As many of you know, Initiative 1183, which privatized spirits sales in Washington among a number of other changes, prohibited stores under 10,000 square feet from selling spirits. This was ostensibly done to keep spirits out of convenience stores and gas stations. But it also kept them out of small retail wine and beer stores.

There is currently a bill, Washington Senate Bill 5731, for “Allowing beer and/or wine specialty shop licensees to sell craft distillery products.” Craft distilleries are defined by those producing less than 60,000 gallons per year. This bill is currently scheduled to come before the Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor this Friday.

It is vital that small specialty wine and beer shops to be allowed to successfully compete in today’s post-1183 marketplace. That means allowing them to sell spirits in addition to their current offerings. I urge you to send an email to the senator from your district in support of this bill. To find the name of your senator, go to here. To find their email addresses, go to here and click on the “E-Mail addresses” link on the right.

This email can be as simple as follows:

“Dear Senator:  I am writing to urge you to support SB 5731. I believe this change is necessary to allow small wine and beer retailers to compete as well as to provide consumers with a wider selection of spirit offerings from small producers. Sincerely, name and address”

Again, time is of the essence here so if you wish to write a message, send it in today!