House Education Committee passes alcohol bill

PIERRE, S.D. (KJJQ) – The South Dakota House Education Committee passed a bill that would allow the university teaching of brewing, wine-making and distilled spirits manufacturing. The School of Mines and Technology and South Dakota State University are both interested in offering courses.

The measure is sponsored by Representative Tim Reed of Brookings.

Only those 21 and over would be allowed in any classes involving alcohol and only tasting would be allowed. Reed says students are not going to become intoxicated in these classes and the alcohol will be strictly controlled.

Jill Thorngren is the Dean of Education and Human Sciences at SDSU. She says these courses are needed in the hospitality management program.

SDSU would also like to do further research into grape varieties and possibly hops.

The bill was opposed by Matt Walz of the South Dakota alcohol policy alliance. He says they have serious concerns with this measure.

The bill passed 11-3 and now moves to the house floor.