Distillers in Washington State to Benefit From New Bill

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A new law allows distillers in Washington State to provide better samples, host events and sell products in more venues
Fickr/Dan Ox

Washington State is providing distillers new opportunities to market and sell their spirits with the new law.  

When Senate Bill 5353 passed in Washington State earlier this month, distilleries around the state celebrated the opportunities the bill would bring them.

“Passing this bill helps solidify Washington’s place as the number one state in the nation for craft distilleries,” Washington Senator Jan Angel told us through a rep. “We have some amazing local distilleries and this would help create more connection between customers and small businesses.”

The new law allows distilleries to promote events at their facilities on social media, sell their spirits at approved farmers markets, and adulterate (adding mixer to create a small cocktail) samples of their product, along with a few other perks, said Standstill Distillery Owner, John Bourdon.

The most advantageous aspect of the law is the ability to adulterate samples, explained Ben Capdevielle, owner & distiller Captive Spirits. Prior to the new law, a sample had to be served straight.

This hurt the distilleries because many potential customers wouldn’t drink the spirit while at home straight, which made it difficult to appreciate the sample. Now, distillers may offer to create a cocktail to sample so customers can try the spirit as they often would at home.

“It helps level the playing field for spirits,” said Capdevielle. “When you sample beer or wine you’re trying it the same way you would at home. Now, distillers can offer that same experience with our samples.”

Along with this, the ability to publicize events on social media and have products sold in farmers markets will help grow the distilleries popularity and consumer base, said Bourdon. 

All of these factors should continue to spur the growth of spirits in Washington State which is the ultimate goal of the bill. 

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