Businesses Flow to Illinois to Avoid Wisconsin Beer Laws

Heartland Institute references Michelle Minton in an article discussing Prohibition Era regulations on restaurants and pubs.

Competitive Enterprise Institute Fellow Michelle Minton says the problem is caused by regulations crafted almost a century ago, when lawmakers intended to enforce their personal beliefs on the rest of the state.

“People believed that the reason for excessive drinking was the fact that breweries owned taverns and would push the bartenders to sell as much of their product as possible,” Minton said. “There’s no evidence this actually occurred, but when prohibition was repealed, all of the states passed laws to separate the producers of alcohol from consumers.

“They created distributors, also called wholesalers, who were the only ones legally able to buy beer from brewers or to sell beer to retailers,” Minton said. “This is what we call the three-tier system.”

Minton says Wisconsin’s beer laws are relics of a bygone era.