General Information

Wisconsin Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement
2135 Rimrock Road
Madison, Wisconsin 53713
Phone: (608) 266-2776
Fax: (608) 261-6240

Website: Department of Revenue 






The Department of Revenue in Wisconsin does not regulate the process of licensing. However, they do set state-wide rules and regulations that apply to those that have a liquor license. Licensing decisions, quotas, reserve fees, etc., are all handled by your specific municipality. For more information regarding the application process refer to your local city, village, or town clerk.


Below we have included the different licenses available. Fees for certain licenses are set by local municipalities, with limits set by the state.  Some licenses are subject to an initial issuance fee of at least $10,000. For more information regarding the price structure click here


License Types

  • "Class C"- retailers that wish to sell wine for on-premise consumption 
  • "Class B"- retailers that wish to sell liquor and wine for consumption on the premise. These licenses are restricted by a population-based quota. 
  • Class "B"- retailers that wish to sell beer for on-premise consumption






Upon acquiring your liquor license you agree to allow Agents from the Department of Revenue and the Department of Justice, as well as police officers, to inspect the licensed premises. They can inspect during business hours and other hours in which the licensed premise is open, operating, or occupied. Refusal to allow an inspection is grounds for revoking or suspending your license and is also a misdemeanor crime. 


During Inspections authorized individuals will be looking to ensure that all alcohol beverage laws are being followed and all taxes are being paid. They will check to see that all licenses and permits are current and posted in the appropriate manner, if any intoxicated or underaged individuals are present, and if invoices cover inventory on hand, among a hand full of other requirements. Inspections may cover the entire premise covered by the license and in locations that include alcoholic beverages. At the end of each inspection, inspectors will answer any questions and address any issues or concerns that are present. 


Education & Training

In the state of Wisconsin those seeking to gain a liquor license are required to complete a Wisconsin approved responsible beverage server training course.  The following courses have already been approved by the state and include both classroom and online resources. Below is a list of the approved training courses. 


Classroom instruction providers:


Online instruction providers:

    • CARE (American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute)
    • (Professional Server Certification Corporation)




Laws regarding Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Laws are set by Wisconsin Legislators. There are also local municipalities can also have their own ordinaries in place. For a more detailed list of alcohol laws in Wisconsin click here.  


Employee Age Requirements: Employees that serve, sell, dispense, or give away alcoholic beverages must be at least 18 years old. Those over the age of 18 and without their own operator's license, must be under immediate supervision of the licensee, agent, adult member of the licensee's immediate family (a person living in the same household), or a person with an operator's license.


Underaged Consumption of Alcohol: A person under the age of 21 can consume alcoholic beverages and sit at the bar if they are with their parents, legal guardian, or spouse of legal drinking age.  However, serving this individual is at the discretion of the license. The licensee can choose to prohibit the sell and consumption of alcohol by underage individuals.


Service Hours: The hours in which establishments can legally sell or serve beer, wine, and spirits is listed below.

Monday-Thursday 6AM-2AM

Friday & Saturday 6AM-2:30AM



Other information

Other Information

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is the trade organization representing restaurants in the state. For information regarding wine distributors throughout the state refer to Wisconsin Wine Distributors list. 



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