New California Bill Would Make Life Easier on Craft Distillers

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Under California law, craft distillers face restrictions on being able to sell their products directly to on-site customers. According to SF Weekly, a new bill seeks to fix this problem:

A whole lot of legislation pours out of Sacramento in the final days of August, and one bill takes a shot at the very curious regulations that cover California’s small-batch, craft spirit distilleries. Alcohol and spirit distillers like Alameda’s St. George Spirits and Menlo Park’s Rocket Vodka are treated much differently than wineries, beer breweries, and large-scale liquor producers.

In a bizarre legal stipulation, distilleries can only sell you their craft liquors if they have a tasting room, and after you’ve already participated in a tasting. If the craft distillery does not have a tasting room, they cannot sell you booze at all, and must rely on their distributor for sales.

State senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) is on the verge of changing that, with a bill that just passed both houses of the California legislature on its next-to-last day of eligibility for the year. Skinner’s SB 1164, nicknamed the“Craft Distiller Op-pour-tunity” Act, would allow all 82 of California’s craft distillers to sell directly to consumers even if they do not have a tasting room...

Read the rest here.