Grocery wine and beer tasting bill in committee this week

Legislation authorizing wine and beer tastings inside grocery stores that have off-premises consumption licenses and at least $2 million in total annual sales is scheduled for discussion Wednesday, Feb. 22, in both House and Senate committees.

HB134 by Rep. David Faulkner, R-Birmingham, is one of several alcohol-related bills scheduled to have a public hearing before the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee. HB47 would allow alcohol sales for certain properties partially in both a wet and a dry county; while HB57 would allow Sundays sales at resort properties that meet certain conditions.

SB5 by Sen. J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, the Senate companion to HB134, will be before the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 22, as well.

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Administrative Code was updated Nov. 27, 2016, related to wine tastings (see 20-X-7-.07 in link above). It allows tastings for those with on-premises table wine, special events retail and special retail licensees, among others, which already allows tastings in some grocery stores under certain conditions. According to the most recent rule, the wine tasting area must be “in a designated area, so as to separate the event from any point-of-sales of alcoholic beverages. Tastings shall not be conducted on a patio, or parking area that is outside the licensed premises.”

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