By Ralph Hipp
July brings new laws into the law books, and some of the changes aren't just about laws.
One major change is about having a drink.
Starting July 1st, licensed retail stores in Kansas will be able to offer taste tests of their wares in the shop, and bars and restaurants will be able to offer happy hour drink specials.
Suppliers will also be able to participate in tasting events hosted by a store. There won't be any limits on the size or number of samples one person may receive, but you have to drink the samples in the store.
Manufacturers will be able to serve free samples of liquor at their place of business, if they're located in a county where the sales of liquor or individual drinks are permitted. Even now, in 2012, Kansas bars and restaurants could offer all day drink specials but can't have “happy hours” where drinks are discounted between specific times. Now, with the new law, bars and restaurants will also be able to offer discounted drink prices at any time or to specific groups – such as “ladies night” drink specials.
I remember when I lived in Kansas the first time, back in 1978, and if you've been here a while you surely remember.. you could only drink in clubs if you had a membership. Once I flew to Colorado, and they couldn't serve any liquor on the plane if it even flying over Kansas! Once we arrived in airspace approaching Denver, you could have a drink or two before you landed.
Those memories give us all a stark contrast on our Kansas liquor laws, past and present.. so have a drink or just a "taste test" under the changes. Bottoms up!
(And drink responsibly!) rh