Are Beer Walls Legal in New York

In order to use the “beer wall,” a customer, whose age has been verified by an employee, must purchase a wrist band. The wrist band contains a computer chip which entitles the customers to a certain number of beers. The customer then approaches the “beer wall” which is monitored by an employee and places their chip to the wall. The customer is then permitted to pour themselves a glass of beer. The “beer wall” prevents a customer from pouring more than two beers during one visit to the wall. The “beer wall” is also monitored by an employee to ensure that no customers are over served and that no minors use the “beer wall.” Is this practice legal in New York?

ABCL §100(4) states that alcoholic beverages may be sold to be consumed on the premises at a bar, counter or “similar contrivance.” Does a “beer wall” meet the definition of “similar contrivance” under ABCL §100(4)?

The similar contrivance must ensure that alcoholic beverages are not sold or delivered to underage or intoxicated patrons. The “beer wall” and its usage, provides adequate safeguards against impermissible sales or service. Therefore, it is the determination of the Members of Authority that the “beer wall” does meet the definition of “similar contrivance” under ABCL §100(4) and is permissible use in New York. If I has the safeguards used with this system that protect against sale to minors and overconsumption.