It is frustrating when I find a product I want to write about only to learn it is only available in New York or one other metro area. I feel guilty writing about it because it's not practical for most consumers to try the product.
On the other hand, when I clearly state where something is available, people won't go into their local liquor mart looking for something that is nowhere in the state, and if they really want to try it they can seek it out online. Disclosure is key.
But often, the availability or lack thereof is not clearly written in a product's press materials, or not clearly stated on the product's website. Or worse, they just announce plans to roll it out it several states this season, then never update the website to say if that actually happened.
The point of this is to say I hope that brands get a little better at this, and that one spirits company is doing it right. Proximo Spirits, which sells 1800 Tequila, Gran Centenario Tequila, Maestro Dobel Tequila, Three Olives Vodka, and Ron Matusalem, now has a store locator with interactive Google maps. It returns the name, address, and phone number of each store and bar where you can find the products.
There will be an iPhone application and locators rolled out on the rest of the brands' websites, but for now those things are just plans. Here's to hoping for follow-through.