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Let’s Help Iowa Raise the Bar and Correct Iowa Code § 123.49(2)


Limoncello Infusion

Photo Credit: Ventura Limoncello Company, Ventura, CA

Iowa needs our help. As we recently saw in California as Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law repealing the ban of infusing and altering of spirits, Iowa is feeling the effects of a similar law that prohibits Iowa bartenders from creating their own bitters, fresh infusions and other staples from craft cocktail bars.

At time of this blog, Raise the Bar! has just 202 out of 1000 signatures on their petition to change this archaic law. Let’s help them get a little closer to their goal. From their petition:

Why This Is Important

It’s time to liberate Iowa’s talented mixologists from restrictive laws that inhibit nothing but their creativity. Iowa’s bartenders are currently barred from infusing their own spirits, or making bitters or barrel-aged cocktails. Iowa Code § 123.49(2) should be corrected. In a letter I received from the Iowa ABD from Karen Freund, Deputy Administrator for Regulation and Compliance, in response to my request for permission to produce infused spirits and bitters, Ms. Freund stated:

“In the email, you describe a process of adding botanical flavors to spirits to create a bitter, which is added, by drop, to cocktails. The information you provided involves a process of adulterating alcoholic liquor, otherwise known as infusing liquor. To be compliant with Iowa law, this process shall not:

1) Involve keeping alcoholic liquor in any container except the original package
purchased from the division (Iowa Code § 123.49(2)(d)) and

2) Adulterate the contents or remaining contents of an original package of an
alcoholic liquor or wine by the addition of any substance or knowingly possess
any original package which has been reused or adulterated (Iowa Code
§ 123.49(2)(e)).”

It is an arcane and intrusive law that restricts the creativity of Iowa’s many talented mixologists. Infused spirits, bitters, and barrel-aged cocktails do not increase alcohol abuse, in fact they temper it by getting drinkers to concentrate on the true savor of their cocktails as opposed to looking at them as mere alcohol delivery systems. Iowa’s bars, especially those that have restaurants, are perfectly capable of serving these libations safely, “Raising the Bar” for everyone.

Visit their petition on Change.org and lend a hand.

The Mutiny is everywhere.


  1. Bar-made Infusions are illegal in Iowa. Lets change a dumb law. « Distilled Opinion | Saturday, January 28, 2012

    […] http://www.facebook.com/Devotay/posts/139615369485394 http://www.mutineermagazine.com/blog/2011/11/lets-help-iowa-raise-the-bar-and-correct-iowa-code-%C2%… Iowa Code section 123.49 Iowa ABD website Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

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