Ohio Tweaks Law to Allow Micro Distillers to Sell Directly to Bars

What would be routine in nearly any other industry constitutes a significant breakthrough when it comes booze. Ohio has reformed its liquor laws to allow micro distilleries in the state to sell their spirits directly to bars and restaurants, rather than being forced to work through the state-run wholesaling system. The Toledo Blade reports on the change:

It soon might become easier for Ohio’s micro distilleries to get their vodkas, gins and whiskeys on barroom shelves thanks to a change in state rules that will allow small-time distillers to sell products directly to pubs and restaurants.

That may not sound groundbreaking, but the process to get booze in the hands of a bartender is so ponderous that many producers didn’t even bother trying.

Under the Ohio’s strict liquor control rules, all distillers — no matter if they make 100 bottles a year or 100 bottles a minute — first had to ship their products to one of two state warehouses. The warehouse would send the bottles to a state liquor agency, where restaurateurs then could buy it wholesale.

'If we have a micro distillery in Cincinnati, they would have to deliver product to the Columbus warehouse just to have it come back to the Cincinnati market,' said Kerry Francis, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Commerce. 'This will eliminate that step.'..."

Read the rest here.