The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) today selected the 10 farmers markets that are invited to participate in a pilot program that allows wine and beer tastings at farmers markets. As directed in Substitute House Bill 1172, which created the pilot, the markets were selected in a manner to ensure geographic representation. The pilot runs from Sept. 1, 2011 to Nov. 1, 2012. The WSLCB will provide guidance and oversight for the pilot, and will submit a report on the pilot to the Legislature in December 2012.
“This pilot is another avenue for Washington’s breweries and wineries to educate customers about their products,” said Sharon Foster, WSLCB Chair. “Because farmers markets take place in a community setting, there are safeguards in place to ensure tastings are conducted with public safety in mind.”
Farmers markets must have authorization from the WSLCB to allow in-state wineries, breweries or microbreweries to sell bottled wine or beer at their market. Farmers markets must meet the qualifications identified in RCW 66.24.170, RCW 66.24.240 and RCW 66.24.244 to receive this authorization. As directed by the legislation, farmers markets must have been authorized by Jan. 1, 2011 in order to participate in the pilot. The 59 qualified farmers markets were invited to submit a letter indicating their interest in participating. The 40 markets that responded indicating they were interested were then separated into geographic regions, and a proportionate number of markets from each region were randomly selected at today’s Board meeting. The following list is tentative, pending verification that the markets meet the pilot requirements:
— Proctor Farmers Market, N. 27th St. between Proctor and Madison in Tacoma
— West Seattle Farmers Market, 4400 S.W. Alaska St. in Seattle
— Magnolia Farmers Market, 2550 34th Ave. W. in Seattle
— Vancouver Farmers Market, 605 Esther St. in Vancouver
— Everett Farmers Market, Inc., 1600 W. Marine View Drive in Everett
— Vashon Farmers Market, Village Green, 17511 Vashon Highway S. in Vashon
— Liberty Lake Farmers Market, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane in Liberty Lake
— Pasco Farmers Market, Fourth and Columbia in Pasco
— Pike Place Market; Street Farmers Market, Pike Place, between Pine and Steward Streets, in Seattle
— Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market, Columbia Street between First and Palouse in Wenatchee A confirmed list of the 10 participating markets will be available soon on the WSLCB Web site at http://www.liq.wa.gov .
Each farmers market must have at least six days of tastings during the pilot. Tastings can be offered by an in-state winery, brewery or microbrewery with a farmers market endorsement from the WSLCB. The endorsement allows these businesses to sell bottled beer and wine of its own production for off-premises consumption. To participate in the pilot, they must have obtained their endorsement by May 1, 2011. There are 47 wineries and four breweries qualified to offer tastings at the pilot markets. Only one brewery, microbrewery or winery may offer samples per day. Samples must be two ounces or less, and customers can have up to a total of four ounces. Staff from the brewery, microbrewery or winery must be able to observe all tasting participants in a designated tasting area to ensure that minors and apparently intoxicated persons cannot possess or consume alcohol. They must also have food available or be next to a vender offering prepared food. WSLCB liquor enforcement officers will conduct announced and unannounced visits and compliance checks throughout the pilot to monitor compliance with the pilot’s guidelines and ensure state liquor laws and regulations are followed.
For a complete list of requirements for the tasting pilot, please visit http://www.liq.wa.gov .