A new bill, signed last week by California governor Jerry Brown, will allow craft distilleries to serve and charge for tastings at their production facilities; each sample can't exceed a quarter-ounce and distilleries can offer up to six samples for purchase. This is great news, but a small victory since it's still illegal for California distillers to sell their own product directly to consumers.
But it got us wondering how the new law might enhance local distilleries, which include Ballast Point Spirits, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co., Manzanita Distilling Company and the in-progress Old Harbor Distilling Co. and Malahat Spirits Co.
Ballast Point COO Yuseff Cherney, their head brewer and distiller, confirmed to Eater that they are planning to build a tasting room for their award-winning distillery, which was founded in 2008.
Michael Skubic, of Old Harbor, has already factored a tasting area into the plans for his distillery in construction and a tasting room may also be in Malahat's future; partner Thomas Bleakley thinks that the new law could help local craft distilleries get a leg up. Bleakley says, "I think it will be a key to California distilleries being able to grow and compete on a level playing field nationally - right now most other states have more favorable distillery laws than California."
· All Distillery Coverage on Eater [~ESD~]