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March 21, 2008 11:41 PM   Subscribe

Craft distillers just got a boost in Washington State. It's now legal* to sell "up to 2 liters of their goods per customer and serve 2 ounce tastings – the same rights as craft brew or winemakers."

The law has been brewing for a while, and is expected to have a significant effect on the local economy.

*HB 2959
posted by owhydididoit (23 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
OH MY FUCKING GOD
posted by dirigibleman at 11:56 PM on March 21, 2008


That's good news.
posted by wsg at 11:59 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ever since I spent time in Germany I’ve wanted to distill my own schnapps but with the way the laws worked here it wasn’t possible. If this goes through I’ll be picking up my license. Could be a fun way to get permanently out of IT.
posted by Tenuki at 12:22 AM on March 22, 2008


I thought part of the issue with home/craft/personal distilling was federal laws, does the acquisition of a state license get around those problems?
posted by pupdog at 1:03 AM on March 22, 2008


Looking forward to some nice spirits made from Microsoft employees.
posted by ryoshu at 2:27 AM on March 22, 2008


That's fantastic news. But is 2 oz. of distilled liquor a sample? I'd call it halfway under the table.
posted by ardgedee at 3:21 AM on March 22, 2008


Also: eponysterical.
posted by ardgedee at 3:22 AM on March 22, 2008


But is 2 oz. of distilled liquor a sample?

Well that's per person per day and you're only allowed to serve samples a half an ounce at a time. There were no such restrictions on the samples when I was traveling around the Black Forest visiting home distillers. They'd take us to their sample room, usually the basement, pull out the bottles and keep pouring until they were sure we'd sampled everything thoroughly. We'd buy a few bottles and head on to the next distiller.

It'll also be nice if this change helps put an end to state run liquor stores, blight that they are upon Washington.
posted by Tenuki at 4:15 AM on March 22, 2008


ATF FAQ here, from the comments in this article.

So according to the ATF FAQ, it's a question of paying taxes, right? Production is okay as long as you get a license and pay the govt?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:43 AM on March 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, this is AWESOME. I hope this catches on in more states.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:25 AM on March 22, 2008


Liberal liquor laws? Is this something I would need to live in a state other than Pennsylvania to understand?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:40 AM on March 22, 2008


There is also a bill in congress to legalize home distilling (the same way homebrewing beer and wine is legal). Too bad it's stuck in the House Ways and Means committee.
posted by revgeorge at 8:02 AM on March 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huzzah!
Me and my hangover are both very happy to read about this. Here in Michigan we have a time-honored tradition of hand-crafted, delicious homebrew sweetsap whiskey ORGANIC BIOFUELS and soon we may be able to share this wonderful product with the rest of the world!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:07 AM on March 22, 2008


It'll also be nice if this change helps put an end to state run liquor stores, blight that they are upon Washington.

That's apparently expected to some extent. My guess is there will be room in the market for both.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:51 AM on March 22, 2008


Remind me again, why are state run liquor stores a blight upon Washington?
posted by faceonmars at 10:57 AM on March 22, 2008


in your face, Alexander Hamilton!

This is interesting stuff, at least for people interested in craft brewing or making their own entertainment. I grew up near Franklin County, VA - a locale that claims to be the Moonshine Capital of the US. Wondering if a similar law there would prompt folks to seek legal status or not.
posted by dubold at 1:24 PM on March 22, 2008


State run liquor stores? Really? It sounds so....East Germany circa 1959. I had no idea there was such an animal as a state run liquor store.
posted by dejah420 at 3:46 PM on March 22, 2008


State run liquor stores? Really? It sounds so....East Germany circa 1959. I had no idea there was such an animal as a state run liquor store.

The Washington stores were always kind of odd, and expensive.

The Oregon stores were actually rather inexpensive, and you could often get things like, oh, whipped cream cartridges and a variety of "smoke shop" type items at them. One stop party shopping, for sure, but still very odd.
posted by loquacious at 4:43 PM on March 22, 2008


State run liquor stores? Really? It sounds so....East Germany circa 1959.

They have them in Alabama, too, where I used to live. There they also have "package stores" which are privately owned liquor stores. But they don't have little stills here and there selling liters of this and that.

It's not that there aren't any benefits to state-run liquor stores, it's just nice that there will be variety.
posted by owhydididoit at 5:37 PM on March 22, 2008


Remind me again, why are state run liquor stores a blight upon Washington?

They're also a blight upon Oregon. The OLCC decides what liquor's gonna be sold, imports it, warehouses it, and distributes it to (the relatively few) liquor stores across the land. It's a blight because it dampens market forces and leads to a certain boring sameness in the spirits which are available to Oregonians.

Say I have a hankerin' for something a bit unusual to get mixological with, like an oude jenever (just say)... in Oregon I'm SOL, because it's not on the list. Not just a brand, mind, but an entire style of liquor. Can't get it. It's me vs. the State, and you know how much the troubles of one little guy amount to. That's right: not even a hill of beans.

In a less centralized market I could inform my local liquor store owner of my desire, and she might feel that it was to her advantage to stock such an item. Maybe because I'm a good customer, or because she likes me, or because she thinks I'm a trendsetter and am pointing the way to a revival of interest in 19th century style oily Dutch gins. She has the flexibility to respond to on-the-spot, small-scale demand, and the commensurate potential to profit from that responsiveness. In our state-run system that's far from the case, and we must resort to hunting down unusual liquors when traveling. Prohibitions against liquids in carryon luggage have made this practice even more troublesome of late. Woe! Oh Woe! Sans fenny, sans Swedish punsch, sans everything.
posted by mumkin at 12:25 AM on March 23, 2008


revgeorge, that is really cool, if ironic.
posted by owhydididoit at 1:39 PM on March 23, 2008


State run liquor stores? Really? It sounds so....East Germany circa 1959. I had no idea there was such an animal as a state run liquor store.

Standard in Canada too, still, at least for the hard stuff, as far as I know, although beer and wine stores started appearing in the 1980's.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:58 AM on April 10, 2008


Related AskMe.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:45 AM on April 11, 2008


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