Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Commerce & Gaming Committee

HB 1124

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.

Brief Description: Permitting the sampling of beer and wine at locations licensed to serve beer and wine for on-premises consumption.

Sponsors: Representatives Takko, Morris, Springer and Fey.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Allows licensees permitted to sell beer or wine for on-premises consumption to also serve samples of beer and wine up to a total of 6ounces per day.

Hearing Date: 1/20/15

Staff: David Rubenstein (786-7153).


No person may sell or distribute beer or wine without a license from the Liquor Control Board (the Board), and licenses are divided into two categories: those for on-premises consumption and off-premises consumption.  The Board issues many types of liquor license permitting the service of beer and wine for on-premises consumption, including beer and/or wine restaurants, taverns, night clubs, and breweries and microbreweries.

In general, no person, even a licensee, may serve any alcoholic beverage free of charge.  There are several exceptions in the code, including farmers markets, wineries, grocery stores, etc., in which the licensee is specifically authorized to serve samples, but not all licensees have such an exception.  Licensees permitted to serve samples are limited to serving samples no larger than 2 ounces, up to a total of 2 to 4 ounces per day, depending on the license.  Some licenses do not have a limit.

Summary of Bill:

Permits any licensee authorized to serve wine or beer on tap for on-premises consumption to serve samples of beer and wine free of charge.  Samples must be 2 ounces or smaller, and licensees may provide a maximum of 6 ounces of samples per customer per day.

Licensed domestic wineries, grocery stores, beer and wine specialty shops, and qualifying farmers markets that are already permitted sampling and tasting are exempt.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.