Kansas Legislature mulls over bill to allow samples at liquor stores

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Should Kansas drinkers be able to try it before buying it?
  • Kabooski
  • Should Kansas drinkers be able to try it before buying it?
Liquor has always been a matter of taste. But for Kansas retail liquor stores, it's now all about tastings. The Kansas Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs heard testimony yesterday on a bill that would allow for beer, wine and spirits sampling inside Kansas retail liquor stores.

The portions for tasting would be restricted. Under the newly proposed law, patrons could try a half-ounce of spirits, 1 ounce of wine or 2 ounces of beer. Those in support of the bill suggest that the measure is similar to the farm winery license, which allows wineries to legally provide samples and sell wine on-site.

The Topeka Capital-Journal looked at the impetus for this bill, suggesting that last year's attempt by several liquor-store owners to get around the ban on sampling by holding tastings outside their shops was a regulation nightmare. As the paper explains, the Kansas Department of Revenue's Alcoholic Beverage Control issued a statement last August that offered an interpretation of the Kansas sampling ban:

ABC concluded no tastings would be authorized for party or smoke shops, parking lots, sidewalks or alleys adjacent to liquor store property. The zone of prohibition extended in front, behind, above, below and to sides of stores, officials said.

The state Senate committee is expected to vote on the bill next week. The Kansas Legislature is also considering a separate bill, proposed by a coalition of retailers known as Uncork Kansas, that would allow full-strength liquor, wine and beer to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

Should liquor stores be allowed to offer samples of beer, wine and spirits?

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