Community Planning & Economic Development

Business Licenses & Consumer Services
350 S. 5th Street, Room 1C
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: (612) 673-2080
Fax: (612) 673-3399

Licenses and Consumer Services – Alcohol Related License Definitions

I. Full Year Alcohol Establishments

Cocktail Room:A facility on or adjacent to premises owned by a microdistillery (licensed under MN Stat Section 340A.301, subdivision 6 (c) which produces premium, distilled spirits in total quantity not to exceed 40,000 proof gallons in a calendar year) for the sale and consumption of distilled spirits produced by the microdistillery.  Sunday sales are not permitted. 

Off-Sale 3.2 Beer: The sale of 3.2 beer in original packages in drugstores, general food stores and exclusive liquor stores for consumption off or away from the premises where sold. 3.2% malt liquor is malt liquor containing not less than .5% alcohol by volume or more than 3.2 % alcohol by weight. Examples: Grocery Store, Convenience Store, and/or Gas Station.

Off-Sale Liquor: The sale of liquor, wine or beer in original packages by exclusive liquor stores for consumption off of the premises. The main entrance of the establishment must be 2,000 feet away from the main entrance of any existing off-sale liquor establishment unless it is located in the B4 zoning district. Examples: Liquor Store and/or Wine Shop.

Off-Sale Malt Liquor (Growler): The sale of malt liquor in 64-ounce containers, commonly known as growlers, by a brewery licensed under Minnesota state statute 340A.301, for consumption off the premises. Effective August 2011, a food requirement may not be required for this license. A State of Minnesota Wholesaler's/Manufacturer's Intoxicating Liquor License is required. Brewers are limited to producing less than 3,500 barrels of malt liquor per year. Example: Microbrewery.

On-Sale 3.2 Beer*: The sale of 3.2 beer for consumption at the licensed premises. Examples: Beer Bar, Restaurant.

On-Sale Liquor*: The sale of liquor, wine or beer for consumption at the licensed premises. Examples: Bar, Tavern, Nightclub, Restaurant.

On-Sale Wine*: The sale of wine (with the option of beer) for consumption at a licensed premises. Example: Restaurant.

Taproom: A brewer (licensed under Minnesota Statute 340A.301) who sells for consumption malt liquor they produce on their premises. This license is exempt from maintaining minimum food service requirements.

*On-Sale Licenses include a food license.

II. Additional Liquor Licenses

Liquor Catering: On-sale liquor license holders with a State of Minnesota Liquor Catering Permit and a food catering permit may serve food and alcohol at private events. Examples include weddings, office parties, birthday parties, art gallery openings for a private guest list, etc.

Special All Night Bowling, Pool or Billiards: Any establishment with either a bowling or pool hall/billiard license and an on-sale liquor, wine, or beer license may apply to remain open to the public for up to 24 hours per day for games of bowling, pool and /or billiards. Establishments that do not sell beer, wine, or liquor are not eligible for this license.

Special Late Night Food: Any establishment with an on-sale liquor, wine, or beer license may apply to remain open for food service beyond authorized alcohol service hours. The on-sale establishment must have sales from food and nonalcoholic beverages equal to at least 60% of gross sales revenues. Meal service must be provided during the special late hours, and the menu must include at least four entrees, sandwiches, or other principal food items. The business must be open for eight continuous hours daily, except Sunday, in addition to the hours authorized by the special late hours food license. Nightclubs are not eligible for this license. Example: On-Sale Restaurant or Banquet Hall.

Temporary Expansion of License: License holders of on-sale liquor, wine, or 3.2 beer establishments may apply for a Temporary Expansion of License for:

  1. premises that are directly adjacent and contiguous to their permanently licensed premises and/or
  2. entertainment not otherwise allowed under the establishment’s permanent license.

Individual establishments may be granted licenses for up to 12 days in any twelve month period which shall not exceed two (2) consecutive days per event. Example: Oktoberfest with live band and dancing in the parking lot.

III. Temporary On-Sale Alcohol Licenses

Temporary On-Sale 3.2 Beer: MCO authorizes this license only to a club or charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization not included within the term "bona fide" club as defined in Minneaplis Code of Ordinances, Section 360.10. No individual organization shall be granted this license more than four times per year or for more than 10 days. No more than 12 licenses shall be granted in any one calendar year at any location except for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Parade Stadium. Minimum distance requirements from schools or churches (300 feet) do not apply to this license. Example: Fundraising events.

Temporary On-Sale Liquor and Temporary On-Sale Wine: Minnesota Statute 340A.404 authorizes this license only to a charitable, religious, or nonprofit corporation in existence for three years; a political committee registered under MN Statutes Sec. 10A.14; or a club as defined by MCO 360.10. Minimum distance requirements from schools or churches (300 feet) do not apply to this license. No organization shall be granted more than one temporary license for the sale of alcoholic beverages within any 30-day period. No organization shall be granted temporary licenses for more than 3 four-day events, 4 three-day events, 6 two-day events, 12 one-day events, or any combination that exceeds 12 days per calendar year. No more than 12 licenses shall be granted in any one calendar year at any location. Wine Tasting Events, as defined by Minnesota Statute 340A.418 are limited to four hours or less. Example: Fundraising events.

Last updated Oct 20, 2014