Growing Craft Distilling Industry
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
The craft distilling industry is growing by leaps and bounds here in Washington and Senate Bill 6226, which addresses craft and general licensed distilleries sales of spirits for off-premise consumption and spirits samples for on-premise consumption, passed the Senate by a broad bipartisan margin of 41 to 6 . State Senator Janea Holmquist Newbry, who co-authored Senate Bill 6226, says the state's craft distilling industry has tremendous potential for growth, and that this bill would give craft and general distillers many of the same tools to help them grow their businesses and create jobs that are already enjoyed by state wineries and breweries.
HOLMQUIST: In addition to allowing free samples the bill would let a craft distillery serve 1/2 ounce samples of its own product for a charge. It would permit a distillery to sell spirits it produces for consumption off the premises, and special occasion licensees would also let customers pay for spirits immediately after a special occasion event. This industry deserves our support. The Walla Walla Distilling Company, the Ellensburg Distillery, Dry Fly Distillery in Spokane, and Blue Flame Spirits in Prosser are just a few of the small but growing employers that are doing their part to revive our state economy, highlight our agricultural products and provide much needed jobs.
In 2007 there were only two distilleries in Washington working under federal license. Currently there are eighty-three craft distillers in Washington - more than in any other state. Senate Bill 6226 is in the House awaiting action at the Committee level.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.