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New Laws Loosen California Alcohol Tasting Rules

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Our “New Laws” series continues with a look at two measures that loosen restrictions on alcohol tastings in California.

It’s easy to find tasting events at breweries and wineries. Even liquor distilleries are offering them thanks to new state law from a year ago.

But there haven’t been many tastings at grocery stores, bars or restaurants – because the state hasn’t allowed alcohol suppliers to let anyone know about these events … until now.

“Now, as long as we’re very bare-bones about it – just basically saying where and when – we can let people know where we’ll be available for educational tastings – hopefully somewhere near them,” says Lance Winters, who runs a liquor distillery in Alameda. “Being able to do tastings like this – this is the best tool that we have available in our arsenal to be able to get people to buy more of these California-made products.”

Winters says Californians will likely see more of these tastings as a result.

Also taking effect this January 1st: a law allowing underage college students taking beer and wine courses to taste the products – though not swallow them.