FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Board met on Monday, and after three hours of testimony and discussion, the group could not break the two-two vote on whether distilleries can continue to serve mixed drinks in their sampling rooms.
The board's inability to break the stalemate means that no notices of violations will be issued for serving the cocktails.
The vote came after alleged complaints were sent in earlier this year asserting that tasting rooms were operating as de facto bars.
Ursa Major Distillery owner, Rob Borland, says he worked with lawmakers when tasting room legislation was constructed, and the way some board members are interpreting the wording is all wrong.
He said his tasting room may not survive if he cannot serve cocktails.
Rob Borland; Owner - Ursa Major Distillery >> "Basically if they limit us anymore than they are already doing, it's going to be extremely terrible for this business. No one is going to want to come in and have a couple shots of booze and then jump in their car and drive off and I wouldn't feel comfortable serving somebody just strait shots and have them leave after that. I think it's imperative that I present my products how they are meant to be consumed. So it would be extremely detrimental. We would probably end up closing the tasting room, there would be no real point in serving strait shots and I don't want the liability for that"