Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery in Swisher, and Mississippi River Distilling in Le Claire can now mix drinks with their local product for customers, instead of just offering a taste of the liquor. Alcoholic Beverage Commission spokesman Robert Bailey says the two distilleries had to hustle to get ready to go when the law changed.
“So we have done a lot to accommodate that, we’ve accelerated some of the licensing process because it’s really sort of a short turnaround, but we’ve also educated, we’ve visited these places to make sure that they’re doing things properly,” according to Bailey. Bailey says another part of the law will also help distillers sell more of their product.
“Prior to this they could only sell two bottles of their product per visitor per day,” Bailey says, “but now they can sell up to 12 bottles. So that’s a big boost for them.” Bailey says of the 14 Iowa distillers, three or four are working toward a license, but he says selling cocktails won’t fit into the business model for all of them.
Bailey says like other liquor licensees, the distillers are required to have liability coverage or what’s known as “dramshop insurance.” They must assume responsibility for not overserving their customers.
(Thanks to Michael Leland, Iowa Public Radio)