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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 afternoons 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 to conduct a sample tasting event at least thirty (45) days prior to the date of the proposed event.
  • All requests must be submitted by the submission deadlines listed below:
    SUBMISSION DEADLINE MONTHLY TASTING EVENTS
    NOVEMBER 15TH JANUARY
    DECEMBER 15TH FEBRUARY
    JANUARY 15TH MARCH
    FEBRUARY 15TH APRIL
    MARCH 15TH MAY
    APRIL 15TH JUNE
    MAY 15TH JULY
    JUNE 15TH AUGUST
    JULY 15TH SEPTEMBER
    AUGUST 15TH OCTOBER
    SEPTEMBER 15TH NOVEMBER
    OCTOBER 15TH DECEMBER
  • All approved events will be posted in a monthly calendar by the 8th. of the previous month to the supplier/broker portal/ISLD Reports/JUN22-Tasting-Calendar
  • ISLD Reports

  • 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 the 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 online at Idaho State Liquor Division - State Store Tasting Events with a list of products to be available to consumers, date of the event, time of the event, the 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) broker may conduct a store sample tasting event at any one time. The broker may support multiple suppliers during the event.
  • Samples shall be served in a specifically identified area within the retail store. Such areas were designed so 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.

What stores will be hosting sample tasting events?

  • We have identified 12-15 store locations in each district long term. However, in the short term, we will be using the following store locations to ensure coverage in most marketing areas:
  • Cities available for Events
    Ammon Lewiston
    Blackfoot McCall
    Boise Meridian
    Caldwell Moscow
    CDA Pocatello
    Chubbuck Post Falls
    Eagle Rathdrum
    Garden City Sandpoint
    Hayden Stateline
    Idaho Falls Twin Falls
    Kuna

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.

What products can be submitted for in-store tasting events?

  • Private Select Barrel Releases.
  • New Items in the premium, super-premium, ultra-premium, and luxury categories.
  • Innovation in the premium, super-premium, ultra-premium, and luxury categories that are:
    • paired with related items we offer
    • flavored items
    • new entrants, i.e., American single malt, Irish American, etc.
  • Underperforming categories for Idaho compared to other NABCA member states.

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 with more than three (3) one-quarter (¼) ounces 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 Specialists shall dispose of all empty alcohol containers.
  • Unused products, 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.

Event recaps should be submitted online within 5-days of the event conclusion.

Store Sample Tasting Event Training Document (Best Viewed in Chrome)

Insurance & Indemnification Requirements Fill this out and email back with a certificate of insurance to StoreTastings@liquor.idaho.gov

Request Tasting Event

Tasting Event Recap

Revised March 2022