Fireball Maker Concerned About Lepage Plan to Ban ‘Nips’
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine-based maker of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is worried about Gov. Paul LePage's efforts to ban the sale of miniature alcohol bottles.
The Republican governor made good on his vow to ban "nips" after lawmakers overrode his veto of a bill imposing a 5-cent deposit to curtail littering. The state Liquor and Lottery Commission will hold a hearing on July 11 on the governor's request.
The director of the alcohol bureau says the state sold more than 8.4 million nips to agency liquor stores last year, and that sales have been growing 40 percent or more for five years.
Mark Brown, CEO of Lewiston-based Sazerac Co., which makes Fireball, warned of a "drastic impact." He says nips will soon make up 15 percent of the overall liquor sales in Maine.