Board Considering Prohibiting Activities at Tasting Rooms

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board may be changing the way tasting rooms operate by disallowing activities like fundraisers, yodeling competitions, and even food at local breweries and distilleries.
In a memorandum to be discussed during the November 13th ABC Board Meeting, Director Erika McConnell hopes the board agrees to change the way Brewery, Winery and Distillery Licensed premises operate.
The memo states that the board is seeing activities at establishments both before and after the permitted hours of operation, as well as practices that seem contrary to the intent of the license.
Some examples of this include festivals, parties, renting out the facilities for weddings, poetry readings, yoga classes, and the sale of local crafts onsite.
McConnell's memo states that the board should consider prohibiting these activities.
The owner of Ursa Major Distillery, Rob Borland, says not being allowed to host gatherings would put a dent in his business.

Rob Borland; Owner - Ursa Major Distillery>>"The director in that memorandum, she pretty much maps out what she wants to see us as a tasting room. She just wants people to come in, take a sample, if they like the product, then they take a bottle and leave. She doesn't want anyone lingering here or enjoying themselves in anyway. She even goes to say that she wants to outlaw fun in a tasting room, which is kind of ridiculous. As far as business impacts, it would take away a significant portion of our business and a significant portion of just our visibility in the community. It wouldn't allow us to do the fundraisers and events and things that we have held in the past, things that are beneficial for the community."