Beverage Bulletin November 2009

California Beverage Retailers Association

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120


November 1, 2009


ABC Warning

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued a warning to retailers and wineries selling by mail order and the internet. Many of these sellers use third party agents to facilitate the sales, shipping, and to comply with rules in other states. Since these agents never touch the wine many had assumed they didn't need licenses. The ABC has issued a warning that “persons or businesses that operate web sites for the purpose of promoting, marketing, or selling alcoholic beverages” must have a license if they participate in the sale or share in the revenue that comes from it. Retailers and wineries could possibly face fines or loss of their licenses for working with unlicensed agents.


Quick Shots

Archeologists have excavated London's Globe and Rose theatres and traced what was served to theatergoers. Commoners paid a penny to stand in the yard. They ate oysters, mussels, blackberry pies, dried raisins, figs, cherries, and nuts. The gentry classes paid more and sat on cushions. They ate crab and sturgeon. Everyone drank lots of Ale. In Elizabethan theatre the audience participated in the play by shouting jeers, insults, and questions at the actors. A few rounds of Ale just added to the rowdy activity.


Mark Anderson, the man accused of starting a fire in the Wines Central warehouse goes on trial this month. He is charged with arson, fraud, and other felonies. The fire took place on October 12, 2005 and blazed for seven hours. The warehouse was a former Navy torpedo storage facility with 3 foot thick concrete walls. The warehouse was good for storing wine, but turned out to be tough for the 80 firefighters sent to battle the fire. 6 million bottles of wine were destroyed. They were owned by 43 collectors and over 90 wineries. The wines included Saintsbury, ZD, Whitehall Lane, Viader and Justin, Long Meadow Ranch, Silver Oak, Heitz, Pride Mountain, Turley, and French imports.


Anderson ran a wine storage business, Sausalito Cellars. He is accused of selling many of his clients wine in out of state auctions and setting the fire to cover up the theft. Local and federal investigators found that the fire started in a locked storage area leased by Anderson. His attorney, Mark Reichel, admitted that he had embezzled and stolen his client's property, but denied that he was guilty of arson.


Merchandising Opportunities


The coming month brings Christmas and New Year's. The last 2 weeks of the month is the biggest sales period of the year. This is the time to pick the wines, spirits, and beers that will bring the most sales and profits during this critical time.


Femsa, the Mexican company that makes Dos Equis, Sol, Tecate, Indio, and Bohemia is considering selling its beer business in Mexico and concentrating on its convenience stores and Coca Cola bottling. Possible buyers include SAB Miller and Heineken.


Brands and Comments


The CBRA Newsletter has not accepted any payment from any of the brands mentioned in this edition. The editor, Ron Ziff, welcomes comments at


CBRA Membership Remains Open

Now, more than ever, access to your industry is important. The CBRA is California's only statewide association of licensed retailers, and our membership continues to be open for the first time in 20 years.


At CBRA we deal with licenses and regulations that affect the beverage business on a daily basis. That's why CBRA offers practical solutions, unique products, services, information, and timely advice for both large and small beverage businesses. With reasonable fees, superior service, and associates that are easy to reach, CBRA helps you to run your business better and easier.

California Beverage Retailers Association – We know how to get it done.