Liquor and Cannabis Board okays free alcohol in exchange for vaccination



Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board loosen some rules to help get the masses vaccinated

Last week we reported that some breweries were hosting, or planned to host, pop-up vaccine clinics, offering patrons a deep discount on beer in exchange for getting the shot. Washington liquor law forbids a brewery or any licensed liquor retailer from giving away alcohol, so the best a brewery could do was sell at-cost beer to freshly vaccinated customers. Say, $1 for a pint.

Now, we share the news that the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board is relaxing some restrictions to help get people vaccinated. They have temporarily lifted the ban on free alcohol to help incentivize un-poked arms. There are some guidelines to follow, but it is now possible for breweries and other licensed alcohol retailers to offer free beer to freshly vaccinated patrons.

Pints for Pokes Program

The Washington Brewers Guild is partnering with the Governor’s office to help support the ongoing mission of vaccinating the public. Throughout the month of June, the Pints for Pokes program will take place statewide at participating breweries. For the month of June only. Any brewery can get involved in the Pints for Pokes, whether they’re guild members or not. No doubt, a lot of breweries will do their own thing, but the Pints for Pokes program is there for breweries if they want it.


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The Pints for Pokes program, spearheaded by the Washington Brewers Guild, is possible because of temporary provisions made by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board — provisions announced today and shared at the bottom of this post.

Consumers, the Washington Beer Blog will do all we can to help promote any or all Pints for Pokes events and participants, so keep an eye on this space. The Washington Brewers Guild will also share and promote the info. One way or another, we’ll make sure you know what’s going on.

Breweries, you are encouraged to get involved. Washington breweries can opt-in to participate in the “Pints for Pokes” program. In doing so, your brewery agrees to host a pop-up vaccination clinic, purchase a pint for anyone with proof of a June vaccination, or both.


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If your brewery is a member of the Guild, you should have received the email with “Pints for Pokes” in the subject line. There, you’ll find details about getting involved.

If your brewery is not a member of the Guild, you shoot an email to annie@washingtonbrewersguild.org and ask for more info.

LCB Announcement

If you have any questions or hesitations about any of the following, I strongly suggest you talk to your local enforcement agent or the LCB directly. Here is the official announcement from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board, dated May 17th.

LCB Provides Liquor Licensees the Option to Purchase a Beer, Wine or Cocktail for Customers with Proof of Vaccination

The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) today announces that at the request of brewery and winery industry representatives and in a mutual effort to encourage vaccinations, the agency is providing a limited allowance for on-premises liquor-licensed businesses to offer one alcoholic beverage at no cost to customers with proof of vaccination. The allowance is optional for licensees.

Allowance Conditions

The optional allowance is effective from Saturday May 15, – June 30, 2021. The following conditions apply:

  1. The customer provides proof to their server that they were vaccinated (first or second vaccination) between May 15, and June 30, 2021 (licensees may choose a window of time between the vaccination date and when the drink can be redeemed, as long as the vaccination was completed within the allowed time period);
  2. Customers are limited to one drink;
  3. The liquor establishment may provide the drink, or a non-industry member sponsor may pay for the drink;
  4. The drink and taxes are paid for at cost of production by the licensee or a non-industry sponsor; and
  5. Advertisements and public information provided by licensees related to drink with vaccination promotions may not contain the words “free” or “complementary” but may indicate a drink will be purchased on the customer’s behalf with proof of vaccination.


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