This article is pretty fascinating. The conservative Tavern League of Wisconsin is pitted against the Libertarian/Conservative/Koch Brothers funded Americans for Prosperity and the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. The issues are whether brewers can distribute their own products, whether private landowners can buy their own alcohol for weddings and events, whether distilleries, wineries and breweries can operate as taverns, and on and on. There seems to be a lot of growth in the likely outdated 3-tier system we have (producers, distributors, vendors), but not much discussion about the costs to municipalities, nonprofits and healthcare systems. Wisconsin has not raised taxes on beer sales since 1969. It is $2 per barrel, or about $ 0.01 per 12 oz bottle of beer, ranking at 48th lowest out of 50 states. This doesn't include our state's 5% sales tax... it is just a excise 'sin tax' to help offset the estimated $6.8 billion dollars that the state spends on the public's use of alcohol (incarceration, law enforcement, mental health treatment, crime, lost productivity, etc.).
Noosh, at 1437 Regent St., is opening Madison's second late night sober bar. They will serve food and nonalcoholic drinks until Midnight from Thursday to Saturday, according to a recent Cap Time article (link below). The first sober spot in recent history is Communication, at 2645 Milwaukee St., which describes itself as an all-ages music and art space.
A neighborhood meeting was held on Monday, June 17th at the Goodman Community Center to discuss a large (530 indoors and 280 outdoors) restaurant with typical bartime hours (Sunday through Friday, 6:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m., and Saturday, 6:00 a.m.-2:30 a.m) at Garver Feed Mill, 3241 Garver Green. Underground Foods, has applied to transfer their Class B Beer and Liquor licenses from 809 Williamson Street to the new location. The Alcohol License Review Committee will consider the application at its June 19 meeting.
You can share your comments with District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel at firstname.lastname@example.org and the ALRC by emailing Deputy City Clerk Jim Verbick and asking him to share your email with the committee (email before noon on Wednesday) JVerbick@cityofmadison.com.
The above text is abridged from an email sent to the neighborhood from Alder Rummel.
The City of Madison has dropped its opposition to Taco Bell Cantina's request for an alcohol license. The fast food chain will be allowed to sell alcohol in the coming days on State Street. The city council had failed last fall to override Mayor Soglin's veto which prevented the business from moving forward with acquiring an alcohol license. The matter then proceeded to court due to a lawsuit brought by Taco Bell against the city, which was supported by Judge Rhonda Lanford. It was subsequently due to be heard on appeal.
District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel has introduced legislation that would allow alcohol to be served on site, in addition to be sold for customers to take home.
Wisconsin Public Radio discusses high risk drinking; New Madison group combats littering, promotes drunkenness
As anyone who lives in Wisconsin knows, alcohol is common at most public events. Now there is a group calling itself "Drunk in Public Picking up Litter." What looks like a very good natured and well-intentioned people are now partnering with local taverns to pick up trash.
The event coincides with a new feature series on Wisconsin Public Radio entitled "High Tolerance: Wisconsin's Complicated Relationship with Alcohol."
Knowledge is power. Understanding the complexity of the harms related to alcohol use requires scientific and media literacy. This article (How Much Alcohol Can You Drink Safely? by Kim Tingley) in the New York Times published last week explains some of the complexities. My two cents on the issue are that we ought not only look at direct health impacts like cancer or heart disease, but we should be looking at broader public health impacts.
Who would have thunk it? Christopher Snowden has written several books about how government should get out of the business of regulating peoples' health. He is a hired spokesperson for the tobacco industry. I urge you to read this article about him in Forbes and then do a little research on your own.
Alder Marsha Rummel sent out a recent invite to take part in a, "neighborhood meeting where we will hear about a proposal to open Tapster, a self-pour tasting room, at 2000 Atwood Avenue, former location of Vault Interiors & Design. Tapster’s offerings would include beer, cider, wine, cocktails, kombucha, soda, juice, and cold brew coffee on tap, and they would have skee ball, a pool table and shuffleboard. They would not have a kitchen but would partner with neighboring restaurants to offer their food to Tapster’s customers. Proposed hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 5pm-12am; Friday, 4pm-2am; Saturday, 11am-2am; and Sunday, 11am-11pm. They are considering opening Monday-Thursday, 9am-5pm, as a co-working space. They would need a Class B Combination Liquor & Beer license, but they have not yet applied."
The public meeting was inconveniently timed - 7 pm on Wednesday, May 8th. Many neighborhood parents and relatives were attending an all school band concert at O'Keeffe Middle School and could not attend the neighborhood meeting. It is not clear if Tapster is the same outfit as this one in Chicago, but it seems likely.
A study conducted by researchers from Oxford University, Beijing University, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences have found that not only does moderate alcohol use not protect against stroke, it increased the risk. The study has been published in the British medical journal, the Lancet.
More information: www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/tl-tlm040319.php
About this blog
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a background in addictions counseling living in Madison, Wisconsin. I created this blog to raise awareness about drinking culture, alcohol outlet density, alcohol policy, alcohol dependence and risks.