The distillery of the Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna, Alaska, is seen in April 2018. Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed into law Senate Bill 9 on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, the bill overhauls state’s alcohol regulations, including creating several new retail license types, such as for breweries, wineries and distilleries, and allowing those businesses to stay open later. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

The distillery of the Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna, Alaska, is seen in April 2018. Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed into law Senate Bill 9 on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, the bill overhauls state’s alcohol regulations, including creating several new retail license types, such as for breweries, wineries and distilleries, and allowing those businesses to stay open later. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Comprehensive alcohol bill signed into law

The bill, 10 years in the making, was sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche

Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed into law Thursday Sen. Peter Micciche’s legislative overhaul of Alaska’s alcohol r egulations — a bill that’s been 10 years in the making. From O’Malley’s On the Green in Anchorage, Micciche and Dunleavy were joined by stakeholders in celebrating the bill’s passage, including the Brewers Guild of Alaska and the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association.

The bill overhauls Title 4 of Alaska State Statute, which governs the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Micciche has said that he estimates the bill as passed by lawmakers is the product of more than 16,000 hours of work and more than 100 stakeholders.

A key focus of the bill is the consolidation of Alaska’s existing licensing and permitting regulations. It creates several new retail license types, such as for breweries, wineries and distilleries, and allows those businesses to stay open later. The bill also creates a new endorsement system as well as a more effective penalty structure meant to protect public safety.

Micciche told the Clarion last month that, while no bill is perfect, S.B. 9 got to the point where everyone could shake hands and agree to the path forward. While minor changes to specific parts of the language could be needed in the future, Micciche said the bill is a solution to Alaska’s collection of “hodgepodge” and “one-off statutes.”

“SB 9 updates antiquated, burdensome alcohol laws with a common-sense rewrite that supports Alaska’s ever-changing alcohol, tourism and restaurant industries, while remaining focused on supporting those that struggle with the adverse effects of alcohol and putting rural bootleggers out of business,” Micciche said in a Thursday release following the signing ceremony.

S.B. 9’s full text can be found on the Alaska Legislature website at akleg.gov.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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