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There are currently about 5,000 brands of distilled spirits on the market in the United States, and hundreds of new brands are marketed each year. Tastings are an extremely effective way to encourage adult consumers to sample, compare and ultimately choose new beverage alcohol products - giving them the opportunity to learn more about the numerous types and brands of distilled spirits products before having to pay for a full-sized premium product.
44 states allow some form of distilled spirits tastings.
At least 38 states allow tastings in bars and restaurants and 37 states allow tastings in retail stores that sell spirits for off-premise consumption. Also, 30 states allow consumer spirits tastings at both on- and off-premise establishments.
The Distilled Spirits Council believes all states should provide equal market access and a level playing field for all beverage alcohol - beer, wine and distilled spirits.
In light of the fact that on-premise and off-premise establishments both hold a valid State license, tastings should be permitted at these retail establishments.
Tastings are a customary and longstanding means to feature a brand of product.
States that permit tastings usually limit the size and number of sample tastings and, of course, prohibit illegal underage consumption.
States have not reported abuse, social consequences or enforcement problems related to laws that permit limited beverage sampling.