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Legislation seeks beer samples at breweries

Nick Trougakos Published: February 5, 2013
With each new legislative session, there are at least one or two beer-related bills.

In 2010, Gov. Brad Henry signed a bill to legalize homebrewing in the state.

In 2011, there was a bill to allow wine and strong beer sales in grocery stores. The bill fizzled out, but did lead to the creation of a task force to look at the issue. Unfortunately, the task force also fizzled out.

Last year, a group aimed to get a state question on the election ballot that would ask voters to decide if wine sales would be allowed in grocery stores in the state’s 15 largest counties. The measure wouldn’t have involved strong beer, which raised a few eyebrows. Either way, the group put the plan on hold, saying they would circulate a petition in 2013 with hopes of having the question on the 2014 ballot.

And that brings us to 2013 and the latest beer-related bill — House Bill 1341. The bill would allow for licensed breweries in the state to provide on-premise samples to visitors.

You can read the text of the bill right here. And you can see a lobbying guide by clicking here.

The bill is set to come up for a vote at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in front the House Public Safety Committee.

Here are some key issues those who back HB 1341 are pointing out:

-Oklahoma winemakers are already allowed to serve on-premise samples

-The move would be good for local tourism

-The language of the bill is viewed as “very reasonable” by the state ABLE Commission

So how would it work? Licensed brewers would be able to offer up to 12 oz. of beer per day/per visitor. The samples would be free and would only be available from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Brewers would have to pay an Oklahoma excise tax on sampled beer.

You can read more details at the above links.

The bill’s backers are asking that you contact the listed legislators and encourage them to approve the bill and send it up the line.

Daily Pints

-I just learned of a really cool-sounding weekly event for all you artistically inclined beer fans out there: Drink and Draw at Tree and Leaf Clothing. Each Thursday night from 8 to 11, Tree and Leaf, 8405 N Rockwell Ave., Suite #11, opens its doors to anyone who wants to tote along pencil and sketchbook for a free-form creative session. You don’t have to drink, but if you do, it’s BYOB. Little-known fact: I dropped out of Saturday morning art school when I was 8.

-Update from yesterday’s post: The Will Ferrell/Old Milwaukee Super Bowl spot actually aired in three markets, not just one. In addition to Sherman, Texas, it ran in Ardmore and Glendive, Mont.

-Here’s a minor Disney World beer update.

-Here’s a push for chocolate beer as the new official drink of Valentine’s Day. Reminder: TapWerks will feature a firkin of COOP DNR aged on cacao nibs on Valentine’s Day.

-Heads up for some new additions to the Oklahoma beer market: Bridgeport Smooth Ryed Ale, North Coast Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin and Sam Adams Double Agent IPL, and also the Sam Adams Spring Thaw variety pack featuring Double Agent, Boston Lager, Alpine Spring, Maple Pecan Porter, White Lantern and Irish Red. (Shout out to the BierGarten and Grand Cru for keeping beer fans up to speed on new arrivals.)

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