Kentucky distilleries, breweries and wineries are often competitors when it comes to fighting for room on a retail shelve or wanting first billing on a local restaurants menu but when it comes to tourism they all agree, they want to create the best customer experience possible. Many of their efforts to create a great customer experience are hindered by laws dating back to the 1930’s Prohibition era. In an attempt to address some of these issues the Kentucky Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee has voted to pass Senate Bill 11. If the bill becomes law it could open up many new opportunities for the state’s growing alcohol industries.
Highlights of Kentucky Senate Bill 11
- Increase the number of liters that can be sold at a distillery from 3 to 9 liters (a case) per day in wet counties.
- Allow the sale of distilled spirits by the drink at distilleries in wet counties or in counties where limited sales have been authorized for distilleries.
- Increase the sample size from 1.00 ounce to 1.75 ounces per visitor per day.
- Allow local option election for the sale of alcoholic beverages at a distillery in a dry (a) or moist (b) county.
- Increase the number of barrels produced at a microbrewery in one year from 25,000 to 50,000.
- Allow the sale of malt beverages produced at microbreweries at fairs and festivals in wet counties.
- Increase the number of gallons a winery can produce from 50,000 to 100,000 per year.
- Allow a winery to produce up to 1,000 gallons of brandy per year.
- Allow for a limited sale precinct election for the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday at a small farm winery located in a wet or moist counties.
- Creates a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license to enable charitable organizations to sell alcoholic beverages by auction or raffle.
- Allows a license for by the drink sales at bed and breakfast facilities and distilleries.
- Authorizes by the drink sales while riding a commercial quadricycle. (c) Photo below.
- Outlaw the possession and sale of powdered or crystalline alcohol.
- Employees of distillers, rectifiers, and wineries may sample the products produced by that manufacturer for purposes of education, quality control, and product development. (Can I be an employee for a day? How do they do this now? Are they law breakers when they are testing product quality?)
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One of the state’s largest distilleries offered a differing view. Jason Underwood, a lobbyist for Sazerac, owner of Buffalo Trace Distillery, Barton Brands, Pappy Van Winkle and others, expressed concerns about the proposal. He told committee members that increasing the sample size may take away from the family atmosphere at the distillery and increasing on premise sales from 3 to 9 liters could potentially hurt small mom and pop retailers. Incidentally, Sazerac although one of the largest distilleries in the state of Kentucky is not a member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association trade group.
Jason Underwood, Lobbyist for Sazerac
Kevin Smith, Vice president of Kentucky Beam Bourbon Affairs
Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a thriving $3 billion economic engine that generates more than 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll topping $700 million and pours $166 million into state and local coffers each year.
The bill is expected to go to the senate floor later this week.
“Dry” means a county or territory in which a majority of the electorate voted to prohibit all forms of retail alcohol sales through a local option election held under KRS Chapter 242.
“Moist” means a county or territory in which a majority of the electorate voted to permit limited alcohol sales by any one (1) or a combination of special limited local option elections authorized by KRS 242.022, 242.123, 242.1238, 242.124, 242.1242, 242.1244, or 242.1292. For example, you could be in a dry county that voted to let a local restaurant sell alcohol.
C. What on Earth is a Quadricycle?
“Commercial quadricycle” means a vehicle equipped with a minimum of ten (10) pairs of fully operative pedals for propulsion by means of human muscular power exclusively and which:
- Has four (4) wheels
- Is operated in a manner similar to that of a bicycle
- Is equipped with a minimum of thirteen (13) seats for passengers
- Has a unibody design
- Is equipped with a minimum of four (4) hydraulically operated brakes
- Is used for commercial tour purposes; and
- Is operated by the vehicle owner or an employee of the owner