The plan approved Thursday by the Senate would permit alcohol tasting for students enrolled culinary, beer technology or similar programs.
The students must be at least 18 years of age and supervised by faculty or staff at a community or technical college. Students are supposed to taste but not consume the alcohol.
Supporters say the proposal would improve educational programs for students and help them learn about an important industry.
Democratic Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam opposed the measure, saying he fears that the bill is the first of many that would lower drinking ages and expand access to alcohol.
The measure passed 42-7 and now goes to the state House.