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If you are interested in entering the retail liquor sales business, you will need a liquor license. Here are the different types that are available and the type of business for which they are required. Remember, starting or investing in a retail liquor business is complicated. A mistake can prove very expensive. Experienced counsel is very important.

  • Drug Store Beer: Beer license for off-premises only by bonafide pharmacies (take out).
  • Grocery Store Beer: Beer license for off-premises only by bonafide groceries (take out).
  • Grocery Beer/Wine Product: Off-premises beer license and “wine product” is defined as a beverage containing wine with added juice, flavoring, water, citric acid, sugar and carbon dioxide, not containing more than six percent alcohol by volume.
  • Eating Place Beer: For on-premises consumption of beer. Food must be prepared and served at the premises in sufficient quantity to satisfy the SLA that the sale of beer is incidental to and not the prime source of income for the premises. You can take beer to go with a take-out order.
  • Hotel Beer: Located in a building used for the feeding and lodging of guests. The Hotel owner provides meals in a restaurant and the license includes room service as well as off premises consumption.
  • Club Beer: Not a nightclub or private bar. An organization of persons incorporated under the “Not-for-Profit Corporation” law or the “Benevolent Orders” law. An Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) officer must be appointed to act as a liaison to the State Liquor Authority. This license allows for consumption of beer on the premises for members and guests.
  • Ball Park Beer: For on-premises consumption of beer at baseball parks, racetracks, and other athletic fields. This does not include educational institutions.
  • Restaurant Wine: License for on-premises consumption of wine and beer in a place where food is prepared in such quantities that the sale of wine and beer is not the prime source of revenue.
  • Hotel Wine: See definition of Hotel under Hotel beer. On-premises sale of wine and beer in both a restaurant in the hotel as well as room service.
  • Club Wine: Not a nightclub or private bar. This is designed to restrict admission to a specific group of persons, or class of people. Allows for on-premises sale of wine or beer for club members and guests. The club must appoint an ABC officer.
  • Tavern Wine: Allows sale for on-premises consumption of wine and beer.
  • Liquor Store: For the sale of liquor and wine for consumption off the premises. The ABC Law restricts what a liquor store can sell and lists each one. Only one liquor store per person.
  • Hotel Liquor: See Hotel Beer for the definition of Hotel. Allows for the consumption of liquor, wine and beer on the premises, including room service. This license allows for off-premises consumption of beer only. The holder of an “HL” license may apply for a “Hotel Off-Premises” (HOP) permit to sell liquors and wines for off-premises consumption under certain circumstances.
  • Club Liquor: See Club Wine for definition of Club license. This is designed to restrict admission to a specific group of persons, or class of people. Allows for on-premises sale of Liquor, wine and beer for club members and guests. The club must appoint an ABC officer
  • Catering Establishment: Allows providers of food for banquet halls etc., to provide liquor, wine and beer for on premises consumption for an assemblage for a particular function to which the general public is not admitted.
  • On-Premises Liquor: Generally considered to be the standard “bar” license. Allows on-premises consumption of liquor, wine and beer and also allows for sale of beer for off-premises consumption. Some food must be served such as soups and sandwiches upon request.
  • Cabaret Liquor: For consumption on the premises, liquor, wine and beer, but for premises specializing in musical entertainment.
  • Wine Store: License to sell WINE ONLY for off-premises consumption, under the same basic conditions as a Liquor Store.
  • Microbrewery: May produce or brew up to 60,000 barrels of beer. May sell to licensees. Requires a brewer’s retail permit to sell to the general public. Requires an on-premises retail license to have a restaurant in or adjacent to the brewery.
  • Restaurant – Brewer: Commonly referred to as a “brew pub” license. This license allows brewing of beer on-premises, as well as on-premises sale of liquor, wine and beer. Need a bonafide restaurant. Can have up to 5 separate locations and can produce 5,000 barrels of beer per location not to exceed 20,000 barrels.
  • Supplemental Restaurant Brewer: Allows a restaurant brewer to sell for off-premises, wholesale, and outdoor gatherings. Maximum of 250 barrels of beer per year.
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