Monday, February 27, 2017

Volstead is vanquished

My mustache and angry visage maintain public order
So it looks like the last shovelful of dirt will finally land on the handiwork of Andrew Volstead:
The Senate moved Monday to end the ban on Sunday liquor store sales, which means Minnesotans likely will soon be able to walk into a liquor store on a Sunday for the first time since statehood.

The Senate vote by 38-28 Monday followed the lead of the House, which passed the measure last week by an overwhelming margin.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will not veto a Sunday sales bill, which means forgetful Minnesotans would no longer have to cross the border to stock up on booze for Vikings games and other Sunday events.

Volstead is the angry looking man with the proto-Bolton mustache pictured to the left. He was the author of the Volstead Act, which gave the legislative muscle to Prohibition. Volstead was a longtime congressman from Minnesota and a dedicated follower of blue laws. And now, almost 100 years after his signature law was passed, his home state will finally turn its back on his abstemious approach to living.

Assuming Mark Dayton signs the bill he will receive, you'll be able to buy beer and liquor on Sundays in Minnesota. Will it change how we live? Probably not that much, at least for most people. If you decide you want a bottle of wine or a six-pack on the Sabbath, you won't have to drive to Hudson, or Prescott, or Fargo, or some burg in Iowa any more. Some retailers will get pinched, without question. It's possible that some mom-and-pop liquor stores may succumb. But I'm not convinced of that, especially since you still can't buy liquor at a grocery store or at Target, unless those formidable competitors build a separate facility with a separate entrance. I think you'll still see the mom and pops around for a while.

6 comments:

John said...

Just a small point on the grocery store and Target comment. Here in sunny FL we are seeing exactly that as the pursuit of profit continues.

A case in point. About a mile from my home we have a SAM'S Club with a separate liquor store next to a Walmart. They recently closed part of the parking lot between the two stores to build a Walmart liquor store. So now within the same corporate structure we have two competing liquor stores within 500 feet of each other.

I've not been in either, but I'm guessing they both have the same products for sale. Maybe Sam's is selling in bulk while Walmart caters to the more discreet sizes?

Mr. D said...

A case in point. About a mile from my home we have a SAM'S Club with a separate liquor store next to a Walmart. They recently closed part of the parking lot between the two stores to build a Walmart liquor store. So now within the same corporate structure we have two competing liquor stores within 500 feet of each other.

I've not been in either, but I'm guessing they both have the same products for sale. Maybe Sam's is selling in bulk while Walmart caters to the more discreet sizes?


Huh. That's interesting. Walmart usually doesn't cannibalize its own sales. When they opened their new store in Roseville three years ago, they shut down a store in St. Anthony (about two miles north and west) that had only been open for about 7-8 years.

R.A. Crankbait said...

My nearest Cub added a liquor store a year or so ago. It has lower prices than the muni just down the street, or the Mom & Pop (actually, the folks behind the register look more like "Dissolute Uncle Lou") in the vicinity.

On a related note, I took delivery of a case of wine at my front door yesterday.

Bike Bubba said...

Home delivery of wine or spirits is interesting--if you're willing to spring for a couple square feet to store it, it can theoretically put your cost basis on a par with that of a liquor store. If it really takes off--if--we might see a fair amount of difficulty for the premium wine & spirits sections of liquor stores. Harder to do with beer, as it's got a shorter shelf life than wine or spirits and is heavier, but I could foresee a lot more "Dissolute Uncle Lou" shops out there simply because that's where they could compete.

I've only been in a Wal-Mart liquor store a time or two, and suffice it to say that it gave about the same impression as the rest of Wal-Mart--lots of cheap wares. Better than "Dissolute Uncle Lou", but no great shakes.

Gino said...

volstead still lives in many parts of the country.

in CA, you can buy anything just about anywhere, but nothing tween 2-6am. its quite the struggle.

R.A. Crankbait said...

I'm not one to typically by booze by the case (even a case of beer) but I have been trying to learn more about wines and what I like. Turns out that while I have never been impressed by white wine, I like the robust reds like Cabernets, Merlots and Shiraz. (Not surprising since I also like strong, black coffee, dark chocolate and single malt scotch). I have the Vivino app on my phone that lets me photo a label in a store and within seconds it gives me a brief description of the wine, a rating of it by others who have bought it, and the average price per bottle. It beats buying wine because the label is pretty or the name is amusing.

Through Vivino I have received email offerings on various wine deals; if the price is good I'll get a bottle or two. One of the vendors is an outfit called Dellar Thief and they had a year-end close-out on red wines left over from other promotions. If you were willing to buy a case of random reds that they would put together, they would sell it at about $8/bottle. They guaranteed these would be premium wines, mostly French and Italian. I uncorked an Itlaian red last night, described as a "Super-Tuscan" by the guide, and it was one of the richest and smoothest I've ever tasted. It normally retails for $25 - which is a price that doesn't encourage experimentation.

I don't think I'd likely by beer by mail, though. I am much more specific in my tastes and like to buy beer (when I buy it) by season or mood. That said, if Prime Now really takes hold and starts offering beer deliveries in 2 hours I might just take them up on it.