Auburn store one of 30 selected for spirits tasting pilot
By ROBERT WHALE
Auburn Reporter News reporter
August 26, 2011 · Updated 11:46 AM
The Washington State Liquor Control Board is about to decant a yearlong spirits tasting pilot in 30 state, contract and tribal liquor stores, starting Sept 1.
State store 176 in Auburn's Fred Meyer complex is one of the sites along with stores in Tacoma, Puyallup, Renton and Bellevue.
Stores may host one tasting event per week, from 4-6 p.m. on Fridays or Saturdays. The WSLCB has limited sampling to one-quarter ounce, up to a maximum of four samples.
"We are excited to have this opportunity for our customers to taste new and interesting products in our stores," said WSLCB Chairperson Sharon Foster. "With more than 1,100 spirits products available in state stores, customers can now enhance their product knowledge by trying something they may never have considered before and learn first-hand about the products from distillers' representatives."
The pilot extends from Sept 1, 2011 to Sept. 1, 2012.
The state will post tasting events at the 30 stores and on the events page of the stores and products section of the WSLCB website at www.liq.wa.gov.
Only product sponsors such as distiller representatives may do the pouring. Servers must have an alcohol server training permit.
Substitute House Bill 1202 established the pilot project during the 2011 legislative session.
The board considered retail sales volume, locations and appropriate in-store space for sampling, traffic accident data and proximity to churches and schools in choosing the pilot stores.
The Distillery Representatives Association of Washington asked for the enabling legislation to introduce premium products to store customers.
The spirits sampling pilot is a win for both consumers and producers," said Carrie Tellefson of DRAW. "With so many products available, the tasting events offer consumers a valuable opportunity to taste spirits in a controlled environment, learn about new, premium products and provide valuable feedback for distillers."
The Auburn International Farmers Market was not included in a similar pilot project for sampling of wine and beer at 10 farmers markets.
• The pilot will take place between Sept. 1, 2011 and Sept. 1, 2012.
• Sampling will be limited to one-quarter ounce with four samples maximum.
• Only product sponsors, such as a distiller representative, may serve samples.
• Servers must have Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) permit.
• Stores are permitted one tasting event per week. The tasting events will be either Fridays or Saturdays from 4-6 p.m. Upcoming tasting events will be posted at the 30 stores, as well as on the Events page of the Stores and Products section of the WSLCB website at www.liq.wa.gov.
Store selection criteria
The WSLCB considered retail sales volume, locations and appropriate in-store space for sampling as it selected the 30 pilot stores. Consideration was also given to traffic accident data and proximity to churches and schools.Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at email@example.com or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.