Kim Reynolds, Governor
Adam Gregg, Lt. Governor
Stephen Larson, Administrator

Iowa Liquor Regulators File Updated Rules for Tasting, Sampling and Trade Spending

Monday, August 24, 2015

For immediate release – August 24, 2015
Contact Robert Bailey – 515.725.2260

Des Moines – In Iowa in 1990, there were no micro-distilleries, only a handful of native wineries and a craft brewing culture consisting primarily of backyard brewers and their friends. That same year, the latest administrative rules governing product tastings, sampling and trade spending in the alcoholic beverages industry were established. In the 25 years that have passed, the industry has clearly changed. Fortunately, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, working with industry members, is taking action to update these rules.
“The existing rules governing these topics consisted of a four sentence paragraph that delivered far more cloudiness than clarity,” said Stephen Larson, Administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (Division). “These new rules, approved unanimously by the Alcoholic Beverages Commission, are a vast improvement.”
The revisions are the first stage of the Division’s mission to update an entire chapter of administrative rules that are intended to ensure a fair and level playing field in the alcohol beverages industry in the state and to prevent distributors or manufacturers from exerting influence over individual retailers.
The revised rules create three distinct sections as well as specific definitions for terms such as brand, product, sampling, tasting and trade spending (specific definitions were not part of the rules being replaced).The revised rules clarify the amount of product allowed in a tasting (1/2 of an ounce for spirits; 1 ounce for wine; two ounces for beer; and two ounces for mixed drinks) as well as listing specific requirements for tastings on licensed or unlicensed premises conducted by industry members or retailers.
Additionally, the new rules filed with the Administrative Rules Review Committee provide guidance on trade practices such as sampling (providing samples of new product to retailers) and trade spending (purchasing drinks for individual customers for the purpose of introducing a new product or brand).
A comment period on the proposed rules remains open until September 8 and a public meeting will be held on September 11, 2015. The Division is moving forward on updating other rules pertaining to trade practices such as sponsorships and advertising.

About Iowa ABD
The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division serves Iowans through the responsible regulation and profitable distribution of alcohol while providing opportunities for industry development and promoting health through education. Visit the Iowa ABD online at

Printed from the website on August 08, 2020 at 1:14am.