Wineries to Relinquish Their Class B Licenses

The renewal deadline for municipal liquor licenses is coming up soon and because of the coming changes to Wis. Stat. Ch. 125 (2 weeks away!) we’ve gotten a lot of questions about what wineries are supposed to do this year with their license renewals – renew, or not renew?

Our suggestion is not to renew. Once the changes to Wis. Stat. Ch. 125 go into effect on May 1st, wineries will have to (eventually) relinquish their municipal licenses, so renewing something that will need to be relinquished doesn’t make a ton of sense. Also, it’s important to remember that the license term actually runs through June, so wineries will be covered during the gap between the renewal deadline (April 15 in some places) and the implementation of the law changes on May 1st.

For those wineries selling wine they did not produce (pursuant to their Class B Wine Only license) or beer (pursuant to their Class B beer license), in order to keep making those sales, the winery will need to qualify for Full Service Retail permissions under the new version of Wis. Stat. Ch. 125. The forms and process for the FSR application have not been released yet, but to minimize any interruption in service to customers, we recommend getting your FSR application in as soon as reasonably possible after its released (assuming the winery is eligible). Join our mailing list and the DOR’s “On Tap” (Alcohol Beverage News) mailing list to stay up to date with the latest news.

Thanks for reading, Collin.