Consumers would be the first losers. Favorite beers, wines and spirits – big and small – could be excluded from aisles, tap lines, refrigerated spaces or entire stores altogether.
Increasingly, money would undermine merit-based shelf and tap access. Exclusive agreements and inducements would give retailers incentives to hit volume targets, nudging up consumption. Absentee-manufacturers calling shots at the retail level become more likely to disregard contemporary community standards and norms. Precisely the practice tied-house protections are designed to prevent.
Wide market access and consumer choice in this industry is because of Iowa’s three-tier system and its tied-house protections, not despite them. Let’s maintain Iowa’s free houses and keep the tied house a pre-Prohibition relic.