Alcohol tastings permitted in Mexico with appropriate license
Wine, malt beverage and distilled spirit tastings will now be allowed upon the licensed premises of local businesses which are qualified to sell intoxicating liquor in the original retail packaging, which is concurrent with state law.
The Mexico City Council unanimously approved and put into effect at the May 12 meeting an amendment to chapter six, article 10, division three of the of the city code, section 6-281, subsection D, to allow future alcohol tastings.
The amendment was requested by local business owners who desire to hold tasting events at their places of business on various dates throughout the licensed year. This will be done by adding to subsection D as follows:
Any business possessing the qualifications and meeting the requirements of this chapter, who is licensed to sell intoxicating liquor in the orginal package at retail, may make application to the City Clerk for a special permit to conduct wine, malt beverage and distilled spirit tastings on the licensed premises. A licensee under this section shall pay an additional annual fee of $37.50. Business applicants should not construe this permit as a license to sell wine, malt beverage, of distilled spirits for on-premises consumption.
The hosting businesses may not allow customers to purchase and consume alcohol on site, as would be allowed at a licensed bar or restaurant. Instead, only a small amount of alcohol provided as samples may be consumed by customers present at the tastings.
Chapter 311, Liquor Control Law, of the Missouri State Statutes allows tastings on licensed premises, as long as the business has the qualifications and meets the requirements to be licensed to sell intoxicating liquor in the original retail package.
City Manager Bruce Slagle said the tastings will be similar to the free samples distributed at grocery stores. Requiring businesses to obtain a license prior to tastings will allow Mexico Public Safety the advanced notice necessary to effectively monitor the events.
At the city council meeting, member Greg Miller said he was initially concerned with allowing the tastings, because the city does not condone the consumption of alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. His concerns were somewhat alleviated after a conversation with Slagle, in which he was assured Mexico Public Safety has communicated with the merchants interested in hosting tastings and they responded with reasonable and appropriate plans for maintaining public safety during the event.
Miller said, "I feel we are doing what we can to accommodate the merchants and community while still upholding the law."
Xpress Mart and Mosers have expressed interest in hosting tasting events in Mexico.
Xpress Mart is currently discussing hosting weekly tastings of wine, craft beers and occasionally spirits with city staff. The company hopes to be allowed a year-long license, to avoid applying for each event individually, as the amended city code currently requires.
District Manager Christina Angiel said other Xpress Mart branches have successfully hosted weekly tastings for the past year and she hopes to do the same in Mexico. The tastings would occur on the same day and time every week so Mexico Public Safety can monitor the events.
According to Angiel the tastings will be scheduled as soon as the licensing process is complete with the city and state.