Obviously, if this measure is passed, this opens up the door for beer tastings to take place within the confines of liquor stores on the Kansas side. Naturally, these stores and their owners are already showing strong support for the bill, including Marshall Rimann of Rimann Liquors, who spoke about the proposal, and specifically about the booming craft beer segment, on KMBC 9 News.
If passed, the bill would limit portions to 1/2 ounce for distilled spirits, 1 ounce for wine, and 2 ounces for beer or malt beverages.
Having this bill pass would not only be huge for these retailers looking to increase revenue and customer satisfaction/interaction, but it would also beneficial for craft beer drinkers who live or work on the Kansas side and can't easily make it to tastings in Missouri all the time. Personally, I live on the Kansas side and would love having the opportunity to go to tasting events on the weekends or evenings when I have to head home soon after work. And between Rimann, Gomer's, Lukas, Tipsy's, Brown Bag (if I forgot any, it's because they haven't sent me their sponsorship check yet), there are certainly plenty of stores on the Kansas side of the metro that have nice craft beer selections and would make great locations for tastings.
It doesn't appear that a specific date has been set for voting on the bill (just that it will be the topic of hearings in a 'matter of weeks'). KAKE out of Wichita reports that the chairmen of the committees that will likely handle the bill "don't see many problems with allowing the tastings", which is good news. On an unrelated note, I highly recommend reading the comments on their article.
The passing of this measure would be a nice, albeit small, step in the right direction for Kansas and their screwy liquor laws. I can only hope that if this gets approved, it will lead to other changes, but only time will tell.
Stay tuned and hopefully sooner than later, we'll be attending beer tastings on both the Missouri and Kansas sides of the state line.