Ohio Craft Breweries Can Now Partner with Food Trucks for Added Liquor Permit Privileges
Ohio recently modified the rule requiring A-1c permit holders to obtain a license as a retail food establishment or a food service operation to qualify for an A-1-A (frequently known colloquially as the "full bar" license), which provides for the sales privileges of wine, mixed beverages, liquor, and other beer, as well as later sale hours. See. Ohio Revised Code. Sec 4303.021.
Although there were many changes in H.B. 674 affecting Ohio craft breweries, the "food truck rule" seems to have had a significant impact industry-wide.
The Ohio revised code now states that in lieu of obtaining a "food permit", an A-1c holder has two alternatives. One option is to serve unopened commercially prepackaged meals and nonalcohol beverages, beer, and intoxicating liquor. The other option is to maintain a schedule with a mobile food service or a mobile retail food establishment (aka, a "food truck"), to serve customers.
The code requires the schedule to be in writing and for the duration to be no less than one month. The Ohio Division of Liquor Control recently provided guidance covering this and other updates in H.B. 674.
What does this mean for A-1c permit holders? The revised code circumvents the need to get an additional food license, which can be a hassle for many and a physical impossibility for some, depending on space limitations within their premises.
Don't forget - Ohio craft breweries with only an A-1c permit have not had to determine whether the location is "wet" or "dry" under local option vote. That could change as A-1c permit holders pursue A-1-A permits, which are subject to local option.
If you have questions about adding an A-1-A permit to your A-1c permit, please contact an attorney with Ohio liquor law experience.