Washington state distillers nearing expansion

Washington state moved a step closer to allowing spirits distillers to triple their annual output.

The state senate this week passed, 97-1, Senate Bill 6485, which allows the amount of spirits craft distilleries can produce from 20,000 to 60,000 gallons.

In addition, the state's two dozen craft distillers already licensed or awaiting a license would be allowed to sell spirits out-of-state and to more freely promote their products under certain conditions. Currently they may sell only directly to consumers or to the state Liquor Control Board.

The Senate and House must reconcile the different versions of the bill they passed before SB 6485 can be sent to the governor for signature into law.

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