Napa Valley Distillery Posted September 15, 2010 Share Posted September 15, 2010 California legislature recently passed AB605. A copy of the bill is available here. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_605&sess=CUR&house=B&author=portantino The bill, if passed into law, will essentially allow distilled spirits to be tasted in an approved and licensed off-premise location. I had a lengthy conversation with the Santa Rosa ABC about this bill and basically here it is. If you hold a non-retail license in California, which all distillers do, you will be able to conduct tastings at a liquor store ONLY if the liquor store holds the new "tastings" license. We as distillers do nothing. Getting licensed is up to the retailer, which still has to go through investigation and approval for said permit. Once approved for the permit, the retailer cannot do any sort of tastings unless the tastings are conducted by the holder of a non-retail/manufacturing license, such as a distillery or distributor. If I am misreading this bill, I would appreciate any feedback from the members here. While its seems like pretty good news for craft distillers, unless Im interpreting this bill incorrectly, I think this bill, if passed into law, would really be beneficial for big brand owners and distributors - especially the big ones that represent dozens of brands and can now offer tastings of all those brands at your local BevMo for instance. As you know, these distributors have representatives all over the state and it would be very easy for them to promote and conduct these "tastings" all over the place. Perhaps this is a little premature to bring up, but if this bill does pass into law, how's about some of us small distillers/rectifiers/distributors in California get together and start something called a "craft distiller tasting tour" which we conduct at various high end stores who hold the tastings license? Might be a good way to combat Big Booze who will no doubt be offering Grey Goose, Bacardi and Johnny Walker tastings all over the state. Let me know if anyone is interested. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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