Separating the gin and the tonic: ban on distilleries serving mixed drinks

ANCHORAGE (KTUU)- Distilleries in Alaska can serve tonic and they can serve gin by they can't serve gin and tonic.

The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has banned the state's distilleries from serving mixed drinks.

"It would be their responsibility to put it together, which is kind of ridiculous." Robert Klein, Anchorage Distillery CEO said.

Erica McConnell, director of the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office said the board needed to determine the meaning of
AS 04.11.170(e) and (f).

"The board members did not all agree—note that the vote was 3-1—but ultimately the board adopted a regulation that they determined implemented, interpreted, made specific or otherwise carried out the provisions of the statute, which is the purpose of regulations," said McConnell.

Robert Klein is also a chairman of the State Alcohol Board.

Klein said because he is a distillery license holder, he could not vote on the regulation.

Klein said there was an outpouring of support for keeping cocktails in distillery tasting rooms.

"There were 545 letters that came in on the subject and overwhelming with support and it is just amazing. It shows you how much we have gained, not only supported but affection amongst the drinking public," said Klein.

The two-drink limit at all distilleries will remain in effect. The new rules will go into effect 30 days after the regulation is signed by the lieutenant governor.

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