A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece for Artisan Spirit titled Bernadette’s Lament. In it, the protagonist misses the boat on alerting regulators to a change in the ownership of her business – leading to some catastrophic results.
This morning, one of the first non-spam emails to hit my inbox was from a friend at that very same fine publication, in which suggested I might have the power of prophecy. He attached a link to a recent TTB press release that seems to suggest the occurrence to a wholesaler in Illinois of something akin to the misfortunes of my fictional heroine.
The release gives few specifics. But it does serve to reinforce some basic points.
First, while my article was in reference to a distiller, industry members throughout the three-tier system need to be mindful of changes in ownership and the regulatory implications of those events. Failure to keep this top of mind could cause you a real problem.
Second, the good folks at the TTB do indeed seem to be stepping up their enforcement game a bit – as suggested by their industry presentations earlier this year. And as evidenced by the recent Illinois situation, they’re partnering with state alcohol authorities in this effort.
All this is a longish way of saying – be careful out there.