Iowa’s fledgling distilled spirits industry would get a boost from a bill state lawmakers are considering. If the bill becomes law, distilleries like the one in western Iowa that makes Templeton Rye and the makers of Clearheart Vodka in Cedar Rapids would be able to sell a small amount of their product to tourists who stop by the distillery.
Senator Matt McCoy says Iowa’s breweries and wineries are able to sell the products they make on site, so distilleries should, too. "For example, Templeton Rye could bottle their product right there at their location and put the product out on the shelves and sell it to people who are touring the company and want to buy some of the distilled spirits," McCoy says.
McCoy, who’s a Democrat from Des Moines, says without the change, all that Iowa-made whiskey and vodka has to go through the state beverage control warehouse instead. "The bill would essentially allow distillers to sell their products without going through a third party warehouse system," McCoy says. "This is a small niche market and you support this homegrown industry."
The Iowa Travel Federation and the Iowa Department of Economic Development support the bill, but officials at the liquor control warehouse and others involved in the state’s wholesale liquor system oppose it.