New Washington laws cover liquor samples, wine auctions, tasting rooms


Washington State recently adopted a host of changes to its alcohol laws, as reported by Jim Camden of The Spokesman-Review

"Customers sampling liquor at Washington craft distilleries can have their half shot with water or soda. Charities can auction wine to raise money. Craft distilleries can get a license to store their liquor in a warehouse.

Wineries can have twice as many tasting rooms, where they can sell growlers and kegs of their products as well as samples. Mead is officially defined in state law.

These and other changes are being made to the state’s liquor laws, which undergo yearly revisions to meet growing demand, changing consumer tastes and the movement away from state control of key aspects of the sale of and distribution of alcohol.

“The system is a legacy of prohibition,” said Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane. “The big jolt was the privatization of liquor in 2012. That has created an ongoing series of legislation as the state transitions.”

Washington enacted prohibition before the nation did, and when the national amendment was repealed, the state kept tight control of alcohol sales. Washington voters did away with that in 2012 by passing Initiative 1183, but the state still licenses businesses that make, distribute and sell alcoholic products through its Liquor and Cannabis Board..."

Read more here: