Fourth State in 2010 to Repeal Outdated Spirits Tasting Ban

LANSING, MI – The Michigan State Legislature today passed a bill giving consumers the opportunity to sample liquor at distilled spirits outlets, according to the Distilled Spirits Council which applauded the legislation and called Michigan’s tastings the latest in a growing trend of states updating liquor laws across the country.

“In today’s economy it’s more important than ever to give customers the tools to make better purchasing decisions,” said Council Vice President David Wojnar, noting that tastings are controlled events that must first be approved by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.  “Most consumers wouldn’t purchase a nice $40-$50 bottle of Scotch if they’ve never tasted it.  Repealing the ban on spirits tasting events is a great, modern convenience for consumers and ultimately helps the state’s bottom line.”

House Bill 6426, sponsored by State Representative Bert Johnson, gives adult consumers the opportunity to sample up to three separate one-third ounce samples of spirits in any one calendar day at a pre-planned tasting event. The bill passed the full Legislature today and has been sent to Governor Granholm for her signature upon which it will take effect immediately.

“Nationwide, states are modernizing alcohol laws to improve business operations and give customers added convenience at a time when it’s all very much-needed,” Wojnar added – noting that Michigan is the fourth state in 2010 to repeal its off-premise spirits tasting ban for a total of 33 states.  Other states which have repealed this year include New Jersey (January), Virginia (March) and California (passed the State Legislature in August and awaits Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature).