OLYMPIA, Wash. (ap) - Washington lawmakers have approved a pilot program that will allow beer and wine tasting in 30 grocery stores statewide in an effort to market local products.
The measure now heads to the Governor, after passing the Senate 29-17 on Monday. It earlier passed the House.
The one-year program, strongly supported by the state's microbrewery and wine industries, allows shoppers to sample as much as 4 ounces of beer or wine.
Supporters say it allows small wineries or breweries with no marketing budget to get their products out to the public.
But opponents contend the program sets a bad example by exposing children to alcohol consumption.
The owner of Ice Harbor Brewery in Kennewick, Bill Jaquish said he likes the idea and said the program would benefit his business. He said he is very interested in getting involved.