“Blue Laws” and Other Cases of Bootlegger/Baptist Influence in Beer Regulation

from the book Regulation and Economic Opportunity: Blueprints for Reform

Executive Summary

On average in the United States, it requires 10,212 state-level regulations and 115,000 federal rules for a beer to reach a consumer. In this chapter, Adam C. Smith and Stephan F. Gohmann provide policy avenues for states to improve their regulations around beer to encourage the growth of the industry. They suggest that policymakers should:

  • Allow more distribution directly by beer brewers rather than requiring a separate distribution system,
  • Introduce competition into the distribution system for beer rather than rely on state-run or state-granted monopolies,
  • Orient alcohol tax policy to consider that greater tax revenues may be available to states with reduced regulation that allows more breweries to open and begin contributing to public coffers.
CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.