Two alcohol sales related bills clear Senate committee

01/12/2016 02:33 PM

FRANKFORT – A pair of bills related to alcohol sales in the Commonwealth of Kentucky passed out of the Senate Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 12 allows for the Sunday sale of alcohol before 1:00pm during events at Kentucky Speedway.

Kentucky Speedway President Mark Simendinger said that the tracks top NASCAR event,the Quaker State 400 is usually scheduled on Saturday night in July, but if weather were to force a postponement, it would have to be rescheduled on Sunday, possibly before 1:00 p.m.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had some weather issues the last few years and, on one occasion, we had to move the race to Sunday,” Simendinger said. “Last year we almost had to move the race to Sunday and when that happens, NASCAR calls me up and we work with NBC to get a time window. Our time windows on Sunday might be noon, could be as early as 11:00 in the morning.”

Senate Bill 11, includes provisions which increases the production limits for microbreweries from 25,000 to 50,000 barrels annually as well as allow microbreweries to sell their products at fairs and festivals.

The bill also has a number of provisions for distillers including increasing the limits of distilled package sales from 3 liters to 9 liters, and increase the sample size limits for visitors from one ounce to 1.75 ounces.

Jason Underwood, representing Sazerac, the parent company of Buffalo Trace Distillery, spoke against the raising of limits of distilled package sales at distilleries saying that it could hurt a number of mom and pop retailers.

“We’re concerned that if you do allow that type of sale in your souvenir shop, that you will be putting some of the mom and pop retail shops out of business,” Underwood said.

Kevin Smith, vice president of Kentucky Beam Bourbon Affairs, disagreed with Underwood’s assessment that on-site sales competes with local retailers because the souvenir shop prices are typically higher than in retail establishments.

“The Kentucky distillers are not in the business to compete with local retailers,” Smith said. “In fact, nearly all of the distilleries price their gift shop bottles 10 to 20 percent higher, just for that reason.”

The bills could go to the Senate floor as early as this week.

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at donald.weber@charter.com.

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