The Nitty Gritty Facts about Festivals

Part 1 of our festival blog post series.

It’s summer. It’s hot outside. Outdoor festivals and events ensue. Our next couple of blog posts will be breaking down the NC ABC’s rules for festivals/events. Stay tuned for our posts!

 

The NC ABC has some pretty strict rules on the co-mingling of alcohol and festivals/events. Specifically, the ABC has categorized four different types of festivals/events, and the rules for each type of festival/event differ. It is very important that you realize what type of festival/event you are participating in.

The festivals/events are as follows:

  1. The event is at an unlicensed location with tickets or beer sales only by the nonprofit organization. The nonprofit organization has control over the event and the sale of alcohol. The permit-holding organization can be held responsible for any violations that occur at the event.

What type of permits do you need? The nonprofit organization needs a Special One Time Permit. Donating breweries do NOT need a Malt Beverage Special Event Permit.

What does this mean for the breweries? If brewery employees are pouring at the event, then they are seen as volunteers of the nonprofit organization.  Only the nonprofit       organization can host the sale of tickets and sale of beer.

Breweries can sponsor the nonprofit organization as a Special One-Time Permittee. But, the product selection cannot be exclusive.

  1. The event is at an unlicensed location where beer sales are conducted by each participating brewery. For the NC people reading this think Brewgaloo.

What types of permits do you need? Each brewery must have a Malt Beverage Special Event Permit. This permit is found in the Commercial Permit application.

Location, location, location matters for this permit. The festival/event must be hosted in either a:

  • Trade show;
  • Convention;
  • Shopping mall;
  • Malt beverage festival;
  • Street festival;
  • Holiday festival;
  • Agricultural festival;
  • Balloon races; or
  • Local fund-raisers.

*if the event is at a shopping mall or another location, then you need to obtain a Winery/Brewery Special Event Approval form.

What does this mean for breweries? Each participating brewery is responsible for any violations that occur in their booth or by their employees and representatives.

  1. The event is at an unlicensed location where both a nonprofit organization and a participating brewery conduct beer sales.

What type of permits do you need? The nonprofit organization needs a Special One-Time Permit. The breweries need a Malt Beverage Special Event Permit.

Similar to Festival #1, the breweries can sponsor the nonprofit organization, but the product selection cannot be exclusive.

  1. An event on a retailer’s premises that his hosted by a nonprofit organization with tickets or beer sales only by the nonprofit organization.

What type of permits do you need? The nonprofit organization needs a Special One-Time Permit. The retailer must have an On-Premises Malt Beverage Permit.

What does this mean for breweries? Breweries can sponsor the nonprofit organization, but not at exclusion of other products.

*the retailer cannot keep any donated beer. Any unused product must remain the possession of the nonprofit organization or by reclaimed by the breweries.

*Each brewery has to complete an Industry Promotion Approval Form.

 

The information for this blog post can be found on the NC ABC website and the Beer Festival Guidelines.

 

Contact us!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me at john@beerlawcenter.com or call 919-335-5291.

Be sure to check out Beer Law Center and Matheson Law Office for all things NC legal.

Contact the NC ABC Commission

400 East Tryon Road

Raleigh, NC 27610

919-779-0700

NC ABC

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