Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Local News


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Go to the politics section for more local and national politics coverage.

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 7, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Beer and wine tastings proposed at farmers markets

Posted by Joanna Nolasco

Following in the steps of grocery stores, farmers markets may soon be allowed to offer wine and beer samples to customers.

Proposed by state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, Senate Bill 5029 would authorize a pilot program for limited wine and beer tasting at farmers markets.

Kohl-Welles, who chairs the Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, proposed the program in the previous legislative session, but it failed to reach a vote on the Senate floor.

"We have a longer amount of time to get ... bills through and I believe it would be very helpful to our farmers markets, which I strongly support and are growing across the state of Washington,” she said. "...And I think particularly for our small wineries and small craft breweries, they have a harder time marketing to the public. … This gives our potential customers the opportunity to taste the product."

In its current form, the bill directs the liquor control board choose 10 farmers markets for the pilot project, which would run from July 2011 to September 2012. Only one winery or microbrewery could offer samples at a market per day, customers would have to stay in a designated tasting location, and food would be available to customers as they drink their samples of two ounces or less.

"By doing it in this pilot program ... we can show that it’s very controlled,” said Martin Clubb, president of the Washington Wine Institute, which supports the bill.

During the 2010 legislative session, representatives from the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, Washington State Farmers Market Association and Rockridge Farms testified in support of the proposal.

Representatives from the Washington Association for Substance Abuse Prevention testified against it, concerned of “the unintended effect this would have on children by demonstrating the relatively casual use of alcohol.”

The proposal is modeled after a pilot project for wine and beer tasting in grocery stores, which was approved in 2008. In 2010, the Legislature expanded the project, allowing all licensed grocery stores to apply for an endorsement to offer wine and beer samples. As of December, 195 groceries in Washington were authorized to provide wine and beer samples.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

Recent entries

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Browse the archives

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

Contributors

Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.