Tag Archives: beverages

More on ABC’s Alcohol-Soaked Fruit Flap

A controversy over the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s move to ban restaurants from soaking fruits and the like in booze to create a mixed drink (previous post HERE) is getting more attention… and may be left for legislators to resolve.
From WPLN:
The issue centers on who’s allowed to make infusions–where an ingredient like fruit soaks in alcohol to flavor it, often for several days. Tennessee’s ABC says in looking back at a law from 2006, it found that in some cases, making infusions requires a distiller’s license, which restaurants can’t get.
In an email, the commission says despite what some people fear, the rule does not apply to drinks like margaritas or sangria. But Nashville lawyer Will Cheek warns restaurants that infuse liquors don’t want to risk having their license pulled.
“If you’ve got pineapple and fruit sitting in a vat of vodka, you need to be pulling that stuff out–it needs to be gone by July 1st.”
When the Tennessee Hospitality Association sent a letter arguing the commission is misinterpreting the rule, Cheek signed on, representing a couple major restaurant chains. If the commission won’t budge, Cheek says the matter could end up before state lawmakers next year.

And this excerpt from Cari Wade Gervin’s thorough review of the dispute, its history and ramifications:
Bell says he’d be fine with a law change–he says he’s encouraging people to look at newly passed legislation in Iowa that better regulates “Mixed Drinks or Cocktails Not For Immediate Consumption.” But according to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division, that law requires pre-mixed batches of drinks to be disposed of within 72 hours if not consumed. Bars are also required to keep records–for three years–detailing when each and every batch is made and disposed of, along with the recipe, the ingredients, and the names of the person who made the batch and the person who disposed of it.
We asked Sohn if this seemed like a practical solution. She laughed loudly.
“Yeah, no,” Sohn says. “It would be very wasteful. … If they changed it to that, we probably still wouldn’t bother with infusions.”
Scanlan says he hopes TABC will reconsider its actions, but Bell doesn’t seem inclined to do so.
“I’m going to have to apply the law as it is right now,” Bell says. “I’m pretty certain we’ll start issuing citations sometime in the next few weeks.”


See also a Chattanooga Free Press editorial, opining that “the fun police are back, and this time they have their sights set on making sure that you won’t be able to sit back and enjoy a house-infused liquor at your favorite restaurant or neighborhood bar.”

New State Library Exhibit: ‘Prohibition in Tennessee’

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
It was the constitutional amendment that tried – often unsuccessfully – to put Americans on the path to sobriety and in the process created a booming market for Tennessee’s providers of illegal moonshine whiskey.
The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which launched the Prohibition era in 1920, was called the country’s “noble experiment.” That experiment ended 13 years later with the ratification of the 21st Amendment – the only amendment to repeal another amendment – which halted Prohibition and brought imbibing back out of the shadows.
Now a new exhibit in the lobby of the Tennessee State Library and Archives building chronicles the history surrounding the passage of both amendments.
This exhibit, entitled “The Saloon and Anarchy: Prohibition in Tennessee,” surveys the brewing and distilling industries in Tennessee prior to Prohibition, chronicles the rise of the Temperance Movement in the state and the impact it had on the passage of the 18th Amendment, examines the effect that the 18th Amendment had on moonshining in the state, and recounts the passage of the 21st Amendment.

Continue reading

New Collaboration Between THP, ABC

The state Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which issues liquor licenses in Tennessee, now has direct access to the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s computer database for accidents related to drunken driving, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
That means the commission will know sooner about any distributor who may be serving underage drinkers or visibly intoxicated ones, officials said Tuesday.
THP Director Col. Tracy Trott and ABC Executive Director Danielle Elks joined others at the Charleston Fire Department on Tuesday to announce the partnership put together by state Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland.
“You’ve heard the expression ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire.’ Well, where there’s smoke, the ABC special agents can now look for the fire,” Watson said at the news conference.
“This partnership will allow ABC special agents to more quickly gather information regarding alcohol-related traffic accidents,” he said. “This information could lead to further investigations into possible violations of state liquor laws.”
Defense attorney Jim Logan, a Democrat, said he and Watson, a Republican and veteran law enforcement officer, agreed quickly about the need to spread the responsibility beyond the driver.

‘Protecting Foods and Beverages From Government Attack’

News release from U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais:
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) introduced yesterday H.R. 3848 “Protecting Foods and Beverages from Government Attack Act of 2012.” This legislation would prohibit the use of federal money for advertising campaigns against any food or beverage deemed safe and lawfully marketed under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Rep. DesJarlais released the following statement after the introduction of this important and timely legislation:
“Our top priority should be restarting the economy and creating jobs – not funding scare campaigns against perfectly safe and legal products. At a time when our nation faces high unemployment, it makes absolutely no sense that federal and city agencies would aggressively advertise against American products made by American workers.
“As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, one of my chief responsibilities is to track how funds from President Obama’s Stimulus Package were spent. I was alarmed to find that $230 million in grant money was used, in many cases, to run advertisements attacking America’s soft drink companies.
“As a physician, I believe in promoting and encouraging healthy lifestyles, but the American taxpayer should not be forced to subsidize campaigns that push misleading information intended to scare consumers.”