State Store Tasting Events
During the 2020 legislative session, the Idaho Legislature passed and Governor Brad Little signed H575 into law, authorizing sample tastings in state retail stores beginning July 1, 2020. The store tasting opportunity puts spirits closer to parity with beer and wine for the purpose of disseminating product information.
Sponsors of store tasting events may offer product tastings to educate consumers while they visit Idaho State Liquor Stores. Store sample tasting events will be conducted at times when most convenient for the public, such as Thursday and Friday evenings in the 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. time frame; and Saturday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The following requirements have been established and must be adhered to for all store sample tasting events. Suppliers and their Representatives are responsible to relay all information in accordance with the provisions outlined in Idaho code 23-314 to any persons contracted on their behalf.
Who may conduct a product tasting?
- Distilled Spirits Supplier or its Representative may conduct a store sample tasting event at the discretion of the Director.
- “Sampling Specialist” is defined as any person twenty-one (21) years of age or older and may not be an employee of the Division.
May State employees participate or assist the sponsor in the tasting event?
- Division employees shall not pour, dispense or serve tastings to the public; nor shall they encourage consumer participation in the event.
- Employees of the Idaho State Liquor Division shall not consume alcoholic beverages on the premises.
What are the general rules of operation for a tasting event?
- Distilled Spirits Supplier or its Representative must obtain approval from the Division in order to conduct a sample tasting event at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the proposed event.
- Prior to the store sample tasting event, Suppliers or their Representatives must demonstrate evidence of liability insurance in an amount to be determined by the Division and sign and submit an Idaho State Liquor Division Indemnity Against Liability form to the Division for record. The signed form and certificate of insurance will be kept on file for a period of 1 year.
- Prior to the store sample tasting event, suppliers or its representatives must submit the tasting request form to StoreTastings@liquor.idaho.gov, with a list of products to be available to consumers, date of event, time of event, person(s) conducting the event, supplies needed, supplies provided, POS materials to be handed out and requested store locations.
- No alcoholic beverages may be served to persons under the age of twenty-one (21) years, visibly intoxicated persons, or habitual drunkards.
- Only one (1) vendor may conduct a store sample tasting event at any one time.
- Samples shall be served in a specifically identified area within the retail store. Such areas were designed that the person conducting the tasting can observe and control persons in the area to ensure that no persons under twenty-one (21) years of age or visibly intoxicated persons possess or consume alcohol.
- Customers must remain in the roped off tasting area until they have finished consuming the sample.
Is there a maximum time limit for store tasting events?
- The duration of a store sample tasting event is limited to a maximum of two (2) consecutive hours.
How are products acquired for use in a store tasting event?
- Products used during the store sample tasting event must be purchased from the Idaho State Liquor Division, and all taxes for such distilled spirits shall be paid by the manufacturer of the distilled spirits.
- Spirits used during a store sample tasting event must be dispensed from original containers prepared by the manufacturer with labels visible to the consumer.
How many products may be available for sampling at any one tasting event?
- The maximum number of products allowed shall not exceed (10) ten.
How much alcohol may be served to any one (1) consumer at a tasting event?
- Only one-quarter (¼) ounce of alcoholic liquid may be served to any one (1) consumer for each product tasted. A sample may be mixed with another alcoholic liquor or nonalcoholic beverage. No consumer shall be furnished more than three (3) one-quarter (¼) ounce of alcoholic liquid in any 24-hour period.
What items are necessary for the Supplier or its Representative to provide in conjunction with a tasting event?
- Food, such as cheese and crackers, are encouraged to be provided by the sampling specialists during the store sampling tasting event.
- The supplier, representative or sampling specialist is responsible for providing all supplies and equipment associated with a store sample tasting event, including, but not limited to, ice buckets, dump buckets, water glasses, tasting containers, extension cords, napkins and table coverings, etc.…
How should sampling specialists dispose of unused portions of opened alcohol containers and empty containers?
- At the conclusion of the store sampling tasting event, sampling specialists must remove any unused product from the premises.
- Sampling Specialist shall dispose of all empty alcohol containers.
- Unused product, bottles or containers shall not be furnished to employees of the Idaho State Liquor Division.
All other state and federal laws and regulations governing liquor must be observed during in-store tasting events.
Store Sample Tasting Event Training Document (Best Viewed in Chrome)
Revised July 2020