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Changes to Alcohol Beverage Retail Sales Under 2023 Wisconsin Act 73

2023 Wisconsin Act 73 (the Act”) was enacted on December 6, 2023, and most of its provisions became effective on May 1, 2024. The Act created the Division of Alcohol Beverages (“DAB”), which is housed under the Department of Revenue, to enforce Wisconsin’s alcohol beverage law. The Act also includes major changes to the regulation of retail sales of alcohol beverages under Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 125. Some of the changes to retail sales include:

  • On May 1, 2024, municipal retail alcohol beverage licenses issued to producers expired and are nonrenewable. However, the Act broadens producers’ abilities to conduct retail sales of their own alcohol beverages on their production premises.
  • To sell alcohol beverages not made by the producer itself, the producer must meet certain production thresholds and obtain authorization from the DAB. There are three ways a producer can conduct full-service retail sales of intoxicating liquor and fermented malt beverages for on-or-off-premises consumption:
    • Full-service retail sales on the production premises;
    • Full-service retail sales at a fixed off-site retail outlet; or
    • Full-service retail sales at an unlimited transfer off-site outlet.
  • Brewpubs are permitted to sell beer from other brewpubs and breweries at their restaurants.
  • Retailers are permitted to transfer up to three Class B” liquor licenses to a municipality located in the same county.
  • Class C” wine-only licenses may be issued to any person qualified to hold an alcohol beverage retail license. 
  • Retailers may sell pre-mixed cocktails on their premises or as cocktails to go.”

If you have questions or wish to discuss 2023 Wisconsin Act 73, please contact the primary attorney with whom you work or call us at (608) 2579521 and we will connect you with one of our business attorneys.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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