If there's one thing that's been unnerving about the privatization of alcohol sales in Washington (and, let's be honest, there have been a few things), the decline of the mini-bottle ranks right up there. Gone are the days when a tantalizing selection of mini-bottles was available wherever liquor was sold.
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But those looking to rekindle the min-bottle magic - or, more specifically, any "Spirits Retailer, Spirits Distributor and/or Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurant licensee age 21 or older and in good financial standing with the WSLCB," according to the Washington State Liquor Control Board website - will have a chance to do just that Nov. 1 when the WSLCB is scheduled to auction off the last of its remaining liquor inventory.
Of the booze available, the stockpile is said to include at least five lots of minis. According to WSLCB Distribution Center Process Improvement Manager Smriti Batra, that equates to roughly 24,000 mini-bottles - and approximately 50 different brands.
In addition to the minis, the WSLCB says the auction will include at least10 lots of high-value liquor, and eight lots of pints. In total, the Liquor Control Board says 130 lots will be auctioned off.
Batra says all of this booze is currently being stored at the WSLCB Distribution Center on East Marginal Way South in Seattle, just waiting to be cracked into.
The bad news, of course, is this is an auction for professional booze-sellers - not just alcoholics who miss the convenience of on-the-go shooters. To have a crack at the 24,000 mini-bottles or 130 lots of booze available - which the WSLCB says is spread out over roughly 540 pallets - you'll need to meet the criteria mentioned above (licensed retailers, distributors or restaurant/bar owners, in good standing with the WSLCB), and bring a $5,000 cashier's check as a bid deposit -to prove you're serious. If you don't yet meet the aforementioned criteria, the WSLCB says Temporary Pre-approval Permit (TPP) holders may also participate.
"Every participant would need to submit a $5,000 cashier's check to be eligible to bid. The check will be returned to any unsuccessful bidder at the end of the auction; whereas for a successful bidder, the amount will be applied to the security deposit," explains Batra via email.
The auction will commence at 10 a.m. Nov. 1 at the WSCLB Distribution Center, with an 8 a.m. check-in. Batra says a full catalog of the liquor going up for auction will be available online in the next couple weeks, and all money raised will go to the state's Liquor Revolving Fund, "where all of our revenues are first deposited."