San Francisco Chronicle: Taste California Act Draws Cheers, November 20, 2013


At Alameda's St. George Spirits, makers of Hangar One Vodka, absinthe, rum, whiskey, bourbon and eaux de vie, the tasting room loses $100,000 a year, said Andie Ferman, the tasting room manager. St. George hosted Tuesday's celebration and media event.

The new law, however, does set limits on how many samples a distiller can serve - six half-ounce pours.

Lance Winters, St. George's master distiller and the guild's incoming president, told the room that despite California being the leader in the artisan distillery movement, its laws are among the tightest, even lagging behind traditionally alcohol-conservative places like Utah.

"Sixty to 80 percent of the economy is fueled by small business," he said. "We're not asking for anything special, like tax breaks. We just want a level playing field."