Thanks to homebrew legend Charlie Papizan, we noticed this little article from the Economist regarding the South Korean beer market:
Much of the difficulty in the market is due to a strangling regulatory environment, which is created and perpetuated, of course, by the market’s largest players – often claiming such rules “protect” consumers when they actually stifle competition.
I can remember when Florida only allowed beer to be sold in 12 ounce bottles – obstensively to avoid “consumer confusion” – but also very effective at restricting import and craft brewers from entering the market. Other states have similar examples, including Pennsylvania’s “brand registration” rules, Michigan’s Christmas Day Prohibition, and Kansas’ ban on Sunday sales or anything over 3.2% in a grocery stores…all very effective at impeding craft beer sales. In fact, there are many reasons to fear the concentration of the American beer market in the hands of one or two huge corporation (see the full report linked from HERE) and/or retailers – the linked report is a worthy read if you have time.
We’ve warned about this sort of thing happening in this country and elsewhere and continue to encourage folks to support their local purveyors of beverage and edible, who use authentic ingredients and support their communities, and support legislative efforts to encourage local beer (and food) production.