Food Availability for On-Premises Consumption

 I see a lot of craft beverage producers don’t have food in the tasting room but they sell by the glass to drink at the tasting room. Are you sure food is required?

For on-premises consumption at any craft beverage producer tasting or tap room, there must be food available. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action against the licensee. It can be provided complementary or sold. Note it must be available but need not be actually consumed. Certain licenses require separate full kitchens while others require a simple food preparation area with a clean shelf, a sink, a refrigerator and a way to heat food if hot foods are on the menu.

The food requirements are:

At least five menu items including soup, salads, sandwiches and other foods that are more than a “snack”. The food may be freshly prepared, frozen, processed, prepackaged and/or pre-cooked; and/or food items that meet the following test:

  1. complement alcoholic beverage tastings, and
  2. are ordinarily consumed without the use of tableware, and
  3. can be conveniently consumed while standing or walking.

Specific examples of food that meet the 3 pronged test include:

  • Cheeses
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Breads and crackers
  • Mustards with cheeses or meats/sausages



     About Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed intellectual property and patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a monthly publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.
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