Boozy battle as drinkers hit the price floor
Best to get the ultra-cheap cider in soon - if that's your preference - before the Scottish Government pushes its price northwards.
Publication of its minimum pricing draft legislation is imminent, and a long consultation has done nothing to placate the drinks industry.
There's a big political battle to come on this one.
The Scottish Government's case for putting a floor on alcohol is that it responds to the requirements of improved health, long-term NHS costs, and the price in crime and disorder of too many people drinking too much too fast.
It seems there's more being added. A ban on advertising, at least in print, and sponsorship - from football and rugby shirts and across much of Scottish culture - could be a power taken under the Scottish government's wing, if it can stitch together a Holyrood majority.
The stakes are high. Alcohol is reckoned to cost the health service £3 billion for illness and injury. Only smoking and high blood pressure do more damage. Add to that £7 billion or so of loss to the economy from lowered productivity.
It's a policy which recently had a bit of evidence attached to it, courtesy of Sheffield University, supporting a minimum price of around 40 pence per unit.
But that's contested, and without convincing evidence on either side, there are plenty assertions coming from the industry that minimum pricing will hurt, and it will hurt Scotch whisky in particular.
That has the ring of a vested interest at work. And a formidably well-focussed lobby it is, fronting the campaign for the industry more widely, as it has huge clout in exports and as an icon of Scotland.
But then, being a powerful vested interest could be the reason ministers are ignoring loud protests from the big distillers.
It's pointed out that few whiskies would be affected by a floor on cheap drink: whisky specialises in premium priced products.
It's also pointed out that those raising prices to a minimum level will enjoy windfall profits, so business ought to welcome this opportunity.
But it's countered from drink producers that they don't expect to see any such windfall - that is much more likely to go to retailers. And the different interests between producers and retailers (notably the big supermarkets) have created confusion around the attempt by business to show it is taking the responsible drinking message seriously.
Drink manufacturers and the on-trade are clearly frustrated that retail is not, as they see it, pulling its weight in this campaign.
Indeed, drink producers are willing to see alcohol prices rise, but they would prefer a requirement that no retailer could price either below invoice cost or below tax - that is, a ban on the attraction of customers by loss leading.
They profoundly disagree with minimum pricing. Why? There's the domestic arguments, such as cross-border leakage, of cheap booze trucked north of the Cheviots. A floor on pricing won't do anything to tackle the rapid growth in risky levels of drinking by more prosperous people: not even the notorious Buckfast caffeine-loaded tonic wine will be affected.
And some producers are concerned that raising the price of cheap drinks towards the level of premium-priced alcohol distorts the market unfairly, stacking it against the more responsible premium marketing strategy.
Then there's the export argument, which is the one that really matters to Scotch whisky. It exports around 90% of its output, and fights a constant battle to break down trade barriers.
The rewards of having done so are considerable, and the rewards of continuing to do so - in India, for instance - could be awesome.
To impose a floor on minimum pricing, the Scottish government would have to use a public health exemption from international trade agreements.
That's possible, but not easy to use, and it's open to legal challenge. If successful, the whisky industry's argument is that foreign governments, under pressure from their domestic drinks industries, will use that as an excuse to put up their own tax barriers.
And in countries such as South Korea, they could use the health argument to differentiate between higher tax on high alcohol content (Scotch whisky) and lower tax on less unhealthy, lower alcohol content (the local distillation).
There doesn't seem much room for manoeuvre from the Scottish government. It could be proposing the advertising and sponsorship ban as a bargaining chip, giving it something it can later negotiate away.
But the minimum price proposal looks increasingly like a policy on which it is digging in its heels - designed to show it is serious about public health and street disorder, no matter how much it alienates the alcohol business.
If a smoking ban was a risky policy that became a badge of pride for Jack McConnell's administration, so too, the SNP could cite this achievement in reclaiming the streets.
Note also that after the battle with Diageo over the bottling plant closure in Kilmarnock, there's bad feeling between these two sides. A suggestion that the government could bury its differences over Kilmarnock in exchange for some help over minimum pricing did not get far.
The impasse between ministers and industry could be resolved by parliamentary arithmetic, in that ministers don't command a majority.
Don't be surprised if an opposition amendment seeks to replace minimum pricing with the proposal to limit prices to no less than invoice cost.
Could that swing this debate? Not if the Licensing Act, as recently introduced, is any guide.
In preparation, it was subject to extensive consultation and gathering of evidence. Passed in 2005, it showed how MSPs can consider the evidence and listen to voices, and then throw all that overboard when it comes to a race, at the final stage of legislation, to see which party can be toughest on aggressive binge drinking.