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Guidelines

 The information below are only guides, based on the most commonly committed violations. Please refer to the Pennsylvania Liquor Code and Liquor Control Board regulations or contact your nearest District Enforcement Office for specific information.

License Types

Club (C) and Catering Club (CC) Liquor License

Club (C) and catering club (CC) licensed establishments must operate for the good of the club’s membership for legitimate purposes of mutual benefit, entertainment, fellowship or lawful convenience.  The sale of alcohol must be secondary to the actual reason for the club's existence.  Incorporated clubs must exist for a minimum of one year prior to applying for a liquor license; unincorporated clubs must exist for a minimum of ten years prior to a liquor license being granted. A licensed club must adhere to its constitution and bylaws, hold regular meetings open to its members, conduct its business through officers who are regularly elected, admit members by written application, investigation and ballot, charge and collect dues from elected members, and maintain records as required by the Liquor Code and PLCB’s regulation.  

Club licensees are generally prohibited from selling alcohol to non-members of the club. An exception exists for catering club licensees, which may sell alcohol to non-members as part of a” catered event.” A “catered event” is one involving the furnishing of alcohol, to be served with food prepared on the premises or brought onto the premises already prepared, for accommodation of groups of non-members who are using the club’s facilities by prior arrangement, made at least 24 hours in advance of the function, and which is paid for by the non-members. A licensed club cannot self-sponsor a catered event; the catered event must be arranged by a third party. 

Sales and service of alcohol may begin at 7:00 a.m. and must end no later than 3:00 a.m.  All unfinished alcoholic beverages must be collected and all patrons must depart the licensed premises by 3:30 a.m. Unlike other retail licensees, C and CC licensees may not sell malt or brewed beverages (beer) for off-premises consumption. 

Distributor (D) Liquor License

Distributor (D) licenses (commonly held by neighborhood beer distributors) allow for the sale of malt and brewed beverages (beer) for off-premises consumption only. Distributors are authorized to sell beer in any package configuration to an unlicensed customer.  These sales do not have to be in manufacturer’s original configuration (i.e., sales of cases, 12-packs, six-packs and single bottle are permitted) and can be sold in refillable and resealable growlers for off-premises consumption.  Distributors may also sell beer in original containers containing 128 ounces or more (e.g., kegs).  

Importing distributor (ID) licenses have all the same privileges as a distributor license, but they primarily serve as wholesalers, selling beer to distributors and retail licensees for resale.  Breweries assign specific geographic rights to sell their brands within the Commonwealth to specific importing distributors through what is commonly referred to as a “territorial agreement.”  

D and ID licensees may sell and/or deliver beer between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. of any day, except Sunday, to unlicensed persons. If the licensee applies for and obtains a Sunday Sales Permit, it may sell beer to unlicensed persons and holders of Special Occasion Permits on Sundays between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Eating Place (E) Liquor License

The primary purpose of the eating place (E) retail dispenser license is the regular and customary preparation and service of food to the public. The licensed area within the establishment must be no less than 300 square feet, equipped with tables and seating, and sufficient food, to accommodate at least 30 patrons at once.  The establishment must have a functioning kitchen or food preparation area, and it must have a current and valid health license issued by the governing municipal authority.  

E licensees are only permitted to sell and serve malt and brewed beverages (beer) and may not sell liquor (wine or spirits) for on or off-premises consumption.  They may sell up to 192 fl. oz. of beer in a single transaction for off-premises consumption.  Licensees may sell beer between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. of the following day on Monday through Saturday.  If the licensee applies for and obtains a Sunday Sales Permit, it may sell beer from 11:00 a.m. on Sunday until 2:00 a.m. on Monday, but may start as early as 9:00 a.m. if it offers a “meal” as defined in the Liquor Code.  No sales or service of beer can take place after 2:00 a.m., and all unfinished beer must be collected and all patrons must depart the licensed premises by 2:30 a.m. (although patrons may stay past 2:30 a.m. if the establishment also holds an Extended Hours Food Permit). 

Restaurant (R) Liquor License

A restaurant (R) licensed establishment, as defined in the Liquor Code, is to be habitually and principally used in the preparation and service of food to the public. The licensed area within the establishment must be no less than 400 square feet, equipped with tables and seating, and sufficient food, to accommodate at least 30 patrons at once. The establishment must have a current and valid health license issued by the governing municipal authority. R licenses are the most common type of license, and while it is frequently referred to as a “bar” or “tavern” licenses, many different types of businesses can hold such a license, including establishments that have obtained PLCB approval for an interior connection to or with a grocery store or convenience store.

R licenses are permitted to sell and serve beer and liquor (wine and spirits) products for on-premise consumption. Restaurants may sell up to 192 fl. oz. of beer for off-premises consumption, but they may not sell liquor (wine or spirits) “to go.” An R licensee that applies for and obtains a Wine Expanded Permit, may sell up to 300 mL (four 750 mL bottles) of wine “to go” in a single transaction. Licensees may sell alcohol between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. of the following day on Monday through Saturday. If the licensee applies for and obtains a Sunday Sales Permit, it may sell alcohol from 9:00 a.m. on Sunday until 2:00 a.m. on Monday. No sales or service of alcohol can take place after 2:00 a.m., and all unfinished alcohol must be collected and all patrons must depart the licensed premises by 2:30 a.m. (although patrons may stay past 2:30 a.m. if the establishment also holds an Extended Hours Food Permit). 

Hotel (H) Liquor License

To qualify for a hotel (H) license, the premises must maintain a minimum number of bedrooms for transient guests based on the size of the municipality, unless it is otherwise exempted by statute. A hotel must have a functioning kitchen or food preparation area. The licensed area within the premises must be no less than 400 square feet, equipped with tables and seating, and sufficient food, to accommodate at least 30 patrons at once. The hotel must have a current and valid health license issued by the governing municipal authority. 

H licenses are permitted to sell and serve beer and liquor (wine and spirits) products for on-premise consumption. Similar to R licensees, hotels may sell up to 192 fl. oz. of beer for off-premises consumption, but they may not sell liquor (wine or spirits) “to go” from its licensed premises, although they may sell alcohol to paying guests in their hotel rooms. An H licensee that applies for and obtains a Wine Expanded Permit, may sell up to 300 mL (four 750 mL bottles) of wine “to go” in a single transaction. Licensees may sell alcohol between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. of the following day on Monday through Saturday. If the licensee applies for and obtains a Sunday Sales Permit, it may sell alcohol from 9:00 a.m. on Sunday until 2:00 a.m. on Monday. No sales or service of alcohol can take place after 2:00 a.m., and all unfinished alcohol must be collected and all patrons must depart the licensed premises by 2:30 a.m. (although patrons may stay past 2:30 a.m. if the establishment also holds an Extended Hours Food Permit). 

Limited Winery (LK) License

Limited winery (LK) licensees may produce (up to 200,000 gallons) and sell alcoholic ciders, fermented fruit beverages, mead, wines and wine coolers from their licensed premises. They may also seek PLCB approval to sell their products at up to five additional "satellite" locations. In addition to the authority to sell their own products for on or off-premises consumption, they may also sell the products of other PA-licensed alcohol producers (i.e., licensed breweries, licensed limited distilleries, and other licensed limited wineries) for on premises consumption, subject to statutory restrictions, at their licensed premises. In February 2014, the PLCB granted blanket authorization for LK licensees to sell during the same hours as R licensees (i.e., 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.).

LK licensees are allowed to obtain permits to sell their own products and offer tastings at events which meet the statutory definition of "alcoholic cider, fermented fruit beverage, mead, wine and food expositions" which are held off of their licensed premises. They may also obtain permits to sell their own products and offer tastings at qualifying "farmers market" locations, as that term is defined in the Liquor Code.

Limited Distillery (AL) License

Limited distillery (AL) licensees may produce (up to 100,000 gallons) and sell distilled liquor from their licensed premises. They may also seek PLCB approval to sell their products at up to two additional “satellite” locations. In addition to the authority to sell their own products for on or off-premises consumption, they may also sell the products of other PA-licensed alcohol producers (i.e., licensed breweries, licensed limited wineries, and other licensed limited distilleries) for on premises consumption, subject to statutory restrictions, at their licensed premises. Limited distilleries may be open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

AL licensees are allowed to obtain permits to sell their own products and offer tastings at events which meet the statutory definition of “liquor and food expositions” which are held off of their licensed premises. They may also obtain permits to sell their own products and offer tastings at qualifying “farmers market” locations, as that term is defined in the Liquor Code.

Brewery (G) License

Licensed brewery (G) licensees may produce and sell malt or brewed beverages from their licensed premises. They may also conduct sales at up to two PLCB-approved storage locations. In addition to the authority to sell their own products for on or off-premises consumption, they may also sell the products of other PA-licensed alcohol producers (i.e., licensed limited wineries, licensed limited distilleries, and other licensed breweries) for on premises consumption, subject to statutory restrictions, at their licensed premises. Licensed breweries may sell malt or brewed beverages and alcohol for on-premises consumption Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (a Sundays Sales Permit is not required for on-premises consumption sales but is required for off-premise sales on Sunday). 

G licensees are allowed to obtain permits to sell their own products and offer tastings at events which meet the statutory definition of “malt and brewed beverages and food expositions” which are held off of their licensed premises. They may also obtain permits to sell their own products and offer tastings at qualifying “farmers market” locations, as that term is defined in the Liquor Code.

C & CC Guidelines

Do Guidelines

  • Clearly post suspension notices.
  • Check open liquor stock for contamination (bugs, debris, etc).
  • Maintain all club records in conformity with PLCB rules and regulations.
  • Maintain catering records and a valid Health License (Catering Clubs only).
  • Charge and collect dues from all club members in accordance with club by-laws.
  • Operate the club for the mutual benefit of the entire membership and hold regular meetings.
  • Constantly display your Liquor License / Small Games of Chance License in a conspicuous place under a transparent substance.
  • Clean coils at least once every seven days and maintain coil cleaning records, with method of cleaning indicated, on the premises.
  • Adhere to all of the provisions of the club constitution and by-laws, including conducting business through regularly elected officers.
  • Notify Liquor Control Board of change of officers, directors, managers, or stewards at the time of renewal on forms provided by the Liquor Board.
  • A change of manager or steward is to be filed at the time of validation and renewal.
  • Maintain club membership records, payroll records, financial records, all invoices and receipts, photo static copies of charter (if incorporated), copy of by-laws, copy of club constitution and minute book on the licensed premises.
  • Obtain a County Small Games of Chance License if you have raffles, strip tickets, punchboards, 50/50 drawings, etc. Poker machine and/or “skill game” payoffs are unlawful even when you possess a Small Games of Chance License.

Don't Guidelines

  • Sell alcoholic beverages on credit. Employ anyone under 16 years of age.
  • Supply false information on PLCB forms.
  • Purchase malt or brewed beverages on credit.
  • Sell or furnish any alcoholic beverages after 3:00 AM.
  • Permit illegal drug use or drug sales on the premises.
  • Interfere with an Enforcement Officer conducting an inspection.
  • Sell alcoholic beverages to anyone not voted in as a club member.
  • Permit amplified music to be heard beyond the club’s property line.
  • Permit any employee under 18 years of age to handle or serve alcohol.
  • Sell malt or brewed beverages or liquor "to go", or give alcohol as a prize.
  • Admit new club members without a written application, investigation and vote.
  • Open for business without a current health license (Catering Club License only).
  • Cash payroll, Department of Public Assistance/Welfare, or unemployment checks.
  • Sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to persons showing visible signs of intoxication.
  • Sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age to purchase, possess or consume any alcoholic beverages.
  • Advertise, hold or permit a contest or tournament on the premises except those permitted by Liquor Board regulations.
  • Permit any patrons to remain on the premises after 3:30 AM, unless you possess an Extended Hours Food permit (EHF).
  • Pay patrons for amusement or video machine credits, or allow unlawful gambling such as sports pools (possible criminal action). Remember that unlawful gambling devices, including games marketed by their manufacturers as “games of skill,” that allow payouts to players are ILLEGAL and you risk citation for allowing them to be operated in your premises.
  • Permit minors on the premises, unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian (not spouse), or under proper supervision of an adult over 25 years of age. 

H R & E License Guidlines

Do Guidelines

  • Clearly post suspension notices.
  • Notify Liquor Board within fifteen (15) days of new managers.
  • Check open liquor stock for contamination (insects, debris, etc.).
  • Have sufficient food available for patrons to purchase and consume.
  • Maintain business and sales records on the licensed premises as required by the Liquor Code and PLCB’s regulations.
  • Constantly display your Liquor License in a conspicuous place under a transparent substance.
  • Maintain sufficient food, eating utensils, seating and tables to accommodate at least 30 persons at one time. Seating and tables must be accessible to patrons at all times when the premises are open.
  • Clean draft beer line equipment at least every 7 days and maintain cleaning records, indicating the method of cleaning used, on the premises.

Don't Guidelines

  • Sell liquor (wine/spirits) for off-premises consumption. If you have a Wine Expanded Permit, you may sell up to 300 mL (four 750 mL bottles) of wine “to go.”
  • Sell alcoholic beverages on credit.
  • Supply false information on PLCB forms.
  • Sell beer to go in excess of 192 fluid ounces.
  • Employ anyone under sixteen (16) years of age.
  • Open for business without a current Health License.
  • Sell or furnish any alcoholic beverages after 2:00 AM.
  • Permit illegal drug use or drug sales on the premises.
  • Interfere with an Enforcement Officer conducting an inspection.
  • Purchase malt or brewed beverages, from distributors, on credit.
  • Permit amplified music to be heard beyond the licensee’s property line.
  • Cash payroll, Department of Public Assistance/Welfare, or unemployment checks.
  • Permit any employee under eighteen (18) years of age to handle or serve alcohol.
  • Give discounts or privileges to either male or female patrons (discrimination laws).
  • Sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to persons who show visible signs of intoxication.
  • Have more than one (1) specific brand of drink special per day (which must cease at midnight).
  • Discount alcohol for more than 4 consecutive or non-consecutive hours per day, nor more than 14 hours per week. Also, don’t forget that notice of all happy hours must be posted on the licensed premises 7 days prior to each happy hour.
  • Advertise, hold or permit a contest or tournament on the premises except those permitted by Liquor Board regulations.
  • Sell, furnish or permit persons under twenty-one (21) years of age to purchase, possess or consume any alcoholic beverages.
  • Permit any patrons to remain on the premises after 2:30 AM unless you possess an Extended Hours Food permit (EHF).
  • Pay patrons for amusement or video machine credits, or allow unlawful gambling such as sports pools (possible criminal action). Remember that unlawful gambling devices, including games marketed by their manufacturers as “games of skill,” that allow payouts to players are ILLEGAL and you risk citation for allowing them to be operated in your premises.
  • Permit minors on the premises, unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian (not spouse), or under proper supervision of an adult over twenty-five (25) years of age.