Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 07: Alcoholic Beverages

Chapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • § 1. Construction

    This title is based on the taxing power and the police power of the state, and is for the protection of the public welfare, good order, health, peace, safety and morals of the people of the state, and all of its provisions shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of the purposes set forth herein.

  • § 2. Definitions

    The following words as used in this title, unless a contrary meaning is required by the context, shall have the following meaning:

    (1) "Alcohol": the product of distillation of spirits or any fermented malt or vinous beverage, including ethyl alcohol and nonpotable alcohol.

    (2) "Boat": a vessel suitably equipped and operated for the transportation of passengers in interstate commerce.

    (3) "Bottler": any person that bottles malt beverages, vinous beverages, spirits, or fortified wines for sale or for distribution in this State.

    (4) "Bottler's license": the license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting a bottler to bottle for sale and to distribute and sell at wholesale malt or vinous beverages.

    (5) [Repealed.]

    (6) "Caterer's license": a license issued by the Liquor Control Board authorizing the holder of a first-class license or first- and third-class licenses for a restaurant or hotel premises to serve malt or vinous beverages, spirits, or fortified wines at a function located on premises other than those occupied by a first-, first- and third-, or second-class licensee to sell alcoholic beverages.

    (7) "Club": an unincorporated association or a corporation authorized to do business in this State, that has been in existence for at least two consecutive years prior to the date of application for license under this title and owns, hires, or leases a building or space in a building that is suitable and adequate for the reasonable and comfortable use and accommodation of its members and their guests and contains suitable and adequate kitchen and dining room space and equipment implements and facilities. A club may be used or leased by a nonmember as a location for a social event as if it were any other licensed commercial establishment. Such club shall file with the Liquor Control Board, before May 1 of each year, a list of the names and residences of its members and a list of its officers. Its affairs and management shall be conducted by a board of directors, executive committee, or similar body chosen by the members at its annual meeting, and no member or any officer, agent, or employee of the club shall be paid, or directly or indirectly receive, in the form of salary or other compensation, any profits from the disposition or sale of alcoholic liquors to the members of the club or its guests introduced by members beyond the amount of such salary as may be fixed and voted at annual meetings by the members or by its directors or other governing body, and as reported by the club to the Liquor Control Board. An auxiliary member of a club may invite one guest at any one time. An officer or director of a club may perform the duties of a bartender without receiving any payment for that service, provided the officer or director is in compliance with the requirements of this title that relate to service of alcoholic beverages. An officer, member, or director of a club may volunteer to perform services at the club other than serving alcoholic beverages, including seating patrons and checking identification, without receiving payment for those services. An officer, member, or director of a club who volunteers his or her services shall not be considered to be an employee of the club. A bona fide unincorporated association or corporation whose officers and members consist solely of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or a subordinate lodge or local chapter of any national fraternal order, and which fulfills all requirements of this subdivision, except that it has not been in existence for two years, shall come within the terms of this definition six months after the completion of its organization. A club located on and integrally associated with at least a regulation nine-hole golf course need only be in existence for six months prior to the date of application for license under this title.

    (8) "Control commissioners": the commissioners appointed under section 166 of this title.

    (9) "Dining car": a railroad car on which meals are prepared and served.

    (10) "First-class license": a license granted by the control commissioners permitting the licensee to sell malt or vinous beverages to the public for consumption only on the premises for which the license is granted.

    (11) "Hotel" has the same meaning as in 32 V.S.A. § 9202(3) and as determined by the Liquor Control Board. A hotel that places a minibar in any room of a registered guest shall assure that the minibar is locked and that access to the minibar is restricted to guests of legal drinking age.

    (12) "Commissioner of Liquor Control": the executive officer of the Liquor Control Board appointed under the provisions of this title.

    (13) "Liquor Control Board": the Board of Control appointed under the provisions of this title.

    (14) "Malt beverages": all fermented beverages of any name or description manufactured for sale from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute therefor, known as beer, porter, ale, and stout, containing not less than one percent nor more than 16 percent of alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if such a beverage has an alcohol content of more than six percent and has a terminal specific gravity of less than 1.009, it shall be deemed to be a spirit and not a malt beverage. The holder of the certificate of approval or the manufacturer shall certify to the Liquor Control Board the terminal specific gravity of the beverage when the alcohol content is more than six percent.

    (15) "Manufacturer's or rectifier's license": a license granted by the Liquor Control Board that permits the holder to manufacture or rectify malt beverages, or vinous beverages and fortified wines, or spirits and fortified wines. Spirits and fortified wines may be manufactured or rectified by a license holder for export and sale to the Liquor Control Board, and malt beverages and vinous beverages may be manufactured or rectified by a license holder for export and sale to bottlers or wholesale dealers. This license permits a manufacturer of vinous beverages or fortified wines to receive from another manufacturer licensed in or outside this State bulk shipments of vinous beverages to rectify with the licensee's own product, provided that the vinous beverages or fortified wines produced by a Vermont manufacturer may contain no more than 25 percent imported vinous beverage. The Liquor Control Board may grant to a licensed manufacturer or rectifier of spirits, fortified wines, vinous beverages, or malt beverages a first-class license or a first- and a third-class license permitting the licensee to sell alcoholic beverages to the public only at the manufacturer's premises which for the purposes of a manufacturer of malt beverages, includes up to two licensed establishments that are located on the contiguous real estate of the holder of the manufacturer's license, provided the manufacturer or rectifier owns or has direct control over those establishments. The Liquor Control Board may grant to a licensed manufacturer or a rectifier of malt beverages a second-class license permitting the licensee to sell alcoholic beverages to the public anywhere on the manufacturer's or rectifier's premises. A licensed manufacturer or rectifier may serve, with or without charge, at an event held on the premises of the licensee or at a location on the contiguous real estate of the licensee, spirits, fortified wines, vinous beverages, and malt beverages, provided the licensee gives the Department written notice of the event, including details required by the Department, at least five days before the event. Any beverages not manufactured by the licensee and served at the event shall be purchased on invoice from a licensed manufacturer or wholesale dealer or the Liquor Control Board.

    (16) "Person": as applied to licensees, means an individual who is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States; a partnership composed of individuals, a majority of whom are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States; a corporation organized under the laws of this State or another state in which a majority of the directors are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States; or a limited liability company organized under the laws of this State or another state in which a majority of the members or managers are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.

    (17) "Restaurant": a space in a suitable building, approved by the Liquor Control Board, occupied, used, maintained, advertised, or held out to the public to be a place where food is served at all times when open for business and there are no sleeping accommodations. The space shall have adequate and sanitary kitchen and dining room capacity and the number and kinds of employees for preparing, cooking, and serving suitable food for guests and patrons as required by the Liquor Control Board.

    (18) "Retail dealer": any person who sells or distributes malt or vinous beverages to the public.

    (19) "Second-class license": a license granted by the control commissioners permitting the licensee to export malt or vinous beverages and to sell malt beverages or vinous beverages to the public for consumption off the premises for which the license is granted. The Liquor Control Board may grant a second-class licensee a fortified wine permit that permits the licensee to export and to sell fortified wines to the public for consumption off the licensed premises.

    (20) "Spirits" or "spirituous liquors": beverages that contain more than one percent of alcohol obtained by distillation, by chemical synthesis, or through concentration by freezing; vinous beverages containing more than 23 percent of alcohol; and malt beverages containing more than 16 percent of alcohol or more than six percent of alcohol if the terminal specific gravity thereof is less than 1.009; in each case measured by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (21) "Specialty beer": a malt beverage that contains more than eight percent alcohol and not more than 16 percent alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (22) "Third-class license": a license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting the licensee to sell spirits and fortified wines for consumption only on the premises for which the license is granted.

    (23) "Vinous beverages": all fermented beverages of any name or description manufactured or obtained for sale from the natural sugar content of fruits or other agricultural product, containing sugar, the alcoholic content of which is not less than one percent nor more than 16 percent by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (24) "Wholesale dealer": any person other than a bottler who buys malt or vinous beverages for distribution to or resale to retail dealers or to agencies of the United States.

    (25) "Wholesale dealer's license": the license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting the wholesale dealer to sell or distribute malt or vinous beverages as a wholesale dealer.

    (26) "Minor": a person who has not attained the age of 21.

    (27) "Special events permit": a permit granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting a licensed manufacturer or rectifier to sell by the glass or by unopened bottle spirits, fortified wines, malt beverages, or vinous beverages manufactured or rectified by the license holder at an event open to the public that has been approved by the local licensing authority. For the purposes of tasting only, the permit holder may distribute, with or without charge, beverages manufactured by the permit holder by the glass no more than two ounces per product and eight ounces total of malt beverages or vinous beverages and no more than one ounce in total of spirits or fortified wines to each individual. No more than 104 special events permits may be issued to a licensed manufacturer or rectifier during a year. A special events permit shall be valid for the duration of each public event or four days, whichever is shorter. Requests for a special events permit, accompanied by the fee as required by subdivision 231(13) of this title, shall be submitted to the Department of Liquor Control at least five days prior to the date of the event. Each manufacturer or rectifier planning to attend a single special event under this permit may be listed on a single permit. However, each attendance at a special event shall count toward the manufacturer's or rectifier's annual limit of 104 special events permits.

    (28) "Fourth-class license" or "farmers' market license": the license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting a licensed manufacturer or rectifier to sell by the unopened container and distribute by the glass with or without charge, beverages manufactured by the licensee. No more than a combined total of ten fourth-class and farmers' market licenses may be granted to a licensed manufacturer or rectifier. At only one fourth-class license location, a licensed manufacturer or rectifier may sell by the unopened container and distribute by the glass, with or without charge, vinous beverages, malt beverages, fortified wines, or spirits produced by no more than five additional manufacturers or rectifiers, provided these beverages are purchased on invoice from the manufacturer or rectifier. A manufacturer or rectifier may sell its product to no more than five additional manufacturers or rectifiers. A fourth-class licensee may distribute by the glass no more than two ounces of malt beverages or vinous beverages with a total of eight ounces to each retail customer and no more than one-quarter ounce of spirits or fortified wine with a total of one ounce to each retail customer for consumption on the manufacturer's premises or at a farmers' market. A fourth-class licensee may distribute by the glass up to four mixed drinks containing a combined total of no more than one ounce of spirits or fortified wine to each retail customer for consumption only on the manufacturer's premises. A farmers' market license is valid for all dates of operation for a specific farmers' market location.

    (29) "Festival permit": a permit granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting a person to conduct an event at which malt or vinous beverages, or both, are sold by the glass to the public, provided the event is approved by the local licensing authority. A festival permit holder may purchase invoiced volumes of malt or vinous beverages directly from a manufacturer or bottler, provided the manufacturer or bottler either holds a federal Basic Permit or a Brewers Notice or evidence of licensure in a foreign country, satisfactory to the Board, whichever applies. The invoiced volumes of malt or vinous beverages may be transported to the site and sold by the glass to the public by the permit holder or its employees and volunteers only during the event. A festival permit holder shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter, including section 240 of this title, and the rules of the Board regarding the sale of the alcoholic beverages and shall pay the tax on the malt or vinous beverages as required by section 421 of this title. A person shall not be granted a festival permit more than four times in one year, and each permit shall be valid for no more than four consecutive days. A request for a festival permit shall be submitted to the Department in a form required by the Department at least 15 days prior to the festival and shall be accompanied by a permit fee as required by subdivision 231(a)(14) of this title to be paid to the Department.

    (30) "Home-fermented beverages":  malt or vinous beverages produced at home and not for sale.

    (31) "Legal age": 21 years of age or older.

    (32) "Art gallery or bookstore permit": a permit granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting an art gallery or bookstore to conduct an event at which malt or vinous beverages or both are served by the glass to the public, provided that the event is approved by the local licensing authority. A permit holder may purchase malt or vinous beverages directly from a licensed retailer. A permit holder shall be subject to the provisions of this title and the rules of the Board regarding the service of alcoholic beverages. A request for a permit shall be submitted to the Department in a form required by the Department at least five days prior to the event and shall be accompanied by the permit fee required by subdivision 231(a)(22) of this title. As used in this section, "art gallery" means a fixed establishment whose primary purpose is to exhibit or offer for sale works of art; and "bookstore" means a fixed establishment whose primary purpose is to offer books for sale.

    (33) "Commercial catering license": A license granted by the Board permitting a business licensed by the Department of Health as a commercial caterer and having a commercial kitchen facility in the home or place of business to sell malt beverages, vinous beverages, spirits, or fortified wines at a function previously approved by the local licensing authority.

    (34) "Request to cater permit": a permit granted by the Liquor Control Board authorizing a first- or first- and third-class licensed caterer or commercial caterer to cater individual events.

    (35) "Industrial alcohol distributors license": a license granted by the Liquor Control Board that allows holders to sell pure ethyl or grain alcohol of at least 190 proof in quantities of five gallons or more directly to manufacturers, industrial users, hospitals, druggists, and institutions of learning. Alcohol sold under the industrial alcohol distributors license may only be used for manufacturing, mechanical, medicinal, and scientific purposes.

    (36) "Outside consumption permit": a permit granted by the Liquor Control Board allowing the holder of a first-class, first- and third-class, or fourth-class license to allow for consumption of alcohol in a delineated outside area.

    (37) "Sampler flight": a flight, ski, paddle, or any similar device by design or name intended to hold alcoholic beverage samples for the purpose of comparison.

    (38) "Fortified wines": vinous beverages, including those to which spirits have been added during manufacture, containing at least 16 percent alcohol but no more than 23 percent alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and all vermouths containing no more than 23 percent alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (39) "Public library or museum permit": a permit granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting a public library or museum to serve malt beverages or vinous beverages, or both, by the glass to the public for a period of not more than six hours during an event held for a charitable or educational purpose, provided that the event is approved by the local licensing authority. A permit holder may purchase malt beverages or vinous beverages directly from a licensed retailer. A permit holder shall be subject to the provisions of this title and the rules of the Board regarding the service of alcoholic beverages. A request for a permit shall be submitted to the Department in a form required by the Department at least five days prior to the event and shall be accompanied by the permit fee required by subdivision 231(a)(24) of this title. As used in this section, "public library" has the same meaning as in 22 V.S.A. § 101 and "museum" has the same meaning as in 27 V.S.A. § 1151.

    (40) "Retail delivery permit": a permit granted by the Liquor Control Board that permits a second-class licensee to deliver malt beverages or vinous beverages sold from the licensed premises for consumption off the premises to an individual who is at least 21 years of age at a physical address in Vermont.

    (41) "Destination resort master license": a license granted by the Liquor Control Board pursuant to section 472 of this title permitting a destination resort to designate licensed caterers and commercial caterers that will be permitted to cater individual events within the boundaries of the resort without being required to obtain a request to cater permit for each individual event. For purposes of a destination resort master license, a "destination resort" is a resort that contains at least 100 acres of land, offers at least 50 units of sleeping accommodations, offers food and beverage service to the public for consideration, and has related sports and recreational facilities for the convenience or enjoyment of its guests. "Destination resort" does not include the University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges, or any other university, college, or postsecondary school. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 33, 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 76; 1964, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.); 1971, No. 64, § 1; 1973, No. 34, § 3; 1975, No. 44, § 1, eff. April 15, 1975; 1979, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 2, 1980; 1979, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1981, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.) § 1, eff. April 6, 1982; 1981, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1985, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1985, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1987, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. May 11, 1988; 1989, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.); 1993, No. 46, § 3; 1993, No. 112 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. Feb. 18, 1994; 1993, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1995, 1993, No. 26, § 1; 1995, No. 69 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Feb. 15, 1996; 1995, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 50, § 46, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 61, § 210a, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 4, 6; 1999, No. 111 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 9, § 1, 2; 2001, No. 25, § 1; 2001, No. 74 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. June 21, 2002; 2003, No. 70 (Adj. Sess.), § 62, eff. March 1, 2004; 2003, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2, 5, 8, eff. May 10, 2006; 2007, No. 21, § 1, eff. May 10, 2007; 2007, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2007, No. 210 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 10, § 1, eff. May 5, 2009; 2009, No. 77 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 13, 2010; 2009, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 11, 2010; 2011, No. 52, § 76, eff. May 27, 2011; 2011, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 64, § 1; 2013, No. 72, § 22; 2013, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 24, 2014; 2015, No. 51, § A.4, eff. date, see note set out below; 2015, No. 51, § A.14, eff. Jan. 1, 2016; 2015, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3. Culinary arts students; exemptions from provisions of title

    A student aged 18 or older who is enrolled in a postsecondary education culinary arts program, accredited by a commission recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, shall be exempt from the provisions of this title while attending classes that require the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages. (Added 1985, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.) § 2.)

  • § 4. Nonprofit organizations; wine and beer auctions; fundraising

    (a) A nonprofit organization qualified for tax exempt status pursuant to Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, in the discretion of the commissioner, may auction vinous or malt beverages, or both, to the public without a license, provided that:

    (1) Prior to the auction, the organization provides written notification of the auction accompanied by documentation of its nonprofit status satisfactory to the commissioner.

    (2) The commissioner approves the organization's nonprofit qualifications and the organization's right to auction vinous or malt beverages.

    (3) The profits from the auction sale of beverages are used solely for the expenses of the nonprofit organization to conduct the sale or for the nonprofit purposes of the organization.

    (b) A person who donates vinous or malt beverages to a nonprofit organization for an auction under this section is not required to be licensed under this chapter.

    (c) A licensee under this title may donate beverages to a nonprofit organization pursuant to this section, provided the licensee pays to the state all the taxes due as if the beverages had been sold in the course of the licensee's business.

    (d) If an auction under this section is conducted on the premises of a licensee under this title, beverages donated for auction may be given and accepted without including the beverages on the licensee's invoice.

    (e) A purchaser of beverages auctioned by a nonprofit organization pursuant to this section shall not be responsible for payment of any sales tax. (Added 2005, No. 40, § 1, eff. June 2, 2005.)