AK: Alaska Senate Passes Alcohol Bill Increasing Brewery Hours
Alaska’s breweries would be able to stay open longer and host a limited number of live-music events under a rewrite of the state’s alcohol laws.
By Associated Press, Wire Service Content
February 27, 2020
JUNEAU, ALASKA (AP) — Alaska’s breweries would be able to stay open longer and host limited live-music events under a rewrite of the state’s alcohol laws.
The Alaska Senate unanimously approved the bill Wednesday, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
The legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Peter Micciche will advance to the House, where lawmakers killed a previous version of the rewrite two years ago.
The biggest critics in the House have moderated their positions following a compromise between the Brewers Guild of Alaska and the Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association, the state’s leading alcohol-industry trade group.
Under the compromise, the state would limit the number of brewery, distillery and winery taprooms. In return, taprooms could stay open until 10 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. and hold four live-music events per year.
“If I was still in the beverage industry, I would feel it’s not a great compromise, but I will wait to hear from the many voices that I’m sure we’ll hear from,” Democratic Rep. Adam Wool said.
The new legislation extends beyond breweries, distilleries and wineries, but disagreements between those establishments and traditional bars, package stores and restaurants previously stymied efforts to update the state’s alcohol laws, last rewritten in the 1980s.
The new legislation does not include a previous contentious proposal to cut serving sizes at brewery and distillery taprooms.
Democratic Rep. Ivy Spohnholz said she is very interested in moving the bill quickly. It is expected to come before the House Labor and Commerce Committee she chairs.