Tours, Tastings, and Retail Sales at Micro-Distilleries and Manufacturers | Senate Bill 619, Section 10 (Act No. 60)
Effective Date: May 17, 2021
Code Sections 61-6-1140 and 61-6-1150, concerning tours, tastings and retail sales at micro-distilleries and manufacturing facilities, have been amended to make the following changes:
Tours and Tastings. Code Section 61-6-1140 has been amended to provide that a micro-distillery or manufacturer of alcoholic liquor may not charge for alcoholic liquors consumed at a tasting, but may charge for the tour that is required in conjunction with the tasting. The amount charged for a tour must be on a scale that accords with the amount of alcoholic liquors for on-premises consumption that is dispensed to consumers, beginning with a base tour price that corresponds with a tasting of one ounce of alcoholic liquor and increases incrementally by one-half ounce. Liquor-by-the-drink excise tax is not assessed on the tour or the tasting of alcoholic liquors in conjunction with the tour. Additionally, the maximum amount of alcoholic liquors that may be dispensed in a tasting has been increased from three ounces to four and one-half ounces per customer per day. Previously, a micro-distillery or manufacturer was permitted to charge for alcoholic liquors consumed at a tasting and was required to collect and remit the liquor-by-the-drink excise tax.
Code Section 61-6-1150(10) has been amended for a licensed micro-distillery or manufacturer that does not have a restaurant operation to allow minors into a tasting area, provided that the minor is accompanied by an adult. Previously, minors were not allowed in a tasting area.
Micro-Distillery or Manufacturer with Restaurant Operations. Code Section 61-6-1140 has been amended to add subsection (9), which provides that a licensed micro-distillery or manufacturer that is to have an area physically partitioned so as to be bona fide engaged primarily and substantially in the preparation and serving of meals, (restaurant operation) as allowed by new Code Section 61-6-1155 (Act No. 60, Section 9), must comply with the discount pricing provisions of Code Section 61-6-4550, and may not dispense alcoholic liquors for free at a tasting. The prohibition against tastings occurring in conjunction with the service of food in a restaurant setting, which was previously contained in Code Section 61-6-1140(7), has been removed.
Specified provisions contained in Code Section 61-6-1150 are inapplicable to a micro-distillery or manufacturer with a restaurant operation. These provisions include:
- Sell of promotional items. Code Section 61-6-1150(7);
- Sell or storage of other merchandise in or from the room in which alcoholic liquors are sold or tasted. Code Section 61-6-1150(8);
- Sell of mixers. Code Section 61-6-1150(9); and
- Allowance of minors in the portion of the facility where tastings are occurring. Code Section 61-6-1150(10).
Retail Sales. Code Section 61-6-1150 has been amended to increase the maximum amount of alcoholic liquors that may be sold by a micro-distillery or manufacturer to a consumer for off-premises consumption from the equivalent of three 750 milliliter bottles per day to the equivalent of six 750 milliliter bottles per day.