Bill to overhaul Alaska’s alcohol laws is dead, for now

A matcha libre cocktail served at Amalga Distillery in July 2017. The distillery’s owners opposed an amendment to Senate Bill 76.  Bill sponsor Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, cited the amendment as the reason he killed the bill for this year. (Photo by Scott Ciambor)

The sponsor of a bill to overhaul the state’s alcohol laws announced he’s killing the bill for this year.

Listen now

Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche said it took several years to build a consensus to support the bill — from groups that often disagree. He said an amendment to Senate Bill 76 that would cut the amount that breweries and distilleries can sell as samples to customers opened up disagreements over the bill again. Bar owners pushed for the late change.

“The reason we’re stopping this year is it’s late in the session; we’ve heard from hundreds and hundreds of people that appreciate the new model of breweries and distilleries,” Micciche said. 

Micciche said he’ll continue to work on the legislation next year.

“We’re not giving up,” Micciche said. “This has been a huge effort. And frankly, Title IV (the alcohol law code) is a mess. I mean, it’s a mess for industry, the public and the state. And we must complete the title rewrite. However, we’re not going to do it at the expense of one side of this industry.”

The House Labor and Commerce Committee passed the change affecting breweries and distilleries last week.