I went to the packie (that's what we call a liquor store here in CT - package store)... anyway, I went there to get a great domestic pilsner. Something nice and light with a firm hop bite to it. I figured that Victory Prima Pils would be the way to go. Thier IPA's such as Hop Devil and Hop Whallop were always very pleasing to me, so their other stuff must be good too. Plus then I could pick up a pack of Golden Monkey, their Belgian Trippel.
Shocked to find that Cask 'n' Keg in Mystic no longer had Victory beers. The knowledgable beer guy working there told me that it was a distributor thing. The old Victory distributor was primarily a spirits distributor and they decided to stop carrying beer. So now we can't get Victory here until I guess victory needs to ink a deal with another distributor.
This is just more BS about the three-tier system. It is allegedly to protect consumers from underage drinking, but it is more to entrench the most powerful breweries. Since Victory is not allowed to have more than one distributor in this state, they're screwed when their distributor cuts them off. But Victory is not allowed to cut off the distributor. It is one-sided! Also, look at it this way: most folks see the distributors as either "an A-B house" or a "Miller and Coors house". That's it. No mention of any real beers that the distributor carries.
I don't know if the solution is self-distribution, or just a LOT more freedom in the way breweries, at least small ones, work with distributors. I saw something somewhere on beertown.org about laws where a brewery that was less than 5% of a distributor's sales could cut the ties to the distributor whenever they want. Sounds fair to me. A lot more fair than the way it is now.