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 15:54

In today’s roundup we take a look at the California heatwave, avoiding wine packaging disasters, Sonoma’s limits on wine tasting rooms, Philadephia’s reaction to new PLCB rules and spiked ice cream!

We invite winery professionals to attend our webinar this Wednesday, September 27, “How to Get Ready for Holiday Direct-to-Consumer Shipping.” Our guest speaker will be Jennifer Goodrich of WineShipping. Register for the webinar here.

LegislativeUpdate

States Raise Revenue Without Raising Taxes By Repealing Arcane Alcohol Restrictions | The most innovative lawmakers are finding they can increase tax collections wihout raising taxes by removing unnecessary barriers to the sale of alcohol. Forbes

Philly’s Fine Wine Restaurants Alarmed By New PLCB Rules | Pennyslvania restaurateurs are alarmed by changes the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is making to the way they buy wines and spirits that are not carried by state stores. The Inquirer

Sonoma Looks At Limits on New Wine Tasting Rooms | With an eye toward achieving more retail balance around the historic plaza, the Sonoma City Council is leaning toward imposing a moratorium on new tasting rooms. The Press Democrat

IndustryUp

Californian Heatwave: “Too Soon To Tell” If Yields Affected | The Californian Wine Insitute has said it is too soon to tell if last weekend’s heatwave across Napa will affect yields, but some winemakers are already claiming to have “dodged a bullet”. The Drink Business

Cabernet Underpins Double-Digit Sales Growth | Strong direct-to-consumer sales, especially for high-priced Cabernet Sauvignon, helped drive total U.S. sales 14% higher than last year. Wines & Vines

Direct-to-Consumer Importers Carve a New Niche | A new kind of online wine club features international imports delivered to a customer’s door. SevenFifty Daily

Wine Institute Releases Results of New California Wine Tourism Survey | Results of a new online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults who recently visited California wine country were released, offering insights to wineries and local wine associations. Wine Institute

White Paper Details Craft Beer Shoppers and How They Decide What To Buy |The white paper details the results of a study of 1,019 Midwestern beer shoppers. Research results indicate several key ways that craft brewers can improve their marketing and sales strategies. ShipCompliant Blog

JustFun

Glenmorangie crafts ‘world’s first’ whisky cask bicycle | Single malt Scotch whisky distillery Glenmorangie has partnered with hardwood bicycle manufacturer Renovo to craft a set of bicycles made from the staves of ex-Bourbon casks. The Spirits Business

The Rise of Boozy Ice Cream Bar-lors | Scoop by spiked scoop, small batch producers are leading the charge in a new nationwide trend: alcohol-infused ice cream. SevenFifty Daily

6 Ways To Avoid Wine-Packaging Redesign Disasters | “Nine out of ten package redesigns actually fail to deliver a meaningful impact to sales.” North Bay Journal

The post BevAlc Roundup: Wine shipping webinar, Sonoma’s tasting room limits, research results on craft beer buyers and spiked ice cream! appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

White Paper Details Craft Beer Shoppers and How They Decide What To Buy

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 12:10

For craft breweries looking to expand their market presence, more data about consumer habits is invaluable. A white paper recently posted by the Brewer’s Association provides some of this data, including the notable conclusion that the person who shops for beer is not necessarily the person who will consume that beer.

The paper, coauthored by Professor Marcel Zondag of the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University, and Bart Watson of the Brewer’s Association, details the results of a study of 1,019 Midwestern beer shoppers.

Their results indicate several key ways that craft brewers can improve their marketing and sales strategies:

  • Shoppers for craft beer are not necessarily the end consumers of that beer. A brewery will need to appeal to both the purchaser and the end consumer to best succeed.
  • Buying “local” remains a key decision point that shoppers use to select their beer. Establishing a firm local footprint, from which to expand into regional markets, can be an effective strategy.
  • Craft beer is a valuable part of any retailer’s portfolio, as those products typically have a higher price-point. To the extent permitted by Trade Practice rules, craft brewers should emphasize this potential higher sales price when selling to retailers in order to encourage the retailers to pick up their brands.

There are many more notable conclusions contained in the paper, along with more details on how shoppers are influenced to make a craft beer purchase, all helpful for developing a craft beer sales strategy. To find out more, visit the Brewers’ Association website to read the white paper in full.
 

Want a better understanding of how beer can be sold in specific states? Take a look at our Brewer’s Guide to Compliance!

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Upcoming Webinar: How to Get Ready for Holiday Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 15:03

The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone, but particularly busy for wineries. Last year, the volume of direct-to-consumer wine sales in October, November and December totaled 36% of the volume of 2016 sales.

Join us Wednesday September 27, 2017 at 10:00am PT for an informative webinar to help you get ready for the rush. Our special guest speaker is Jennifer Goodrich, Director of Sales & Account Management at Wineshipping, will share best practices to help you get prepared early for this holiday season.

During this webinar, we’ll cover:

  • Which states have made updates to their regulatory requirements
  • How you can plan your shipping schedule to stay ahead to avoid delays
  • What are the best ways to manage gift fulfillment during this holiday season.

RegisterNow
Can’t attend the live webinar? Register anyway and we will send you the on-demand recording.

About Jennifer Goodrich
Jennifer’s 25 years of Sales and Client Relationship building have contributed to the growth of Wineshipping to the largest DtC fulfillment company in the wine industry. With her background as Direct-to-Consumer Manager for 8 years at several leading wineries, Jennifer was a natural fit to serve Wineshipping’s clients and understand the business from the customer point of view. Her long history of customer service leadership and sales performance for various high-tech companies including Intuit and Apple, have resulted in best in class customer service for Wineshipping’s clients.

The post Upcoming Webinar: How to Get Ready for Holiday Direct-to-Consumer Shipping appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

BevAlc Roundup: ShipCompliant Beer Summit, Crackdown on Interstate DtC, Oktoberfest-Proof Shoes and Blue Wine

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:57

In today’s roundup we’re pleased to announce that Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association will be our featured speaker at the ShipCompliant Beer Summit on Oct. 3. You’ll also find articles on how states are taking a hard look at interstate direct-to-consumer shipping, more news from Pennsylvania, updates from the TTB and new products that will not disappoint!

LegislativeUpdate

Some U.S. States Are Cracking Down on Interstate Direct-To-Consumer Wine Shipping | According to ShipCompliant by Sovos, at over $2 billion in 2016 sales, the more than 5 million cases of wine shipped Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) is fast making it an important segment of the wine business. Forbes

Price Hikes At PA Liquor Stores: Will Buyers Notice? | You might notice a change at the register of your neighborhood Pennsylvania State Store. Or you might not. Philly.com

Tax Reform: Will They or Won’t They? | Congress has been openly flirting with comprehensive tax reform for years. Will 2017 finally be the year they get it done? And if so, how will it impact breweries? Brewers Association

TTB Newsletter | Top news includes a reminder for alcohol beverage importers about how to satisfy TTB COLA documentation requirements in ACE, an announcement that TTB labs have received re-accreditation from ISO, and links to the help center for TTB online applications. TTB

IndustryUp
Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association To Speak At ShipCompliant Beer Summit | Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association, is our featured speaker at the ShipCompliant Beer Summit in Denver on October 3rd! ShipCompliant

Focus on the ‘C’ for Better DtC Wine Sales | The key to a good direct-to-consumer wine program is continual customer engagement. Wines and Vines

Wine Access, Releasing Data, Reveals One of Every 36 Bottles Sold Is Rose | Here are some data points covering the U.S. wine market today, which Wine Access says comprises consumers that are “adventurous, curious, authentic.” Consumers appear to evolve. Wines & Vines

JustFun

Adidas Is Releasing Puke and Beer Resistant Oktoberfest Sneakers | If you’re looking for the perfect shoes to match your lederhosen at Oktoberfest, Adidas has the pair for you. Forbes

Blue wine is now a thing because your Instagram doesn’t have taste buds. (Un) Fortunately, we do. | The Spanish-based winemakers will soon begin selling their blue wine in the United States. Washington Post

The post BevAlc Roundup: ShipCompliant Beer Summit, Crackdown on Interstate DtC, Oktoberfest-Proof Shoes and Blue Wine appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association To Speak At ShipCompliant Beer Summit

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 19:23

We’re excited to welcome Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association, as our featured speaker at the ShipCompliant Beer Summit in Denver on October 3rd!

Paul’s origin in the beer community started when he took up homebrewing in 1990. He worked on the bottling line at Boulder Beer and would sneak over to the brewhouse when opportunity allowed. Paul owned a pair of homebrew supply shops in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado from 1994 to 1998.

He served as director of the American Homebrewers Association for 7 years and is in his 17th year as Brewers Association director. Paul is ranked as a National Beer Judge by the Beer Judge Certification Program. Paul is also a former judge director of both the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup, before moving to the judge panels for these elite competitions.

Who should attend the Beer Summit?

  • Leaders of regional breweries
  • Consultants who provide services to breweries
  • Members of the beer industry who focus on go-to-market regulatory compliance

Please ​join ​us ​on ​October ​3 ​at ​the ​Bottling ​Hall ​at ​the ​Great ​Divide ​Brewing ​Company ​Barrel ​Bar ​in ​Denver. We’ll enjoy a delicious lunch followed by ​an ​information-packed ​afternoon ​covering ​topics ​related ​to ​growing ​your brewery ​business ​in ​this ​crowded ​market. ​

Register before September 15 and take advantage of the $99 early bird rate!

The post Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association To Speak At ShipCompliant Beer Summit appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

Oregon Wine Board Reports Increase in 2016 Sales Despite Reduced Vineyard Production

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 13:22

The latest Oregon Vineyard and Winery Census Report, recently released by the Oregon Wine Board, shows steady market gains for Oregon wine, even as grape yields decreased slightly.

Overall, the value of sales of Oregon wine in 2016 grew 12% from 2015, to just under $530m. These increased sales came largely from case sales — particularly those to states other than Oregon — and from the Direct to Consumer (DtC) market. However, they also reflect an overall increase in the average value Oregon wine per bottle.

This is because overall production by Oregon wineries was down by about 6% from 2015, despite a slight uptick in the number of wineries operating in the state. This decrease, though, more represents a return to normal yields, after gangbuster years in 2014 and 2015.

The increase in total sales revenue speaks to the great prestige and attention Oregon wine is receiving — both locally and nationally. Total case sales of Oregon wine grew by nearly 300,000 cases from 2015, but more than 200,000 cases of that growth came from sales in states other than Oregon. You can download the 2016 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Census report, as well as past years’ reports, from the Oregon Wine Board website.

This is contrasted with DtC sales, which dropped noticeably for both wine club and online orders. However, growth in onsite sales from tasting rooms easily covered those decreases, and indeed championed the overall growth in DtC sales of Oregon wine. This means, while people may be less inclined to buy directly from an Oregon winery remotely, they’re much more open to visiting Oregon wine country and bringing back the quality wines they find there. This also likely reflects greater attention from Oregon locals, recognizing that great wine is in their backyard, and taking day or weekend trips to the vineyards.

In all, Oregon wine is enjoying an upward trend. Production is returning to more normal, sustainable levels; and while more wineries are operating, there is not overwhelming expansion, which could dilute the market. Meanwhile, revenue at large is increasing, with certain markets benefiting a bit more than others. For now, things look good for the Oregon wine market; we hope to see this trend continue in future years.

 

Download the 2017 DtC Wine Shipping Report for a comprehensive view of the direct-to-consumer wine shipping market.

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BevAlc Roundup: Distribution trends, The New Craft Brewer Seal and a Slave’s Crucial Role in Whiskey History

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 14:00

As summer winds down and we look toward the changing colors of fall, changes are also afoot in the wine, beer and spirits worlds. In this roundup, we explore evolving trends that affect how alcohol is sold and distributed. We also dive into the science of whiskey, and the staying power of canned wine. And finally, how an African-American slave contributed to the start of one of whiskey’s most iconic brands.

LegislativeUpdate

So Far, Compromise Eludes Mass. Alcohol Task Force | Key members of the state’s alcohol industry are tempering expectations that a task force reviewing Massachusetts’ booze laws will deliver sweeping reforms to how beer, wine, and spirits are sold and distributed in Massachusetts, saying it’s more likely to result in modest tweaks. Boston Globe

Knoxville Liquor Store Going Out of Business, Blames Wine In Grocery Stores | In the year since grocery stores started selling wine, some local liquor stores are feeling a loss in business. WATE.com

American Single Malt’s New Horizons | Distillers are assessing how to introduce the spirits and define its category more clearly, especially in terms of its similarities and differences with Scotch, Irish, and Japanese single malt. SevenFifty Daily

IndustryUp

Giant Corporations Aren’t The Only Ones Buying Up Breweries Anymore | Longstanding mid-level breweries are starting to buy up smaller beer companies as well. VinePair

Why Wholesalers and Retailers Should Embrace the Independent Craft Brewer Seal | There are plenty of reasons for distributors and retailers to be excited about the seal, and ways to incorporate it into their promotions and selling tactics. Brewers Association

Direct Wine Sales, Napa Style | Wooing wine lovers directly, enticing them with club memberships, special food and wine events, email blasts and more is essential, especially for small wineries. North Bay Journal

Avoiding Wine Brand Redesign Pitfalls | Take care, only about one out of every 10 brand redesigns delivers a significant sales impact and half of them typically hurt a brand. Wines & Vines

JustFun

When Jack Daniel’s Failed to Honor a Slave, an Author Rewrote History | Fawn Weaver was on vacation in Singapore last summer when she first read about Nearest Green, the Tennessee slave who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. New York Times

The Best Way To Drink Whiskey, According To Science | Does adding water to whiskey really make it taste better? Washington Post

The Next Big Thing For Wine Lovers Is Canned Wine — Here’s Why | The canned wine category has exploded in the past year, and it provides more accessible and in many ways more user-friendly products for consumers. Forbes

The post BevAlc Roundup: Distribution trends, The New Craft Brewer Seal and a Slave’s Crucial Role in Whiskey History appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

Nurturing Your Customers – Including Wine Club Members – is the Key to Direct-to-Consumer Success

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 17:22

As summer slowly fades away, the wine industry can look forward to busier days ahead. Whether it’s the chillier weather, or holiday gift giving, wine sales — and especially Direct to Consumer (DtC) sales — tend to peak.

But just because the entire wine market tends to grow at this time of year doesn’t mean you can complacently expect to benefit with everyone else. Now is a critical time to make sure you’ve cultivated your customer base well enough so that your place in the overall wine market thrives.

Recent data from the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), available in the July 2017 Wine Business Monthly, shows where success in the DtC market comes from. Unpacking some of this data provides insights that can help you improve your DtC presence.

What Makes A Winery Succeed In The DtC Market? Connecting With Your Customers

First, why is it so important to make sure your DtC market is primed to succeed? As the SVB data and our own annual Direct-to-Consumer report show, DtC sales make up a large, and growing percentage of total wine sales.

Fully half of all sales for wineries with less than 25,000 cases in annual production come from DtC sales. For even smaller wineries, who face greater difficulty breaking into the 3-tier market, this percentage averages at around 70% of total sales. The DtC market, then, provides a way to avoid the pains of relying on distributors and trying to distinguish your brand in crowded wine and liquor stores.

But how, then, do you make your DtC market thrive? The best way to encourage customers to spend, and come back to spend again, is to cultivate a deep connection with them.

At a base level, this means following a number of common marketing tools: create a vibrant brand; develop a story that explains your brand and allows your customers to connect on a personal level with you; make sure you can distinguish your story from your competitors.

With wine sales, though, there is one key action you can take to make sure that you’ve established that connection with customers: grow your wine club. Wine clubs provide a unique and direct link to customers. They’ve shown their commitment to your brand by making the effort, and possibly paying money, to join your club. They are ready to receive your messages regularly, and want to hear about deals and what’s new. Per the SVB data, wine clubs are also key revenue generators — wineries with more wine club members see more regular income from DtC sales, and those sales are generally for more expensive products than one-off sales.

What Makes A Great Wine Club? The Experience

Not all wine clubs are created equal. There can be enormous regional differences affecting how effective wine clubs are, and how they succeed. For instance, tourist destinations, such as the Napa or Sonoma Valleys generally see higher revenues from their wine clubs than other regions. In part this is because Napa and Sonoma wineries tend to charge more for their wines. But it also reflects the extra effort that these wineries put into their wine clubs.

The SVB data shows, perhaps contrary to expectations, the vast majority of Napa and Sonoma wine club members live farther than a day trip away from the winery. These areas are destination spots; visitors will come from far and wide to enjoy the experience, and will likely treat a visit to these regions as part of a larger vacation. It is therefore more important for these wineries to create that direct connection with the customers, to make sure that they aren’t forgotten when the customer is back home in Michigan or Georgia. It therefore shouldn’t be a surprise that wineries in these regions depend more heavily on wine club sales.

Other regions, such as those less renowned for wine, like New York, Virginia, and Texas, but also some more developed wine areas like Washington, tend to rely more on day trips, according to the SVB data. This doesn’t mean that wine clubs are less important to these wineries, just that there can be a different flair to them. Instead of advertising deals and bulk shipping options, these wineries can focus more on events and the personal, local appeal that these wineries have.

It also can help to attune the tasting room experience for your wine club. The SVB data show that different services and styles can greatly affect the visitor’s likelihood of joining a wine club. More relaxed and open tasting rooms, say where the tasting bar is standing only or with casual seating, tend to draw more visitors than more formal tasting bars and private tastings. However, the more casual approaches also have lower rates of conversion to wine clubs, and less expensive average tasting room purchases. So a winery should find the right balance: do you want to bring in more people, and rely on those numbers to make revenue, or will you speak to a more select, but more likely to spend, audience?

The tasting room experience is only the first half of the process. Follow-up is key to turning an initial good impression into an enduring connection. Customers appreciate personalized notes. A handwritten thank you letter, or an email directed to a specific client, can go a very long way to letting your customers know you care — and that they should purchase more wine.

When your club members do make an order, it’s a great idea to let them know how the shipment is coming along. Merely sending them an invoice can be cold. Consider regular and friendly updates, showing them that their wine is on the way and being handled with care. Being proactive and communicating when there is a hitch in the delivery can turn a potential problem into a success. The package may be with the carrier, and out of your hands, but the consumer will still reach out to you for support. If you’re ahead of the game, and let them know when an issue has come up (say the carrier can’t deliver to their address, the package is damaged or they need to go to the carrier’s store to sign) you can be a hero in their eyes.

While all customers should receive high-quality treatment, wine club members represent a select group of customers who have shown their commitment to your brand. Making sure that they know they’re respected and valued can go a long way to ensure they’ll keep up that commitment. Maintaining your clubs, fostering them into lifetime relationships, is increasingly key to succeed as the entire DtC market continues to grow.

Again, these suggestions may seem like common sense. But as we near the busy time of year for wine sales, it’s critical to make sure that your wine stands out from the rest. Having your wine club succeed is one of the best ways to make sure your entire brand succeeds.

 

Download the 2017 DtC Wine Shipping Report for a comprehensive view of the direct-to-consumer wine shipping market.

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BevAlc Roundup | NAFTA Talks: U.S. Wants Changes To How Canada Sells Wine, Common Carriers Are Requiring Proof of DtC Licenses, and Craft Beer Inspired Candles

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 17:03

Today’s roundup covers US wants changes to the way Canada sells wine, common carriers respond to state scrutiny by requiring proof of DtC licenses, and craft beer inspired candles. Enjoy! !

LegislativeUpdate
Georgia Will Soon Join the Rest of the U.S. By Allowing Producers to Sell On Premises | On September 1, 2017, SB 85 will go into effect, permitting licensed breweries and distilleries in the state to sell to consumers directly from their premises. ShipCompliant Blog

NAFTA Talks: U.S. Wants Changes To The Way Canada Sells Wine | Provinicial rules regarding the sales of wine are a U.S. target in trade negotiations. Huffington Post

Republican Lawmaker Files Bill To Change Three-Tier System | Wisconsin Republican lawmakers say they want to restart a conversation about the state’s liquor laws by introducing a bill they say will remove barriers to business growth. The Capital Times

State Liquor Law Change Helps Micro Distilleries Expand Reach | It soon might become easier for Ohio’s micro distilleries to get their vodkas, gins and whiskeys on barroom shelves thanks to a change in state rules that will allow small-time distillers to sell products directly to pubs and restaurants. Toledo Blade

IndustryUp

Common Carriers Respond to State Scrutiny By Requiring Proof of DtC Licenses | Common carriers are heightening their policies of requiring proof of an active DtC shipping license before they will contract with businesses to deliver packages containing beverage alcohol. ShipCompliant Blog

UPS Opens the Doors to European Shipping | Close to 40 countries will be able to receive domestic wine. WineBusiness.com

“Disruptive” Wine App Vivino Tops US $40M Sales | Speaking to CNNMoney this week, Vivino founder and CEO Heini Zachariassen said that wines worth more than $40 million have been sold through the site. The Drinks Business

Moonshine Is Not Just an American Thing | Moonshine has a global history, on ethat goes back 600 years, and probably even further. The American Spectator

JustFun

Spicy scents of craft beers waft from these candles | Creating candles that have scents inspired by craft beer flavors has helped diversify a small family distributor’s business because a change in state law has cut into their sales and where they can sell major beer brands. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Why expensive wine appears to taste better | Price labels influence our liking of wine: The same wine tastes better to participants when it is labeled with a higher price tag.  PHYS.org

The post BevAlc Roundup | NAFTA Talks: U.S. Wants Changes To How Canada Sells Wine, Common Carriers Are Requiring Proof of DtC Licenses, and Craft Beer Inspired Candles appeared first on ShipCompliant | The software leader of the beverage alcohol industry.

Georgia Will Soon Join the Rest of the U.S. By Allowing Producers to Sell On Premises

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 17:38

On September 1, 2017, lovers of craft beer and spirits in Georgia will have something to toast. That’s the day that SB 85 will go into effect, permitting licensed breweries and distilleries in the state to sell to consumers directly from their premises.

Under the soon-to-be-implemented rules (details from the state can be found here), licensed beer and spirit manufacturers with a Georgia-based facility will be allowed to sell their products for on-site consumption without having the customers first go through a tour of the facility (as Georgia’s laws previously required). Further, these licensed manufacturers will also be able to sell their products for off-site consumption without having to go through the three-tier system (that is, sell first to a distributor, and then buy back their goods before selling to a consumer).

Breweries will be limited to selling only 3,000 barrels (31g/BBL) of beer they produce per year, and only a case (288mL) of beer per day per customer. Distillers are limited to selling only 500 barrels (53g/BBL) of spirits they produce per year, and only 2.25 L per person per day.

Georgia Becomes Like Everywhere Else
Every other state in the U.S. already has some sort of provision allowing manufacturers to sell their products directly from their production facilities. While the details of these provisions vary state to state (as do pretty much all rules concerning the beverage alcohol industry), there are common themes.

Generally, these rules give a preference to small, craft producers. Production caps may limit the right to only small-scale producers. Restrictive sales caps are also common (Georgia’s new rules has these). Often only certain licensees (say a “craft distillery” or a “farm brewery”) are permitted to sell. And frequently they can only sell beverages they produce themselves.

Georgia is also not alone in working on their rules on how and when producers can self-sell. Even states with well-established craft markets continue to develop them. A bill was recently filed in the Wisconsin legislature that would extend existing self-distribution rights for certain producers.

Craft distilleries would gain the right to directly sell and distribute their spirits, and be able to sell other beer and wine products. And the annual production caps for breweries and wineries who can self-distribute and sell onsite would rise to 20,000 barrels of beer and 50,000 gallons of wine, respectively.

These permissions are not without controversy. (The Wisconsin bill is being vociferously opposed by the Wisconsin Tavern League, for one.) These rules are exceptions to the standard three-tier model of beverage alcohol sales, and parties with ingrained interests in the three-tier system will argue against any stretching of the existing fabric. Distributors and both off-sale and on-sale retailers complain of the increased competition and the assault on their established place in the three-tier system.

There is some merit to these complaints. The value of the three-tier system is well established (even those who argue to disestablish the three-tier system ultimately come down on the side of fixing problems they see, not blowing up the whole thing). Any changes to the three-tier system should be made with proper care and consideration, and not merely because they’re in vogue.

But there is also obvious merit to permitting at least some right to self-sell for manufacturers. After all, why else would every state have some kind of allowance?

Supporting local manufacturers — and especially small businesses, like craft producers and brewpubs — has enormous benefit to local economies. According to the Brewer’s Association, craft beer contributed $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014, with states with well-developed craft markets, like Colorado and Oregon, benefiting the most (particularly on a per-capita basis). The success of most wineries is largely dependent on being able to sell directly from their production facilities. After all, that’s exactly what we all look for in a wine-country vacation, whether it’s in Napa, the Willamette Valley, or up-state New York.

The licensees who most benefit from these self-sale privileges are those who have the most trouble getting the attention of distributors and retail stores. If some larger producers also can take advantage of selling some of their goods directly from their facilities, that may be a worthwhile cost in order to benefit the smaller producers.

Those large producers will also still need to work in the three-tier system for the vast majority of their sales; after all not everyone who enjoys a Bud Light will suddenly only buy it from an Anheuser-Busch plant.

Often arguments against expanding self-sale privileges tend to rely on hyperbolic warnings on how these allowances will ruin the existing beverage alcohol market. These fears need to be couched in the fact that, despite the growth of the craft industry, it’s still a fraction of the overall market.

The vast majority of beer is still sold by the big producers through the standard three-tier model. Reportedly, somewhere around 3 out of 4 beer drinkers still have not tried a craft beer. Reports that craft has killed the larger beer market are definitely premature.

 

Learn more about how ShipCompliant can keep you current with state regulations. Request a ShipCompliant demo today!

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