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Here’s what the WA Brewers Guild is working on in Olympia and how you can help

 

More beer, more dogs, more wine, and less red tape

The Washington Brewers Guild has been working busily this legislative season down in Olympia. The non-profit organization, which works to promote and protect the interests of Washington’s craft brewers, reports that its current legislative efforts are alive and moving forward. This is a short legislative session, just 60 days, so keeping things alive and moving forward is critical. Yesterday was the deadline for bills to get passed out of their house of origin and that happened to all of the bills the Guild is working on.

Here’s what are they working on and how you can help. Three bills, primarily, all of which are of interest to brewers and consumers alike.

HB 2412 – Two Additional Retail Locations & Dogs in Breweries — First up, this would increase the number of additional retail licenses (beer/wine restaurant licenses or tavern license) available to breweries from two to four. Breweries would be allowed to have more “satellite taprooms,” basically. AND this would include rules allowing brewery taprooms to allow dogs. Currently, the rules about “dogs in taprooms” are regulated, inequitably, by each county. This would create a statewide, blanket rule allowing dogs in brewery taprooms. Of course, it does not require brewery owners to allow dogs in their taprooms, it simply states: “Nothing prohibits the owner of a licensed domestic brewery from allowing dogs on the premises of a retail liquor license location held by the domestic brewery under subsection (4) of this section.”

HB 2412 was voted out of the House of Representatives on February 18th by a vote of 84-12, was sent to the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee and is awaiting hearing. Thank you, Representative Monica Stonier, Vancouver, for sponsoring the bill.

SB 5006 – Wine and Beer By the Single Serving for Breweries & Wineries — Creates an endorsement available to wineries and breweries for limited wine/beer sales. The endorsement would allow a brewery to sell wine produced in Washington by the glass for on-premises consumption. It would also allow wineries to sell beer produced in Washington by the single serving for on-premise consumption. Wine and beer offerings are limited to three selections. As it is, if a brewery wants to serve wine in its taproom, it needs to get a certain type of license, and that license may impact other aspects of the business, like whether they can allow kids in the taproom. This would allow Washington breweries to serve Washington wine in their taprooms without the licensing headaches.

SB 5006 was voted out of the Senate on January 24th by a vote of 44-0. It is scheduled for a hearing in the House Commerce & Gaming Committee on 2/20. Thank you, Senator Dean Takko, Longview, for sponsoring the bill.

HB 2319 – Eliminating Keg Registrations — This bill would essentially change the way you have to register a keg when you buy/sell it. You know, the silly yellow sticker that goes on the keg? That would be gone, replaced by a new, smarter registration method in the form of a “declaration of purchase” that the buyer signs and must maintain while in possession of the keg. It simplifies the process while maintaining the controls the LCB wants.

HB 2319 was voted out of the House of Representatives on February 18th by a vote of 89-8, sent to the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee and is awaiting hearing. Thank you, Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, West Seattle, for sponsoring the bill.

Contacting Your Legislators

Now would be a great time to thank your legislators for voting in favor of HB 2319, HB 2412 and SB 5006.

Here’s how to contact your legislators:

To find your legislator, visit: https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder

To see how your legislators voted, click on the following links and under “Bill History” click on “view roll call”:

Send them a quick email, simply thanking them for voting for the bills listed above and supporting Washington Beer. It’s that easy and a little contact and recognition for your legislators’ efforts goes a long way!

Here’s a link to all legislators email addresses: https://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx