California Shuts Down Distillery for Serving Alcohol
Article from Reason by Baylen Linnekin.
Blinking Owl, a small craft distillery located in Santa Ana, Calif., outside Los Angeles, temporarily and non-voluntarily closed its doors last week. “We will be CLOSED the following Days: Sunday, November 10, 2019, to Saturday, December 7th, 2019, and Saturday, December 14th,” a message posted atop the Blinking Owl website laments.
Further down the homepage, the distillery— which holds a California craft distiller’s license, known as a Type 74 license in state regulatory parlance—goes into great detail about the saga behind the temporary closure, which appeared to result from little else than confusing regulations and inconsistent instructions from regulators.
“While Type 74 license states that distilleries can only serve up to 1.5 oz. of alcohol per person per day, we are allowed to have private events, in which the drink restriction is waived,” Blinking Owl explains. “It is under this section of code which many small distilleries in the state have found a much-needed revenue source by hosting private events or functions. To that end, we segregated private events with wristbands, something we believed the public was accustomed to and well understood the meaning of, and we subsequently operated in a manner we understood to be in complete compliance.”
That seems eminently reasonable. But what seems eminently reasonable to a business often strikes regulators—who are interpreting the same, oftentimes poorly worded regulations that businesses are, but with an eye to punishing scofflaws—as something entirely different. Just how the temporary closure came about demonstrates this fact.
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: Uri Tours (uritours.com) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons