Liquor stores able to host tastings

Shops must be stateapproved liquor agencies, charge 50 cents per tasting
Melissa Topey
Apr 27, 2014
Changes in Ohio liquor law opened opportunities for alcohol produces to put their drinks to the taste test.

The main change will be to authorize retail stores already authorized as state agency stores selling beer, wine, mixed beverages and liquor to have tastings.

It also increases the number of allowable tastings from five to 10 per year.

The stores have to charge at least 50 cents per tasting.

“It was brought to me by the liquor industry. They were finding stores wanted to have more tastings,” said state Sen. James Hughes, who introduced the bill. Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently signed it into law. Hughes hopes the law prompts stores to hire new people.

The Kroger in Sandusky does not operate as a liquor agency. It sells only beer and wine. But other Kroger stores in the state are licensed agencies, said Jackie Siekmann, spokeswoman for Kroger, and those stores likely will plan to host tastings.

It is also not expected to impact Dick’s Carry Out, a small family-owned state-approved liquor agency on Tiffin Avenue.

“We do not do tastings,” said manager Joel Lorenz.

Lorenz did not rule it out, however, saying it might be a possibility for the store in the future.