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Essay on Sound Alcohol Beverage Control Policies Wins First Place in Center for Alcohol Policy’s Ninth Annual Essay Contest

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy is pleased to announce that Anna Brawley, a senior associate at Agnew::Beck Consulting, is the winner of its Ninth Annual Essay Contest. The national essay contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation.

The 2016 essay contest addressed the question:

The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition and put control over alcohol regulation directly in the hands of the states. Though each state’s alcohol control policies are unique, they all include distinct regulations for different types of alcohol. Why are various types of alcohol regulated in different ways? Should they be?

Center for Alcohol Policy Advisory Council member and Samford University Cumberland School of Law Professor Brannon Denning said, “We can learn a lot from our nation’s history with alcohol, especially looking at the societal problems that led to national Prohibition and the public policy initiatives that were put in place following the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition and began today’s system of state-based alcohol regulation.”

Brawley’s winning essay, “Deconstructing the Drink Menu: A History of Alcoholic Beverages and Proposed Policy Framework,” outlines what is and should be considered when developing sound alcohol beverage control policies. “It remains true that distilled spirits, per ounce, are the most potent choice, and limiting access to these products relative to other, less-potent options is sound policy. It is equally true, however, that the goals of reducing overconsumption, preventing youth access, and reducing the harmful consequences of consumption can only be met through thoughtful regulation of all alcoholic beverages,” Brawley’s essay states.

Brawley concludes, “Legislation and policies with such broad reach and cumulative significance for the general public, business interests in the alcohol industry, local governments and enforcement professionals, and other impacted groups must be designed with minimal burden and therefore maximum chance of compliance. A policy framework differentiating between different types of alcohol should therefore meet the following criteria: to be rational, equitable and practical.”

Rebecca Strazds, a commercial banker specializing in beverage finance, was awarded second place for her essay, “Localities, Licenses, and Loopholes: An Analysis of Variances in Alcohol Regulation and their Continued Effectiveness in Modern Industry,” which explains the modern-day benefits of alcohol control policies in light of the issues leading up to Prohibition. Strazds’ essay concludes, “The evidence is clear: alcohol should continue to be regulated the way it is today, both with regards to localization and category discretion.”

The winning entrants received prizes of $2,500, $1,250 and $500 respectively.

To read the winning essays, please visit

Photo Downloads:

Anna Brawley – First Place

Rebecca Strazds – Second Place

David King – Third Place


The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c(3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption. For more information, visit or follow the Center on Twitter at

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Center for Alcohol Policy
277 S. Washington Street Suite 500-A Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 519-3090