New NY law covers more than brunch cocktails

When the New York State Legislature passed a bill last month changing various aspects of beverage control regulations, most of the news media zeroed in on an amendment to one of the cobweb-covered "Blue Laws" left over from the puritanical days of governance.

That changed Sunday alcohol sales for restaurants from a noon to a 10 a.m. start, promoting some people to refer to it as the "Brunch Bill" since the industry made much about wanting to allow restaurants to serve bloody marys, bellinis, etc., with their breakfast fare.

However, here are a few other pertinent things in the bill that got little notice:

• The sales tax on samples of wine, cider, and spirits will be lifted to make them the same as beer sampling which is not taxed.

• Wineries will be allowed to sell wine in reusable "growlers" to be refilled at the winery.

• Tasting room customers will be allowed to take home partially finished bottles of wine, similar to the way they can from restaurants.

• Fees for a solicitor's permit for craft manufacturers, and of a bond requirement for all manufacturers will be eliminated.

• A new application form will allow combining craft manufacturing licenses (e.g., for wine, beer, cider, and spirits production) rather than requiring separate applications for each one.

So, now you know.

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