Package Stores Protest Proposal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds of package store owners were back at the Capitol. They're concerned a new proposal to change the way liquor is priced would force them to go out of business.

    Adam von Gootkin opened Onyx Spirits last year because he saw a need for locally made liquor.
    "We launched because there was a lack of Connecticut made spirits," von Gootkin said.
    He says that current laws allowed him to get his popular moonshine into package stores, one bottle at a time.
    "The minimum bottle pricing law that's in effect allowed us to sell bottles by themselves," von Gootkin said.
    He's against a proposal by Governor Dannel Malloy which would change the way liquor is priced.
    "It sets the minimum price using a more reasonable logical criteria, the actual cost paid, rather than an arbitrary one paid by wholesalers," William Rubenstein, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner, said.
    The plan would make liquor prices more competetive with neighboring states, Rubenstein told the General Law Committee on Tuesday.
    Package stores and small distilleries argue that they will be squeezed out. They're afraid they won't be able to compete with larger chains.
    "If bottle pricing goes to minimum bottle, the large well-funded national chains will easily be able to price everyone out of the business," Doug Rankin, a business owner, said.