Alcohol Control Board considers clarification on manufacturer licenses



The Alcohol Control Board has decided to postpone a decision on the manufacturer license issue until their next regular meeting on Jan. 23. The decision was made, in part, because not all board members were present for the discussion. Board member Rex Leath was absent.

Several breweries and distilleries from across the state called into the meeting to voice opposition to the proposal.


Should Alaska’s breweries and distilleries be permitted to host events such as yoga classes, poetry readings and yodeling competitions?

That is one of the questions facing the state’s Alcohol Control Board during its Monday meeting in Anchorage.

The issue was added to the board’s agenda following a memorandum titled “Manufacturing License Issues” was sent by Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office director Erika McConnell. The letter asks the board to clarify what an alcohol manufacturer’s license allows the holder to do.

In the letter, McConnell argues that breweries and distilleries are given onsite consumption provisions that “allow members of the public who may wish to purchase the product, to taste it to see if they like it, purchase or not purchase and leave.”

“The license type does not suggest that members of the public should be encouraged to linger through food service and events, and the prohibition on entertainment supports that interpretation,” McConnell wrote.

A spokesperson for one Anchorage brewery, who declined to speak on camera, agreed that state laws are unclear, but said the industry is already heavily regulated, adding that “fun” events help the business promote its product and attract customers.

The issue was originally scheduled for early in the board’s agenda, but was postponed to the end of Monday's meeting. Board chair Bob Klein will recuse himself from the discussion, because he works for a distillery.

This story will be updated with a decision if one is made Monday.

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