WISCONSIN (WFRV) – Wisconsin is known for its love of beer and alcohol, but what happens when there are no more liquor licenses? Even one northeast Wisconsin city just ran out of available licenses for a specific class.

First, what is a liquor license?

According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR), a Wisconsin liquor wholesaler license is for a person who sells alcoholic beverages to a licensed retailer or to another person who holds a permit or license to sell alcoholic beverages at wholesale.

What does this mean in smaller/shorter terms? This person sells alcohol to retailers (department stores, supermarkets, etc.) and/or someone who has a permit/license to sell alcohol in large quantities.

The DOR website states that a license holder can sell alcohol but it has to be at a specific place that is licensed.

Different types of alcohol beverage licenses

There are multiple different types of licenses for alcohol in the state, ranging from malt beverages, cider, liquor, and wine. Specifically, the following focuses on liquor licenses.

  • Class A – allows the retail of ‘intoxicating’ liquor (including wine) for drinking off-premises.
    • DOR gives an example of liquor or grocery stores with full liquor sections in the stores.
  • Class B – allow the retail sale of the same type of liquor as above for drinking on-premises, and wine must be in its original sealed containers for drinking off location.

There are temporary Class B licenses, also called picnic licenses, that allow retail fermented malt beverage and/or wine sales to be sold at temporary events like fairs and festivals.

In addition, there are several other licenses but, for the sake of the length of this article, the above are the most common liquor licenses. For more information, click here.

No more Class B liquor licenses in this city

Appleton City Clerk Kami Lynch tells Local 5 there are currently no more Class B liquor licenses available in the city. So what will happen now?

For a little bit of history, DOR explains that every city or town that has corporate status and local government (e.g. Appleton) determines its quotas and reserve fees based on formulas in state law.

The city council reports they will vote over the next month or two to decide on pending license applications.

Lynch explains that the only way there could be an available license is if one of those applications are denied.

At this time, Lynch says there is one license holder that currently does not have a physical building and it is not known yet how long the council will allow them to keep their license without a location.

To find information on Appleton’s licenses and permits for beer and liquor, click here. For more from the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue, click here.