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Can bars sell packaged liquor to go in Colorado?

Discussion in 'US - Mountain' started by ChipperDave, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. I've recently heard of a new beer bar chain coming to Colorado that intends to not only establish themselves as a bar and music venue but also sell packaged liquor (mostly beer) to go right from the bar. I wasn't aware that this was allowable. What is the law in Colorado pertaining to bars/restaurants. Can they legally sell unopened beer to go (6-packs, single bottles, etc)?
  2. Prospero

    Prospero Advocate (620) Colorado Jul 27, 2010

    No, not unless the law changes.

    Falling Rock Tap House had their vintage beer sale last Saturday and no bottles could be taken from premises. All had to be consumed on site.
  3. joshclauss

    joshclauss Savant (305) Colorado Oct 31, 2010

    Which chain is it?
  4. That's why I questioned this new beer bar's policy. Apparently in the other states World Of Beer is located in, they are allowed to sell packaged beer directly from their bar. I spoke with the bar manager of the upcoming World of Beer that's slated to open in March in the Cherry Creek area and he wasn't aware of any conflicts with selling packaged beer. I suggested he better look it up as that is a big part of their proposed business plan. If someone can point to the exact law if it's listed online somewhere I'd like to forward it to him. Should mention that he stated selling individual bottles. If you look at their web site wobusa.com it looks like they not only have a huge tap wall but also a long line of beer cooler doors with individual bottles for sale. Anyone know about World of Beer from other states?
  5. tacosandbeer

    tacosandbeer Savant (420) Colorado Sep 24, 2010

    I doubt you'll find that exact law...online.
  6. poonamibaxter

    poonamibaxter Savant (315) Colorado Jun 26, 2007

    River North and Crooked Stave both sale their bottles to go, so does Great Divide. I guess you can sale your beer to go just not others.
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  7. Yes, breweries are allowed to sell beer to go, but I didn't think that was true for bars.
  8. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Champion (910) Colorado May 19, 2005

    I would guess that it depends on which license(s) they get. ...and the mark up margin o_O
  9. Prospero

    Prospero Advocate (620) Colorado Jul 27, 2010

    Yea, the Beer & Wine (or Tavern) license is for on-premises only. The retail license is off-premises only. I'm not sure if you can apply and obtain both or not, but most bars have the beer & wine license and liquor stores have the retail license. If there's a way to obtain both, maybe there's an exclusion or option.

    Best to have him consult his lawyer. I'm just taking what I read off of this PDF
    ChipperDave likes this.
  10. There is a restaurant in Southlands Mall named "Wine Experience Cafe & World Cellar". It is one single location that is a restaurant on one side and a liquor store on the other. You can eat in the restaurant and order drinks just fine, then walk over to the liquor store portion, purchase wine/beer/liquor and leave with it just fine. I assume they are somehow operating as 2 separate entities under one roof? They are in the same space, with only a half wall separating the two.
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  11. It'll take something like that for them to operate their World of Beer franchise then, but from looks of their other locations, the beer coolers are right behind the bar.

    Thanks for the inputs.
  12. dauss

    dauss Advocate (565) Colorado Aug 9, 2003

    Most breweries have a brewery manufacturer license and a wholesale beer license. Neither license allows the purchase and resale of alcohol.
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  13. Hessma

    Hessma Disciple (70) Colorado Oct 19, 2012

    Happy Reading:)
    http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellit...goBlobs&blobwhere=1251824686284&ssbinary=true

    12-47-407. Retail liquor store license.
    (4) It is unlawful for any owner, part owner, shareholder, or person interested directly or indirectly in a
    retail liquor store to conduct, own either in whole or in part, or be directly or indirectly interested in any other
    business licensed pursuant to this article; except that such a person may have an interest in an arts license or
    an airline public transportation system license granted under this article, or in a financial institution referred to
    in section 12-47-308 (4).
    12-47-409. Beer and wine license.
    (3) It is unlawful for any owner, part owner, shareholder, or person interested directly or indirectly in a
    beer and wine license to conduct, own either in whole or in part, or be directly or indirectly interested in any
    other business licensed pursuant to this article or article 46 of this title; except that such a person may have an
    interest in a license described in section 12-46-104 (1) (c), 12-47-401 (1) (j) to (1) (t), or 12-47-410 (1) or in a
    financial institution referred to in section 12-47-308 (4).
    http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellit...goBlobs&blobwhere=1251758548195&ssbinary=true
  14. Hessma

    Hessma Disciple (70) Colorado Oct 19, 2012

    Or...
    http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellit...goBlobs&blobwhere=1251824686284&ssbinary=true

    12-47-412. Tavern license. (1) A tavern license shall be issued to persons selling alcohol beverages by
    the drink only to customers for consumption on the premises. A tavern licensee shall have sandwiches and
    light snacks available for consumption on the premises during business hours, but need not have meals
    available for consumption.
  15. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Champion (910) Colorado May 19, 2005

    Let me see if I got this right:

    What? :eek:
    ssteigerwald likes this.
  16. Hessma

    Hessma Disciple (70) Colorado Oct 19, 2012

    Clear as mud:)
  17. Hessma

    Hessma Disciple (70) Colorado Oct 19, 2012

    I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but I think the common interpretation here is you cant have more than one license per business and you can't co-mingle the licenses. Each license is also pretty explicit about not allowing the respective co-mingling of take out or on premises consumption of alcohol.
    Of course if you can find a lawyer to document a determination of compliance through some loop hole in the code, then you are at least defensible and should be ready for a fight.
    12-47-409. Beer and wine license.
    (1) A beer and wine license shall be issued to persons selling malt and vinous liquors and fermented malt beverages for consumption on the premises. Beer and wine licensees shall have sandwiches and light snacks available for consumption on the premises during business hours, but need not have meals available for consumption.
    (3) It is unlawful for any owner, part owner, shareholder, or person interested directly or indirectly in a
    beer and wine license to conduct, own either in whole or in part, or be directly or indirectly interested in any
    other business licensed pursuant to this article or article 46 of this title; except that such a person may have an
    interest in a license described in section 12-46-104 (1) (c), 12-47-401 (1) (j) to (1) (t), or 12-47-410 (1) or in a
    financial institution referred to in section 12-47-308 (4).
    12-47-407. Retail liquor store license.
    (1) A retail liquor store license shall be issued to persons selling only malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors in sealed containers not to be consumed at the place where sold. Malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors in sealed containers shall not be sold at retail other than in retail liquor stores except as provided in section 12-47-408.
    (4) It is unlawful for any owner, part owner, shareholder, or person interested directly or indirectly in a
    retail liquor store to conduct, own either in whole or in part, or be directly or indirectly interested in any other
    business licensed pursuant to this article; except that such a person may have an interest in an arts license or
    an airline public transportation system license granted under this article, or in a financial institution referred to
    in section 12-47-308 (4).
    12-47-412. Tavern license.
    (1) A tavern license shall be issued to persons selling alcohol beverages by the drink only to customers for consumption on the premises. A tavern licensee shall have sandwiches and light snacks available for consumption on the premises during business hours, but need not have meals available for consumption.
    (3) It is unlawful for any owner, part owner, shareholder, or person interested directly or indirectly in
    tavern licenses to conduct, own either in whole or in part, or be directly or indirectly interested in any other
    business licensed pursuant to this article or article 46 of this title; except that such a person may have an
    interest in a license described in section 12-46-104 (1) (c), 12-47-401 (1) (j) to (1) (t), or 12-47-410 (1) or in a
    financial institution referred to in section 12-47-308 (4).
  18. gklover1

    gklover1 Savant (255) Colorado Oct 18, 2009

    Oops. I just fell asleep.
    Steve_0 likes this.
  19. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (945) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    Back when the Merchant of Vino was in the Whole Foods off of Hampden, they had a few draft taps for tasters. Apparently they ran afoul of a law similar to this one and even though the tasters were free, I guess having draft beer was considered serving alcohol. They ended up having to yank it.
  20. In other states with similar laws, I've seen bars that have a bottle shop for off-premise sales, but it's a separate entrance and my guess is that it would have to act as its own entity.

    It's really too bad. Despite the generous self-distribution and liquor laws in CO, there are definitely draw backs.

    My folks live in Raleigh, NC and they have some of the most antiquated liquor laws (state-owned ABC stores are the only ones allowed to sell liquor) but their bottle shops are much more craft-centric than most of the ones out here.

    I think a lot of the reason for that is that on-premise beer permits allow for off-premise sales in sealed containers. So bars can sell bottles to go, and bottle shops can serve draft beer on-premise. I think the latter is a better benefit to the craft beer culture. The ability to buy bottles from bars like World of Beer would be nice, but being able to have a beer on draft at your favorite bottle shop is even more of a game-changer.

    I know the 3.2 Beer legislation is a heated topic, but in a similar manner, sale of full-strength beer in grocery stores in NC has actually helped support and grow local breweries. There are some key changes to the CO bill that may help foster more support (grocery stores could only carry higher strength beer from breweries producing less than 6 million barrels), but it seems as though that may be the only alcohol related legislation changes (or proposals) we see for a while.
  21. MYJELLOMISFIT

    MYJELLOMISFIT Initiate (0) Colorado Jan 14, 2007

    We looked into the lawfulness of setting up some tap lines solely for selling growler fills for off premise consumption. It was a bust. The law is weird for Off Premise sales in that we could not because we were changing the package size from it's intended sales package (Keg) to an alternative package (growler). Damn the man.
  22. Prospero

    Prospero Advocate (620) Colorado Jul 27, 2010

    Just noticed your username, did you go to UNC? If so, sorry for your loss last week (Go Wolfpack!)

    Yea, my parents live in Charlotte and I love places like Common Market where you can walk into a neighborhood market and find food, bottled beer and wine, and even sit down for a pint while your shopping. They are small markets but they both have 4-6 taps or so and just a really cool vibe, would love to see that in Colorado and not sure why the law hasn't been pushed yet.
  23. guyforget

    guyforget Aficionado (205) Colorado Nov 12, 2009

    charlotte native here in denver. lets go tar heels!


    reading all this mumbo jumbo makes me thirsty.
  24. Yep, went to UNC. It was a tough loss but the Pack are looking good this year. Just not much leadership for the Heels this year.

    I too would love to see some improvements to beer sales here in CO, but then again self-distribution is a pretty amazing benefit for smaller breweries so I guess overall the scene is better here than most other places. I just wish we had more shops focused on craft beer. With retail licenses allowing beer, wine and liquor, I don't know of any stores in CO that only sell craft beer and nothing else. I think having beer on tap helps make that possible in NC.
    flipdog0 likes this.
  25. I've been looking into starting a beer business that deals somewhat with this. I've read any and every CO beer/liquor law multiple times and got a headache each time. This is good info to have.

    Ultimately I have concluded that there are no loopholes in the current laws. With all of the beer geeks in CO someone would have figured it out by now and taken advantage of it. I have a feeling if the laws ever change in regard to any of this, anyone and everyone and their dog are going to use it to the fullest extent.
    Hessma likes this.
  26. Prospero

    Prospero Advocate (620) Colorado Jul 27, 2010

    Well Colorado's beer distribution isn't as good as North Carolina's either.
    http://www.seekabrew.com/distro/?s=CO&p=NC

    I think Hugo's was going to be all craft beer, but then realized there were a lot of craft spirits being made in Colorado too and expanded their original concept. Our state does have quite a few beer managers that are also BA's so there are some great selections to choose from. I think it has more to do with our state's limited distribution.
  27. That could be true about distribution. I think the licenses play a part as well. Oh well, the scene's by no means bad here in CO. It's pretty great actually. I just really wish we could see dedicated bottle shops like in other states.
  28. World of Beer is coming to Colorado? Do they realize they won't last if they just have 200 random pale lagers like they do down here?
    Domingo, denver10 and Mebuzzard like this.
  29. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (945) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    For a while Old Chicago switched over to that philosophy and (I assume) were forced to go back to carrying good craft beers again.
  30. One of World of Beers best attributes is that they have a card system that allows you to trade how many of their beers you have orders... aka the exact same thing as Old Chicago's World Beer Tour.
  31. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (945) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    Too funny. I had about 75 entries in the OC Beer Tour going back to 2002'ish. Back in maybe '07 they started swapping out a lot of American craft taps and good imports with tons of "imposter" pilsners from all over the world. I pretty much stopped going altogether for a few years. They seemed to have reversed their policy in 2010 and started carrying good stuff again. I finally got to 110 a few months ago when they brought the good stuff back. The one near my house (Chambers & Buckley) is probably the second best beer pub in Aurora behind the Royal Hilltop.
  32. Yes, World of Beer is coming to Colorado. Specifically to the Cherry Creek area in March 2013.

    Thanks for all the great info on licenses. Sounds like WOB's business model may hit a bit of a snag here in Colorado unless they separate their on-site and off-site sales.
    Hessma likes this.
  33. I think it is great that they are coming, the only concern is that I don't think their business model doesn't fit in Colorado. Everything is way too corporate, sanitary, and foreign at WOB. Their main draw is their loyalty system, that you have to pay for, but that is already done for free at Old Chicago. They also don't serve food and their corporate has a ban on food trucks.

    I've been proven wrong before - see Arvada Brewing Company - so maybe I will be again. Either way I'm not a huge fan when you have so many other places - like Bull and Bush or The Cherry Cricket - you can go to in Cherry Creek.
  34. Old Chicago is in walking distance from where the WOB is going to be. Even that is a [potentially] better choice.

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