Washington State May Allow Strong Beer

For years, residents of Washington have been able to buy a wide range of beers, but retailers are limited by law to the strength of beers they can carry. Beers above 8% alcohol by weight (10% alc/vol) have not been allowed to be sold in the private retailing sector, denying Washingtonians access to specialty beers like Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout, Belgium’s Scaldis
(Bush) Beer, Samichlaus from Austria, and EKU 28 from Germany. Senate Bill 5051, entitled “Removing the sale of strong beer from the exclusive jurisdiction of the liquor control board,” has been introduced to overturn this regulatory state of affairs. Now, The Washington State Senate has concurred with recent changes the State House made to SB 5051. The bill has been signed by the Senate, and filed with Governor Gary Locke as of 4/18/2003. Assuming Gov. Locke signs it, it will take effect on July 1, 2003.

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