Currently, there is a regulatory project before the AMCO staff that attempts to tightly define what activities AK craft beer tasting rooms can do. Basically, if the project accepts the staff recommendation, FUN would be eliminated from AK tasting rooms.
This effort, if successful will stifle the growth of our industry and eliminate or seriously hinder the operations of tasting rooms in Alaska.
AK brewers are opposed to any broad definition or reinterpretation of “entertainment” and “recreational” activities in the tasting rooms of our members. Changing the interpretation of statute, after many small businesses have planned their promotion and operations on previously accepted practices, is counterproductive and unfair.
Craft brewers in Alaska understand the prohibitions written into statute were part of a compromise among industry members, but to extend the prohibition to activities not envisioned at the time of the original legislation and which are outside of the original intent upsets the balance between competing interests the compromise offered.
It is the position of AK brewers that “live entertainment” is defined as an event where there is a performer (or performers) addressing an audience. Also, the activities that fall under “other recreational or gaming opportunities” are limited to the context of games or gaming or, alternatively, should be recognized as activities typically enjoyed exclusively in beverage dispensary licensed establishments. Furthermore, they dispute the assumption that customers bringing in their own games constitutes “allowing” gaming opportunities.
These brewers also note the fact that their tasting rooms have limited hours of operation, serving restrictions and other prohibitions that differentiate our member businesses, substantially, from beverage dispensary and restaurant or eating place licensees. They believe the current practices regarding activities serve to encourage the responsible consumption of alcohol and are within the statute’s language and intent.
Say YES to fun!