Jump to content
Ditch

Absinthe Distribution

Recommended Posts

I've studied many of the cities on the forum and noticed quite a few similarities of available brands. Lucid, Grande Absinte, Kübler, LTV, and a few others. Many web sites of brands that are available in the states, I've noticed, have very limited distribution.

 

I was wondering why most states don't carry many other brands. Is there problems with distributors? Is the drink still not popular enough to sell everywhere?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a pretty fair sized country. It will trickle in in due course. As long as good information is available and the right ear gets bent. Each state has it's rules. Politics would be part of it but that topic is tabu. :devil:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's up to each state liquor control board to determine which brands of any liquor will be sold. Liquor stores can only stock what has been approved by the State.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but the request process is not very difficult. Just a time issue.

Edited by oglala56

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been talked about here and there in other threads, but something to keep in mind is that if there is only a novel demand for the product, there isn't really any impetus to flood the shelves with more brands. That's an imperfect system, as I would like to see all proper absinthes authorized, and leave it to the individual stores to choose which brands to carry rather than being limited to what has been approved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Alabama you can probably get absinthe brands at package stores but the markup is huge. At the state stores there isn't enough demand for them to stock them regularly, and one can't get them to order it in unless one agrees to buy an entire case; they don't want to end up with product they don't normally sell, even though it's easy to throw it all in the clearance section. The state has approved several brands but that doesn't translate into them getting into stores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are different factors involved depending on state and producer. Many of the existing state laws go back to the era immediately following Prohibition. These laws were geared towards having a few large distributors and a few large producers.

 

For the control states, there isn't automatic approval, and may not be free. And it may not make sense for a small producer. For the non-control states, the approval may be as simple as sending in your check and some paperwork, but now you have to find a distributor to carry your product in that state since producers in one state cannot sell directly in another state (in the non-control states).

 

It's far more complicated that you imagine. The small producer distribution problem is what I think is the main reason there won't be a micro-distillery boom like there was a micro-brewery boom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The US situation reminds me of my three years working in India trying to broaden distribution of brands such as Cointreau.

 

Every single one of the 28 States and 7 Union territories had different rules and regulations, their own type of bureaucracy and requests for "facilitation fees." They had different labelling requirements in many States and if you wanted to ship liqueur from State A to B via State C, all three required licences and fees. To add to that, they all spoke different languages!

 

So compared with that, the US system isn't too bad!

 

And at least in the USA, almost all of you have access to DUNY and other US-based online stores.

 

Can availability of the better absinthes be improved? Sure, but that will take a combination of pressure from producers and, more importantly, from the public. Two Canadians (one's a member here) put a lot of pressure on one of the Liquor Boards to improve their absinthe selection. 18 months later, the SAQ will carry La Clandestine, Kübler and Taboo. Bars such as the Green Fairy in Colorado (mentioned here last week) are pushing very hard to get brands via their local wholesalers and DUNY. I'm sure there are other examples of retailers and bars pushing to get new absinthes into new States (well, I hope there are!).

 

I think members can have an impact on this (as in Canada). Refuse to buy absinthe that doesn't meet your standards just because there is nothing else in-stock. Tell the retailer concerned that you are ordering from out-of-state. Go back and tell him again next week. Get your friends to do the same.

 

"You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's really sick ...

 

And if two people, two people, do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots ...

 

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in ... walking out. They may think it's an organization.

 

And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in ... and walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

 

And that's what it is, the Wormwood Society Better Absinthe Movement."

 

 

 

 

 

(adapted from Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×