Alcohol Licenses

When are alcohol licenses required?

Two situations require a retail license:

1. Whenever there is a direct or indirect charge for alcohol.

- This is broadly defined to include the transfer of alcohol without consideration (i.e. money or some other benefit) if the transfer without consideration is knowingly made to evade the laws relating the sale of alcohol beverages.  Examples of indirect charges include:

  • Ticket price includes alcohol beverages.
  • Cost of meal or service (e.g., haircut) includes alcohol beverages.
  • Donation required in order to be able to consume alcohol beverages.

2. Whenever alcohol beverages are consumed in a public place.

- Anyone in charge of a public place may not permit the consumption of alcohol beverages in a public place unless the person has an appropriate license.  Examples include:

  • Open House
  • Grand Opening
  • An event held at a location that caters to the general public.

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Per Wis. State Stat. 125.04(3)(f)(1), all applications for licenses to sell alcohol beverages shall be filed with the City Clerk at least 15 days prior to the granting of the license - which takes place at Common Council meetings that typically meets twice a month.  In addition, State Statute also requires notice of the application to be published in the local newspaper.  All applications go before the Common Council for final approval.

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Operator's License (a.k.a. Bartender's License)

Anyone applying for a new operator's license must complete the Responsible Beverage Server Training course or show proof that they have been a licensed operator in the last two years in another Wisconsin municipality. 

Operator License Application

License Fee

  • $35.00 per year
  • $7.00 Background Check

Estimated Processing Time:  2 weeks

All licenses expire on June 30

Click here for Wisconsin approved training courses

Ordinance Chapter 5.08

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Class "A" Beer License

Required to sell fermented malt beverages to consumers in original packages or containers for off-premises consumption.

"Class A" Liquor License

Required to sell intoxicating liquor to consumers in original packages or containers for off-premises consumption.

New Alcohol License Applicant Letter

Original Alcohol Beverage License Application
Used for all new license applications.

Additional Premises Security Information for Class A Application

Auxiliary Questionnaire
Must be completed by all individuals, partners, officers, and agents making application for a license.

Appointment of Agent Form
An agent must be appointed for all Corporations or LLCs holding an alcohol license.

License Fee

  • $200.00 per year for Class "A" Beer License
  • $500.00 per year for "Class A" Liquor License
  • $7.00 Background Check for each person listed on the application
  • Publication Fee

Estimated Processing Time:  6 weeks

Wisconsin State Statute 125.25 and 125.51(2)(am)

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Class "B" Beer License

Required to sell fermented malt beverages (beer) to consumers for on-premises consumption.

"Class B" Liquor License

Required to sell intoxicating liquor to consumers by the glass for on-premises consumption.

New Alcohol License Applicant Letter

Original Alcohol Beverage License

Additional Premises Security Information for Class B Application

Auxiliary Questionnaire
Must be completed by all individuals, partners, officers, and agents making application for a license.

Appointment of Agent Form
An agent must be appointed for all Corporations or LLCs holding an alcohol license.

License Fee

  • $100.00 per year for Class "B" Beer License
  • $500.00 per year for "Class B" Liquor License
  • $7.00 Background Check for each person listed on the application
  • Publication Fee

Estimated Processing Time:  6 weeks

Wisconsin State Statutes 125.26(2s) and 125.51(3)(b)

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Reserve "Class B" Liquor License

Authorizes the same sales as non-reserve "Class B" Liquor Licenses but carry an additional issuance fee and are not eligible for transfer to another premise.

Application paperwork is the same as non-reserve "Class B" Liquor Licenses listed above.

License Fee

  • $10,000 for initial issuance
  • $500.00 per year for Reserve "Class B" Liquor License
  • $7.00 Background Check for each person listed on the application
  • Publication Fee

Estimated Processing Time:  6 weeks

Wisconsin State Statutes 125.51(4)(br)1 and 125.51(4)(a)4

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"Class C" Wine License

Required to sell wine by the glass or in an opened original container for on-premises consumption.

New Alcohol License Applicant Letter

Original Alcohol Beverage License

Additional Premises Security Information for Class B Application

Auxiliary Questionnaire
Must be completed by all individuals, partners, officers, and agents making application for a license.

Appointment of Agent Form
An agent must be appointed for all Corporations or LLCs holding an alcohol license.

License Fee

  • $100.00 per year for "Class C" Wine License
  • $7.00 Background Check for each person listed on the application
  • Publication Fee

Estimated Processing Time:  6 weeks

Wisconsin State Statutes 125.51(3m)

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Definitions

"Fermented malt beverages" - Commonly referred to as "beer" but also includes wine coolers.  Any beverage made by the alcohol fermentation of an infusion in potable water of barley malt and hops with or without unmalted grains or decorticated and degerminated grains or sugar containing 0.5 percent or more alcohol by volume.

"Intoxicating liquor" - All ardent, spirituous, distilled or vinous liquors, liquids or compounds, whether medicated, proprietary, patented or not and by whatever name called, containing 0.5 percent or more of alcohol by volume, which are beverages, but does not include "fermented malt beverages."

"Wine" - Products obtained from the normal alcohol fermentation of the juice or must of sound, ripe grapes, other fruits or other agricultural products, imitation wine, compounds sold as wine, vermouth, cider, perry (made from pears), mead (mead from fermented honey and water) and sake, if such products contain not less than 0.5 percent or more than 21 percent of alcohol by volume. 

"Grant" or "granting" - The approval of a license application by the governing body.

"Issuance" - The completion of the licensing process by distributing the license to the licensee after proof of payment of the license fee has been received by the City Clerk.