Omnibus alcohol bill to strengthen industries and increase tourism passes House committee

The House Licensing and Occupation Committee passed Senate Bill 11 Thursday, the omnibus alcohol legislation making changes to the state’s hospitality industry, taking an important step for the state’s signature industry to leverage the Bourbon boom and level the playing field with beer and wine.

The House committee passed an amended version of the bill which kept many of the provisions, stripped others and added some new language.

The legislation will allow distilleries to sell by-the-drink, which allows for the sale of cocktails and helps sell the product by providing a more enjoyable experience for the customer.

It also raised the limit for bottle sales for distilleries to 4.5 liters a day, up from the current 3 liters.

Other provisions in the bill include an increased sample size at distilleries, authorization of by-the-drink consumption while riding a commercial quadricycle like Thirsty Pedaler, and a ban on powder and crystal forms of alcohol.

Changes to the classifications of wet and dry counties in the state are also included in the House committee substitute which added language to allow a city of any size to determine it’s wet or dry status.  This would be independent of its county’s status and keeps a provision allowing a vote to allow the sale of alcohol at a distillery that is located in a dry county—allowing it to make the change without forcing the whole county to go wet.

New provisions for microbreweries and small farm wineries are also included as the bill which allows the increase of production limits for each.

The Kentucky Chamber is supportive of Senate Bill 11 and has been advocating for its passage.

The bill was passed in committee unanimously and has been placed on consent.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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