From NPR:

Even though drinks-to-go are popular with customers, the highly regulated liquor industry can be tough to reform, says Jarrett Dieterle, a researcher with the R Street Institute, a think tank that supports free markets.

Most states regulate alcohol using a three-tier system, Dieterle notes. Often, the producers who distill or brew alcohol must go through a middle tier of distributors who then sell to retailers who then sell to customers.

“It creates this patchwork and a lot of kind of vested interests and it’s made change just really, really difficult in the industry,” Dieterle says. “So things like allowing a brewer to sell or deliver directly to consumer that cuts out, for example, the liquor store. It cuts out, potentially, the wholesaling tier. And so that freaks those entities out because they want to protect economic interests that they have.”

In some states, wholesalers and liquor stores are pushing back against more permissive laws because they’re concerned about losing business as restaurants get more leeway, Dieterle says.

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