In a 78-17 vote Monday, the House passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Mark Hargrove to ease restrictions on what Washington-based microbreweries and wineries are allowed to sell at farmers markets.
Under House Bill 2419, microbreweries would be authorized to fill and sell growlers in addition to offering canned and bottled beer for sale. A prohibition on the sale of strong beer would also be eliminated.
Along with selling bottles of wine, wineries would have the option of providing two-ounce samples of cider and mead, as well as offering bottles or growlers of each beverage for sale.
There are currently more than 900 wineries and 400 microbreweries operating in the state.
“Quite frankly, there is no need to have these restrictions in place at farmers markets,” said Hargrove, R-Covington. “We should be letting the free market work so hundreds of our small businesses have the opportunity to meet the demand for their products.”
House Bill 2419 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.