FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 61 L 19
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Establishing a soju endorsement to certain restaurant licenses.
Sponsors: House Committee on Commerce & Gaming (originally sponsored by Representatives Ryu, Pellicciotti, Goodman, Kirby, Vick, Reeves and Bergquist).
House Committee on Commerce & Gaming
Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce
The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) issues various types of commercial liquor licenses, including those for restaurants, beer or wine specialty shops, wineries, microbreweries, domestic breweries, and nightclubs.
Restaurant Liquor Licenses.
The LCB issues two licenses for the retail sale of liquor at restaurants: (1) a beer and/or wine restaurant license; and (2) a spirits, beer, and wine restaurant license. In certain circumstances, the LCB may include special endorsements to a license that authorize the sale of specified alcoholic beverages subject to specified conditions, or impose conditions or restrictions on a license.
A beer and/or wine restaurant license authorizes restaurants to sell beer, strong beer, and wine for on-premises consumption in conjunction with the sale of food. Licensees may obtain a written endorsement from the LCB that authorizes the sale and service of alcoholic beverages at catering events.
A spirits, beer, and wine restaurant license authorizes restaurants to sell spirits, beer, and wine for on-premises consumption. Licensees must serve complete meals and meet specific food service, kitchen equipment, and floor space requirements. In addition to the catering endorsement, spirits, beer and wine licensees may also obtain a written endorsement from the LCB for the sale of off-premises wine consumption, as well as the sale of kegs and growlers for off-premises consumption.
In addition to production methods and ingredients used, alcoholic beverages are also defined by their alcohol by volume content (ABV). The quantity of ABV content can affect a beverage's classification. For example, wine may not exceed 24 percent ABV. An alcoholic beverage produced as wine that contains more than 24 percent ABV is considered a spirit.
A soju licensing endorsement from the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is established for the spirits, beer, and wine restaurant license. The annual fee for the endorsement is $50.
The endorsement authorizes licensees to sell soju at restaurants for on-premises consumption to tables with a minimum of two patrons 21 years of age or older. Soju bottles must be 375 ml or smaller, and empty soju bottles must remain on the patron's table during service. Patrons are allowed to remove any unused portion of soju off-premises if the remaining beverage is recapped and in its original container.
The LCB must develop responsible soju sale and service training materials for soju endorsement holders, which must include endorsement certification procedures and enforcement policies. The information in the training materials must be made available in both Korean and English languages. Licensees with a soju endorsement are required to ensure servers providing soju to patrons are trained with the LCB training materials.
Soju is defined as a traditional Korean distilled alcoholic beverage, produced using authentic Korean recipes and production methods, and derived from agricultural products, that contains not more than 24 percent of alcohol by volume.
Votes on Final Passage:
July 28, 2019