Improving alcohol laws that benefit Maryland consumers since 2005
Step into the future of Maryland alcohol with us.
Prohibition was repealed in 1933, but its legacy lives on through Maryland’s extremely antiquated alcohol laws. Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws (MBBWL) wants to say, “yes” to modernization and “no” to outdated rules that have stolen greater choice, convenience, industry growth, and economic opportunity from the people of Maryland.
Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws was formed in 2005 because Maryland was woefully behind the times in terms of alcohol progressiveness and continues to be to do this day. Our organization successfully formed the coalition that led to the legalization of winery direct shipping in 2011. Maryland was previously one of only two felony states for wine shipping and became a standard-bearer through its Comptroller’s report. Wine shipping had been discussed in Annapolis for thirty years but did not pass until consumers, wineries, and retailers banded together.
The following year, we were successfully able to legalize corkage in Maryland. The law previously made it illegal for a restaurant to allow a patron to bring their own bottle of wine - typically for a special occasion - if the restaurant already had a liquor license (patrons of restaurants without liquor licenses have always been allowed to bring their own wine as long as the restaurant permits it). With the help of many of Maryland’s fine dining restaurants, we passed a bill that allows a restaurant to set its own policy and fees.
WHY CHAIN STORES
At every turn while talking about wine shipping and corkage, consumers asked us why we as Marylanders cannot buy alcohol in chain grocers or other chain stores like in so many other states. It is the biggest consumer alcohol issue that cuts across geographic and political lines. It will bring the biggest change to Marylanders’ buying habits and reduce prices. Most importantly, it will generate substantial revenue for the State of Maryland. For these reasons, we are now focusing our attention on legalizing chain store sales
Maryland is one of only 3 states that don’t allow beer sold in grocery stores and one of only 11 that don’t permit wine. It's time to step into the 21st Century!
Our board includes both geographic and industry diversity:
Adam Borden (President) - Baltimore County
Cleaveland Miller (Secretary) - Baltimore County, former owner of Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer
Laurie Forster - Talbot County, wine coach and educator
James French - Frederick County
Rick Funkhouser - Baltimore City, Wine & Food Society of Baltimore
Bryan Gately - Baltimore County
Wes Hogentogler - Montgomery County, member of Brewers Regionally Encompassing Woodmoor (B-R-E-W)
Greg Parnas - DC, alcohol attorney
David Wells - Baltimore City, owner of The Wine Source