Purchase Online Alcohol Server Permit Class for Washington State

If you are looking to obtain your Alcohol Server Permit in Washington State, here are some of the ways students get to us in an organic search. Washington State passed a law in 1995 requiring all folks employed in the food and beverage industry in Washington State to have an alcohol license to serve intoxicating beverages to the public. ALES has been providing that alcohol server training and alcohol server education in Washington State since that legislation passed in 1995. Our class is now only available online. In the past, we held alcohol training courses weekly in Seattle, Vancouver, Olympia, Spokane, Chehalis, Centralia, Everett and everywhere in between! Now, since most students strongly prefer the online class, we offer it exclusively, and we have striven to make our alcohol class approachable, convenient, and painless. We realize it is a mandatory training and that folks need it in order to have a job and work at their job legally. So we, for over 15 years, have diligently provided the clearest and most concise route to receiving your alcohol training and your alcohol server education to obtain your Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) Permit. We are the happy folks, the ones who have spent years in the front of the house, behind the house and behind the wood. We are pro business and pro server.

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The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. The new name drops the Control and add Cannabis…Yup, that is the new

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.
The new name drops the Control and adds Cannabis

It’s a new historic day for the Liquor and Cannabis Board. You’ll notice the new name for the agency and the URL or website address to lcb.wa.gov (drop the liq and the www) The name change is the first for the agency since it was established by the Steele Act on January 23, 1934.

*Review a historical account from former Washington State Speaker of the House Charles Hodde on the Steele Act of 1934 found on the Washington Secretary of State’s website.

If you are interested in other legislation that impacts the WSLCB, you can find them on the WSLCB’s website in the Laws and Rules section.

Concerning the sale of beer and cider by grocery store licensees (SSB 5280)
SSB 5280 requires a MAST Class 12 permit for those employees selling growlers at a grocery stores.
http://lcb.wa.gov/publications/Leg_FactSheets/2015_factsheets/Fact%20Sheet%205280-Concerning%20the%20sale%20of%20beer%20and%20cider%20by%20grocery%20store%20licensees.pdf

Protecting children and youth from powered alcohol (SB 5292)
http://lcb.wa.gov/publications/Leg_FactSheets/2015_factsheets/Fact%20Sheet%20SB%205292-Protecting%20children%20and%20youth%20from%20powdered%20alcohol.pdf

Alcohol Cards and the Alcohol Class for Washington State Servers in the restaurant and bar industry

If you are looking to obtain your Alcohol Server Permit in Washington State, here are some of the ways students get to us in an organic search. Washington State passed a law in 1995 requiring all folks employed in the food and beverage industry in Washington State to have an alcohol license to serve intoxicating beverages to the public. ALES has been providing that alcohol server training and alcohol server education in Washington State since that legislation passed in 1995. Initially, we held alcohol training courses weekly in Seattle, Vancouver, Olympia, Spokane, Chehalis, Centralia, Everett and everywhere in between! We have striven to make our alcohol class approachable, convenient, and painless. We realize it is a mandatory training and that folks need it in order to have a job and work at their job legally. So we, for over 15 years, have diligently provided the clearest and most concise route to receiving your alcohol training and your alcohol server education to obtain your Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) Permit. We are the happy folks, the ones who have spent years in the front of the house, behind the house and behind the wood. We are pro business and pro server.

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Washington State Liquor Fees Too High, Most Say

State liquor industry at odds over fees

Retailers contend distributors are getting an unfair advantage in selling to restaurants and bars; distributors point to $150 million in fees they agree to pay the state in the first-year of privatization.

Seattle Times business reporter

RELATED

The private-run market for spirits created by I-1183 is only 2 years old, but it has spawned its fair share of legal wrangling as stakeholders seek to improve their odds in the new business landscape.

Restaurants and retailers, including Costco Wholesale, have been clamoring for a break from the 17 percent fee on gross spirits revenues that stores must pay when selling to eateries and bars.

They argue that distributors get an unfair advantage because they’re beholden to a lower, 10 percent fee and can offer restaurants and bars lower prices. Moreover, restaurants could benefit from the sheer pricing power enjoyed by giants such as Costco, they say. “We could pass those savings on to the little guys,” said Costco general counsel John Sullivan.

But distributors say they agreed to pay the state $150 million in fees during the first year of privatization and that grocery stores “want the same privilege for nothing,” said John Guadnola, a spokesman for Washington spirit distributors.

State lawmakers gave small liquor stores a break from the 17 percent fee, but a respite for the larger grocers became stalled in the Legislature.

In addition, owners of former state stores say they’re being crushed by a distributor practice that’s known as “channel pricing.”

That means that distributors can offer discounts to restaurants and bars, even as they sell to retailers at higher prices. Last year the Washington State Liquor Control Board sided with the liquor-store owners, but in early June it reversed its decision. The rules have not been adopted, and a public hearing is scheduled for next month.

Ángel González: 206-464-2250 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com. On Twitter: @gonzalezseattle

 

 

If you are looking to obtain your Alcohol Server Permit is Washington State, here are some of the ways students get to us in an organic search. Washington State passed a law in 1995 requiring all folks employed in the food and beverage industry in Washington State to have an alcohol license to serve intoxicating beverages to the public. ALES has been providing that alcohol server training and alcohol server education in Washington State since that legislation passed in 1995. We have had an alcohol training class weekly in Seattle, Vancouver, Olympia, Spokane, Chehalis/Centrailia, Everett and everywhere in between ! We have striven to make our alcohol class approachable, convenient, and painless. We realize it is a mandatory training and that folks need it in order to have a job and work at their job legally. So we, for over 15 years, have diligently provided the clearest and most concise route to receiving your alcohol training and your alcohol server education to obtain your Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) Permit. We are the happy folks, the ones who have spent years in the front of the house, behind the house and behind the wood. We are pro business and pro server.
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Aftermath of Liquor Privatization in Washington State

In aftermath of liquor privatization, spirits everywhere, not cheap

Many expected liquor sales privatization to benefit businesses, the state and the public by creating a modern market that would make spirits cheap and ubiquitous. Now liquor is ubiquitous but remains expensive, and some businesses still struggle for a place in the new environment.

By Ángel González

Seattle Times business reporter

Costco’s liquor aisle in Kirkland. Costco prices are lower than the state’s were, executives say, and maybe so if you like very large bottles.

Enlarge this photo 

 

A customer passes by a liquor-aisle display at the Kirkland Costco. Average liquor prices in the state are about 11 percent higher since privatization, and consumers seem to be feeling it. Liquor sales rose a modest 6 percent the first year, and since seem to have flattened.

Enlarge this photo 

 

State-owned retailers before and after privatization

While the number of places where people can buy liquor has exploded, stores formerly owned by the state have dropped by almost one-third.

GRAPHIC BY MARGARET NG / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Click to see an enlarged version of the map.

High spirits

Two years after the privatization of liquor sales in Washington, the state has enjoyed a financial windfall that is starting to wind down. Meanwhile, consumers on average pay higher prices for the hard stuff.

Click to see an enlarged version of the graphic.

Click to see an enlarged version of the graphic.

REPORTING BY ANGEL GONZALEZ, GRAPHIC BY MARGARET NG / THE SEATTLE TIMES

George Alberts voted in favor of forcing the state to release its Prohibition-era grip on spirit sales. But the world conjured by the new law fails to live up to his expectations.

“It’s a disappointment. Prices have gone up for all spirits,” said the 64-year-old retiree during a recent visit to Costco Wholesale, the warehouse club that drove the privatization initiative, in which he bought 12 large bottles of Bacardi rum.

Nevertheless, Alberts said some good had come out of it — mainly convenience. “I’d do it again,” he said about voting in favor.

That lingering ambivalence underscores how Washington residents and businesses are still adapting to the state’s pullout from the liquor business two years ago.

Many saw privatization as a win for business, government and the public. Retailers and distributors would inherit a lucrative niche. The state would get more revenue from newly imposed fees. And consumers would get cheaper, more widely available booze.

Well, most of that happened: A nearly $1 billion business is in private hands, the state has enjoyed a short-term revenue windfall, and liquor is ubiquitous. But on average it’s not cheaper, and certainly not perceived as such.

The dust hasn’t settled after the disruption created by ballot Initiative 1183, which took effect in June 2012. It left plenty of grievances in its wake, from small entrepreneurs who bought the rights to run state-owned stores to retailers arguing over fees, including Costco, which ended up with 10 percent of the state’s spirits markets, according to its executives.

Proponents of a limited role for state government say privatization has been only a qualified success because it has come at the expense of liquor buyers. “Clearly, the taxation element is one that still leaves a bad taste in consumers’ mouths,” said Leonard Gilroy, director of government reform for the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank.

Gilroy added that from a national perspective, the state’s move to get out of the liquor business “was pretty significant,” as it was the first state to do so since Prohibition ended. The effort has been closely watched by the other 17 states that are still engaged in the booze business, including Oregon, where a ballot initiative similar to Washington’s was dropped this month by its proponents.

More outlets, more money, higher prices

Privatization scattered sales of spirits, which had been previously concentrated in 329 stores owned or contracted by the state, to more than 1,400 outlets, from sprawling warehouse clubs to grocery stores and pharmacies. New entrants like California-based spirits and wine retailer BevMo! and Total Wine & More have captured a chunk of the market.

That doesn’t mean sales of liquor have increased dramatically: they rose 6 percent in the first year, a bit less than state forecasters had expected, and far less than what critics feared. And the most recent data point to volumes being relatively flat from last year.

Market research firm Scarborough says that of people who buy liquor, about a third bought it at their grocery store, about 24 percent at a liquor store, and 16 percent at warehouse clubs.

Restaurants are also reaping the benefits of flexibility. Before, they had to go to an assigned liquor store to stock up. Now they can have it delivered by competing distributors, which offer discounts and more variety.

“Everything is there and more,” says celebrity restaurateur Tom Douglas, who backed the privatization initiative. He thinks it’s worked out fine. “Some prices are higher, some prices are a little lower.”

The number of distributing licenses certainly has exploded — to 103, although many are held by the same distributor and most of the market is controlled by two companies, California-based Young’s Market and Southern Wine & Spirits out of Miami.

Meanwhile, state government has enjoyed a bounty despite giving up the business.

According to the state Office of Financial Management (OFM), revenue from spirits reached $521 million in the fiscal year ended in June 2013, about $73 million more than in the same period two years prior, which was the last full year under the state system. But that windfall is past its peak, as the figure for fiscal 2013 included a one-time $105 million fee paid by distributors.

For the current fiscal year, which ends Monday, the state had as of May collected nearly $369 million in revenue. State forecasters had predicted before the initiative passed that combined state general fund and local revenues would raise an additional $402 million to $480 million over six years. OFM director David Schumacher said in a statement that “it’s too soon to say how well those initial financial-impact projections will pan out.”

What’s certain is that many consumers are feeling pinched. The average price per liter, after tax, from June 2013 to April 2014 was $24.39, about 11 percent higher than in the same period two years prior, before privatization.

The culprit: fees created by the privatization initiative to make the state whole after giving up its monopoly. Those include a 10 percent fee paid by distributors, which will drop by half this year for many, and a 17 percent fee paid by retailers.

Data posted by the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, indicates that Washington residents pay about $35.22 per gallon in spirits taxes, about $8.52 more than before privatization, even though Washington already was the state that taxed liquor the most.

Oregon is a distant second, at $22.73 per gallon. The gap has been prompting some to load up south of the border. Sales at 12 border stores in Oregon from July to October 2013 were 30 percent higher than in the same period two years prior, that state’s liquor control commission reported.

Some people have also blamed distributors, but John Guadnola, a spokesman for Washington spirits distributors, points the finger at the state.

“To me, it’s not rocket science,” Guadnola said. By guaranteeing the same amount of money to the state and adding private-sector profits, “there should have been no reason to think that prices going into the system would be lower,” he said, unless distributors were somehow to buy liquor at a cheaper price than the state monopoly was able to, and that won’t happen because they have less purchasing clout.

Costco executives, who pushed hard to get the initiative passed, disagree. They say that at least part of the general price increase may be due to the fact that stores have shifted to higher-end products. Moreover, they say that at Costco, most liquor prices are lower than at state-owned stores under the old regime.

A recent visit to the Kirkland warehouse backed up their price claims — provided you pay for a membership and are fond of very large bottles.

A 1.75 liter of Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch retailed for $69.25. At a state store in May 2012 it would have cost $81.95. At a downtown Seattle liquor store formerly owned by the state, it retailed for $109.99.

Costco executive John McKay said the company expects prices to come down as liquor manufacturers continue to jostle for sales and the free market works its magic.

“We’ve seen some of that, but not all of that,” McKay said.

The short stick

The free market, though, is crushing the former state stores auctioned off on the eve of privatization. Of 61 state stores in King County before the change, 34 remained open as of April, according to the liquor board.

Many entrepreneurs thought the stores would fill a unique niche in the new landscape — small neighborhood locations with established clients and no competition from other small businesses because the new law would allow spirits sales only in stores larger than 10,000 square feet, with few exceptions. In April 2012 they bid $30.75 million for the stores.

But restaurants began buying from more convenient, and cheaper, distributors. Some owners were crowded out by neighboring grocery stores, which have more wiggle room for liquor prices because they make their profit on other items.

Many were saddled with leases for more space than they needed as a big part of their sales disappeared, said David Cho, a former hedge-fund manager who left New York to run a liquor store in Tacoma, dubbed Liquor & Liquor, in which he had invested.

Cho says it had seemed to be a good location, far away from big shopping centers. Now sales are down 70 percent from the $4 million they amounted to annually before privatization; to survive he’s had to diversify into beer, tobacco and wine, but so far the store is still bleeding money.

“I haven’t paid myself in two years,” he said. “It’s the worst decision I’ve ever made.” Store owners didn’t get “what was promised” from the state, he added.

Brian Smith, a spokesman for the liquor board, says in response that it’s the fault of the invisible hand. “The market went from a controlled one where costs were equal to a free-market system where they are unequal,” giving larger players an edge.

Some local distillers are also feeling pinched, both by higher fees, which prompt consumers to buy less or to prefer cheaper products, and by competition from big liquor manufacturers that can better afford discounts.

Those factors have hurt the sales of Sound Spirits, a Capitol Hill craft distillery. “We had to go outside of Washington and find markets,” owner Steven Stone said.

But not all about privatization was bad: Private distributors offered better customer service to manufacturers than the state monopoly. Also, some distillers can themselves distribute to clients if they can’t find a distributor. “You get to skip the middleman,” Stone said.

Researcher Gene Balk contributed to this story.

Ángel González: 206-464-2250 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com. On Twitter: @gonzalezseattle

 

Wine Sales Stay Strong

Some winemakers worried at first, but sales have grown

Some winemakers and wine distributors were nervous about competing with hard liquor for grocery shelf space, but it all worked out.

By Ángel González

Seattle Times business reporter

RELATEDAt the onset of liquor privatization, winemakers and distributors fretted about competing for shelf space at grocery stores with the hard stuff. It turned out OK, however. 

“We all thought they were going to take the wine section and fill half of it with spirits,” said Greg Lill, head of DeLille Cellars in Woodinville. “Some wine shelving did go away. But it was never as traumatic or as bad as it was going to be.”

Some confusion came at the beginning as wine distributors figured out how to display items. “It just created chaos,” says Lill’s wife, Stacy, who created the O Wines brand in 2006 and later sold it to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

Now that things have settled down, sales have increased. “The change in the law has resulted in a wider availability of Washington state wines, both in breadth and depth,” says Michaela Baltasar, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Wine Commission. Sales are up 15 percent versus last year, she said.

Almudena de Llaguno, who heads Classical Wines, a Ballard-based importer of wines from Spain, says that on the eve of the transition a lot of distributors and grocers withheld some spending as they planned to steer more of it toward the newly authorized spirits. But “when the rush was over, everything came back to its normal course,” she said. “We only hope (spirits) are profitable to them, which benefits us all in the long run.”

Initiative 1183 also changed some rules that benefited wine consumers. It allowed winemakers to offer volume discounts, and retailers such as Costco to buy wine straight from the winery into their warehouses.

“Our wine pricing has come down quite a bit,” said John McKay, Costco’s northern-division chief operating officer.

MAST Permits for Washington State, Class 12 and 13 Alcohol Server Permits

If you are looking to obtain your Alcohol Server Permit is Washington State, here are some of the ways students get to us in an organic search. Washington State passed a law in 1995 requiring all folks employed in the food and beverage industry in Washington State to have an alcohol license to serve intoxicating beverages to the public. ALES has been providing that alcohol server training and alcohol server education in Washington State since that legislation passed in 1995. We have had an alcohol training class weekly in Seattle, Vancouver, Olympia, Spokane, Chehalis/Centrailia, Everett and everywhere in between ! We have striven to make our alcohol class approachable, convenient, and painless. We realize it is a mandatory training and that folks need it in order to have a job and work at their job legally. So we, for over 15 years, have diligently provided the clearest and most concise route to receiving your alcohol training and your alcohol server education to obtain your Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) Permit. We are the happy folks, the ones who have spent years in the front of the house, behind the house and behind the wood. We are pro business and pro server.
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2014 Best of Olympia Awards – Education

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALES Receives 2014 Best of Olympia Award

Olympia Award Program Honors the Achievement

OLYMPIA June 8, 2014 — Ales has been selected for the 2014 Best of Olympia Award in the Education category by the Olympia Award Program.

Each year, the Olympia Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Olympia area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Olympia Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Olympia Award Program and data provided by third parties.

 

Bill to lower liquor and alcohol taxes

Bill would gradually lower liquor taxes

Lawmakers introduced on Wednesday a measure that would gradually lower liquor sales taxes from 20.5 percent to 6.5 percent over eight years.

Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) mulls rule change to ban marijuana anywhere alcohol is sold

 

The Olympian

Liquor Control Board mulls rule change to ban marijuana anywhere alcohol is sold

Opponents turned out in force Wednesday morning to express displeasure with a proposed rule change by the state Liquor Control Board that will prohibit marijuana consumption in liquor-licensed establishments statewide.

The News Tribune (Editorial)
Liquor stores and legal pot face ferocious competition
The fate of Washington’s liquor stores should be a cautionary tale for lawmakers and local governments trying to make legal marijuana stores as advertised.