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Legislative

Liquor Tasting Bill Passes New Jersey Legislature

January 8, 2010


TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey State Legislature today passed a bill allowing consumers to sample distilled spirits at liquor stores, according to the Distilled Spirits Council which applauded the legislation and called New Jersey tastings the latest in a trend of states modernizing liquor laws across the country. 
 
“Nationwide, states are updating alcohol laws to improve business operations and give customers added convenience at a time when it’s all very much-needed,” said Council Vice President Jay Hibbard noting that Vermont and Maine passed similar liquor tasting bills in 2009.  “Consumer tasting events are a widely-accepted means to let customers ‘try before they buy.’”
 
Senate Bill 2098, sponsored by Senators Paul A. Sarlo and Sean T. Kean, gives adult consumers the opportunity to sample up to three separate one-half ounce servings of spirits in any one calendar day at a pre-planned tasting event.  The bill passed the full Assembly today by a vote of 74-2 having already passed the Senate June 25th by a count of 34-3.  The bill now moves to Governor Corzine’s desk for signature and, once signed, will take effect May 1. 
 
“Now more than ever customers appreciate the convenience of sampling spirits products before purchasing them and the added choice these events offer them,” Hibbard said.  “Spirits consumers are fascinated by cocktail culture and curious about how to discern between the 5,000 spirits products on the market.”
 
President of the New Jersey Liquor Stores Alliance Fred Leighton added, “We are very excited to offer limited samplings of beer and spirits to further educate our consumers.”
 
Forty-three states currently allow some form of spirits tasting.  Twenty-nine states including New Jersey now allow spirits tastings at off-premise establishments – including neighboring states New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.


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