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Brown signs law to let distilleries sell tastings

By Josh Richman
Thursday, September 26th, 2013 at 2:44 pm in Assembly, Jerry Brown, Nancy Skinner.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Thursday that grants distilled spirits and brandy manufacturers the right to charge customers for tastings on their premises, just as wineries do.

St. George Single Malt WhiskeyNo, this is not the most important legislation on his desk. But I like whiskey, so I’m writing about it anyway.

AB 933 was carried by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and was sponsored by the California Artisanal Distillers Guild; the Assembly and state Senate both passed the bill unanimously.

Skinner contended tastings are a traditional, responsible way for adults to sample alcohol in modest quantities and learn more about how the tipples are made. California distilleries already were allowed to offer free tastings, but couldn’t charge for those tastings to offset the costs of hiring staff.

Northern California is home to several distilleries, including St. George Spirits in Alameda, Charbay in St. Helena, Falcon Spirits in Richmond, Old World Spirits in Belmont, and – coming soon – Russell City Distillery in Hayward.

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  • Sean Maher

    Adding to the list:

    Anchor Distilling Company (same folks who make Anchor Steam) in San Francisco.

  • Cris

    Look for Dry Diggings Distillery in El Dorado County to open a tasting room soon also…

  • RRSenileColumnist

    When is Skinner gonna break out the booze? Let’s party in Berkeley!