Washington Distilleries Will Likely Be Able to Offer Samples This Summer!
Senate Bill 6226 went to the governor for signature on March 12th. The governor has not yet taken any action on the bill. If no action is taken, it is considered approved and moves forward. The governor has until April 5th to take action. Given the large amount of support for this bill on both sides of the aisle, it is not anticipated that it will be vetoed. Assuming no veto, the bill would become law on June 12th.
The key elements of the bill are as follows:
- Increases the annual spirits production limit for craft distillers from 60,000 gallons to 150,000 gallons.
- Eliminates the three liter per day per person limit on the sale of spirits by a craft distiller for off-premises consumption.
- Authorizes a craft distillery to charge customers a fee for spirits samples of 1/2 ounce or less served to them on premises, but does not require such a charge.
- Authorizes any licensed distillery to:
- sell spirits of its own production for consumption off the premises;
- contract with, and sell spirits to other licensed distillers and manufacturers; and
- provide for free, or for a charge, spirits samples of 1/2 ounce or less to customers on the premises, subject to a daily maximum of two ounces per person per day.
- Samples will likely be restricted to unaltered samples by rule–no mixed samples.
- Samples must be provided by someone with a current, valid MAST permit.
- Authorizes special occasion licensees to pay for spirits immediately following a special occasion event.
- Authorizes a special occasion licensee to charge reasonable booth fees to a distillery participating in the event.
You can monitor the progress of the bill here.