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Old 04-11-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
Apr 2009
Posts: 2

New to forum with a quick question. A friend of mine is hosting an art show, they have asked if I could sample my beer at the show....they have done it with wine in the past and because they have the bottle showing, and there is no charge, they have said it is considered a sample. I am all for having strangers sample my beer, give me a good indication beyond family and friends but I am concerned about legality here. Anyone know can I give "samples" at the show? I am in Minnesota. The folks are carded at the door.

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Old 04-11-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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You have to check with your state's liquor control board. In Oregon, a show/fest requires liability insurance and OLCC licensed servers.

Just a small note on insanity. OLCC servers can get nailed for not checking ID each time someone is served. Even at fests where everyone is carded and has a wristband.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
Dec 2008
Sunnyvale, CA
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Every locale will be different, but usually in cases like that, even for non-alcoholic consumables, you need some kind of licensing. Its not just legal drinking age that is a concern but health standards. Or at least that's what they say.

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:22 PM   #4
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Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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I would tend to be in the "F-that, come and get me" category on this. I would do first and ask later. The cops aren't going to show up and cart you away. The above posts are most definitely the responsible way to go though.

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:46 PM   #5
Jun 2008
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Dunno, I live in Santa Fe NM and the art galleries always serve wine and cheese at their openings. No one is ever carded(unless you are obviously too young.) I never hear of anyone getting busted or hear that they are breaking the law.

I agree with above poster, all these laws are BS though, it is a felony here to buy an minor a 6 pack, a felony. Unless it is your immediate family or whatever.

Anyways I would do first and ask later as well, no cop is going to arrest you for serving sample glasses.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:29 PM   #6
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
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Hard to say. I know that as a kid, I helped put on many soup suppers as fund raisers. No alcohol was served, but we had no license/permit for such an event.
I would like to think that the police have better things to do than bust an art showing that has a little free beer in Dixie cups...but I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, and I've never even slept at a Holiday Inn Express.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:47 AM   #7
Grinder12000's Avatar
Jul 2008
Columbus WI
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I've had some shows with my beer - not a problem - if you can have wine you can have beer.

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Old 04-14-2009, 05:09 AM   #8
Echo2112's Avatar
Sep 2008
Austin, Texas
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I have a bit of experience with liquor laws here in Texas (20 years or so) and there is good advice in the above posts, but what it boils down to is this.

Is the beer free, or are you charging for it.

While every state has it's own laws, here in Texas, if you are giving the product away, you do not need a temporary serving permit from the TABC, nor do you need to have servers or bartenders that are TABC certified.

The TABC cannot prevent you from giving away beer or wine, since you have already paid tax on it at the store, and you are not making a profit. Now since this is homebrew, you have not paid TABC tax on it, but they would not know that.

The way that folks get into trouble is by asking for donations, asking that a cover charge is paid, or that you have to buy a cup. At that point, money is being exchanged, and you need a license for it. Some are cheap, you can get a weekend permit here for a $200 administrative fee, and a $30 charge for the license itself.

If it is free, they can't do a thing about it. Unless you are serving minors. Again, your state may be different, but at least around here, as long as you take zero money for what you are giving out, you are in the clear.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:50 AM   #9
Apr 2009
Posts: 39

I agree with the above poster. "If it is free, they can't do a thing about it. Unless you are serving minors." After all, you need to check with your state's liquor control board.

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Old 04-14-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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Jun 2007
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Alcohol aside, the line drawn here by regulatory health standards is whether or not "potentially hazardous foods" are being served. Beer is not a potentially hazardous food by definition (mostly due to pH < 4.6). In most locales, one can serve non-potentially hazadous foods (e.g., coffee and donuts) to the public without a health permit. However, when potentially hazardous foods come into play, most regulatory health departments require a "special event permit", which is a one-off permit as opposed to yearly (like a restaurant gets).

Since beer is a non-potentially hazardous food, you don't need a health department permit. But since it is alcoholic, that's a whole different matter and you're better off contacting your state's LCB. Then decide what to do.

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