Address: 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 222
St. Paul, 55101-2156
Phone: (651) 201-7500
In Minnesota alcohol policy is controlled by the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Their responsibilities include investigating alcohol-related complaints, performing pre-licensing background checks and education, and issuing manufacturing license amongst other things.
In the state of Minnesota those that wish to sale alcohol for on premise consumption must acquire an on-sale license. Any retail sales of alcohol will require an off-sale license. On-sale licenses (hotels, restaurants, clubs, concert venues, etc.) are approved by the city/county in which your business is located.
Below we have detailed the information regarding the different licenses available. For access to application forms click here and for information regarding how to apply for a liquor license refer to your specific city or county.
Combination License: For those that require a license for retail and on site consumption, a combination license is required. Fourth class cities or a statutory city of 10,000 or fewer, may issue an off-sale and on-sale intoxicating liquor license to the same licensee or in lieu of issuing separate licenses to the same licensee, may issue a combination on-sale and off-sale license.
Municipal License: A city having a population of 10,000 or less may own and operate a municipal liquor store which may sell intoxicating liquor, beer, tobacco, ice, soft drinks and food for consumption on the premises.
Wine License: A municipality may issue an on-sale wine license to a restaurant that has at least 25 seats and this allows for the sale of wine that is 24% alcohol and lower. The establishment must be a restaurant as defined by the health department or county equivalent.
Inspections are preformed before a license application is approved and whenever an investigation may arise. The commissioner and any authorized employee may enter the premise of a license or permit location at all reasonable hours. They have the right to inspect and examine the books, papers, records of a manufacturer, wholesaler, importer, or retailer to ensure regulations are being complied with.
Below we have included the contact information for the inspectors and the counties that they work in.
Jerrold "Buddy" Martin
Ph: (651) 201-7515
Inspector Martin performs pre-license inspections and investigations in the following counties:
Aitkin, Anoka, Carlton, Chisago, Cook, Isanti, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Mille Lacs, Pine, Ramsey, St. Louis, Washington.
Inspector Mueller performs pre-license inspections and investigations in the following counties:
Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Douglas, Hennepin, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Morrison, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright.
Ph: (651) 201-7518
Inspector Garvey performs pre-license inspections and investigations in the following counties:Inspector Mueller performs pre-license inspections and investigations in the following counties:
Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Houston, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Watonwan, Waseca, Wilkin, Winona, Wright and Yellow Medicine.
In that state of Minnesota there are no state regulations that require servers or bartenders to be certified. This is at the discretion of the licensee or the city/county the license is in. Below we have included some resources you can use for training.
Contact Information for Regional Alcohol Awareness Trainers, can be found here.
Alcohol Compliance Services
P.O. Box 722
Anoka, MN 55303
Corporate Drug & Alcohol Specialists, Inc.
1411 Liddle Lane
Hastings, MN 55033
Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association
Saint Paul Business Center East
1983 Sloan Place East, Suite 15
Saint Paul, MN 55117
National Restaurant Association
ServSafe Alcohol, Classroom and Online Training
Skillsoft - Online Alcohol Service Training
Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS)
Nicole Blosse, Government Relations Manager
Here you will find different laws and regulations in place that are important to keep in mind during employee hiring, and business operations, along with other elements.
Off Site Storage: All intoxicating liquor must be stored at the licensed location unless given written permission from the commissioner.
Server Age Requirement: An individual must be 18 years of age to serve or sell liquor.
Entering Licensed Premises: A person must be 21 years of age to enter licensed premises with the purpose of buying alcohol. Individuals 18-20 years of age are permitted to enter the premise with the purpose of working, eating, or attending a social function in areas where liquor is not being served.
Selling to Under 21: It is illegal to serve or sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
Identification: Below are the authorized forms for identification for one to use as proof of age when purchasing or consuming alcohol:
21st Birthday: A person is not 21 years of age until 8 am on the day of that person's birth.
Hours of Sale:
Monday-Saturday 8 AM-1 AM
Sunday* 12 PM - 1 AM
To sell alcohol past 1 AM will require a special 2 AM permit. The fee for obtaining this license depends on the licensee's prior years' liquor sales receipts.
For Sunday sales a special license is required. A city/county may issue a Sunday on-sale license to your establishment.
Removal of Wine from the Restaurant: As long as the bottle is opened and at least partially consumed, the person purchasing is allowed to remove it from the premises. This is only in conjunction with the purchase of a meal. This applies to those with an on-sale or wine license.
License Display: Alcoholic beverage licenses must be posted in plain sight on the licensed premise.
Record-Keeping: Records including invoices of all purchases and sales, must be kept on the premise for a period of two years. The invoices must state the date, the seller, the quantity, the brand, the size of the containers, and the price.
Here are some additional resources that are helpful for those seeking a liquor license or a current licensee.
Fill out the form on the right and we'll email you a PDF version to download and print as a quick reference sheet.