How Can Barbershops and Salons Give Clients Free Beer and Wine Without a Liquor License?

How Can Barbershops and Salons Give Clients Free Beer and Wine Without a Liquor License in Oregon?

Many barbershops and salons offer this clients free beer and/or wine before, during, or after their service in Oregon.  In many states, this would be illegal unless the business had a liquor license.  Some barbershops and salons in Oregon have liquor licenses that allow them to sell beer and wine to their clients, but that is typically more the exception than the rule.

The OLCC allows business that do not sell food or beverage for on-premises consumption to provide beer and wine free of charge to guests. You primarily see this at barbershops, salons, spas, etc., but there is no reason that an art studio or other business that did not sell food and beverages could not do this provided that they complied with the requirements.

The requirements are as follows:

  1. No sales or charges for the wine;
  2. Wine must be provided to anyone in the business without discrimination.  In other words, there business cannot require that a customer make a purchase to obtain the free beer or wine.  In practice, although such a business must make the beer or wine available to anyone that walks in the door who asks, it typically is limited to customers by virtue of non-customers being unaware of the requirement.  That being said, there is the possibility for abuse;
  3. The business cannot sell food and beverage for on-premises consumption.  Such businesses need to have a liquor license;
  4. The provision of beer or wine at no cost cannot serve as an inducement to purchase entertainment or other services.  In other words, the business cannot offer a one hour service or class for $20 with all you can drink, and then at the end of the service or class, offer another class for $20 with all you can drink, etc.  The provision of free beer or wine must truly be incidental to the primary business which is not food and beverage related.

Any business considering offering free beer or wine in this manner should carefully develop policies for how to do so in compliance with Oregon law and regularly train their staff to ensure that the business does not expose itself to liability.  Such business practices can garner the attention of local law enforcement, the OLCC, or neighborhood associations and can result in regularly problems or general liability if not done correctly.

To see if a barbershop near your offers free beer, you might want read this article.