Residents & Visitors

General Information

The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is regulated by the State of Utah.  Alcoholic beverage control is a concept that Utah shares with several other states and some counties within states.  Utah's liquor laws are based on the general philosophy of making alcoholic beverages available in a manner that reasonably satisfies the public demand.  In this respect, however, the state does not promote or encourage the sale or use of alcohol.

Legal Age

A person must be at least 21 years of age or older to purchase and consume alcohol in Utah.

How residents and visitors may obtain alcoholic beverages

Beer  * Heavy Beer  *  Wine  *  Flavored Malt Beverages  *  Liquor

Full liquor service is available in licensed restaurants, banquet facilities, hotels with a hospitality amenity, reception centers, airport lounges, recreational amenities, taverns and bars.  Patrons may order liquor by the drink, wine by the glass or bottle, and beer in bottles, cans and on draft. Packaged liquor, flavored malt beverages, wine, and heavy beer are available in State Liquor Stores and Package Agencies throughout the state.

Restaurants with full service liquor licenses:  Liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, and heavy beer may be served from 11:30 AM to midnight. Beer  is available from 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM.  On weekends (Saturday and Sunday), legal holidays and for private parties, alcohol service may begin at 10:30 AM.  Patrons must dine in the restaurant in order to be served an alcoholic beverage.

Restaurants with limited service liquor licenses:  Wine, and heavy beer may be served from 11:30 AM to midnight. Beer is available from 11:30 AM. to 1:00 AM.  On weekends (Saturday and Sunday), legal holidays and for private parties, alcohol service may begin at 10:30 AM. Limited restaurant licenses may not sell flavored malt beverages or distilled spirits.  Patrons must dine at the restaurant in order to be served an alcoholic beverage.

Restaurants with a beer only license:  Beer may be served beginning at 11:30 AM and ending at 1:00 AM.  On weekends (Saturday and Sunday), legal holidays and for private parties, alcohol service may begin at 10:30 AM.

  • Patrons must dine at restaurants in order to be served an alcoholic beverage.

Banquet licenses:  Allows the storage, sale, service, and consumption of liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, heavy beer, and beer for contracted banquet activities on the premises of a hotel, resort facility, sports center, convention center, performing arts facility, and an arena.  It also allows for alcohol to be delivered through room service to adult guests in hotels and resorts. Minibars are not allowed in the guest rooms. Alcoholic beverages may be sold on any day from 10 AM until 1:00 AM.

Reception center licenses:  Allows the storage, sale, service, and consumption of liquor, wine, heavy beer, and beer for contracted events on the licensed premises such as weddings, birthday parties, quinceaneras, etc.  Alcoholic beverages may be sold on any day from 10:00 AM until 1:00 AM.

Bars:  Liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, heavy beer, and beer may be served from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.  Patrons may be served at a bar or table, but food must be available at all times.  There are three types of bars:  a) social, which are usually open to the public,  b) equity, such as country clubs, and c) fraternal, such as VFW, Elks, Eagles, and Moose.  Both Equity and Fraternal are bars for members and their guests only.

Airport lounges:  Liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, heavy beer, and beer may be served from 8:00 a.m. until 12 midnight.  Alcoholic beverages may be sold with or without food, and patrons may be served at a bar or table.  Airport lounges are located at the Salt Lake International Airport.

Liquor Stores & Package Agencies:  Liquor, wine, and heavy beer sold to go can be found at many state liquor stores throughout the state. There are also smaller stores called "package agencies" that offer a more modest selection of these products. Package agencies are often located in smaller cities,  towns, and in hotels and resorts for customer convenience.  Special orders may also be requested from DABC for those items that are not regularly carried in the stores.

  • Utah also offers world class wine selections located at specialty wine stores. Other selected state stores also offer expanded wine selections.

Beer

Beer only establishments sell beer to customers in a variety of venues. These include taverns, bowling alleys, ski resorts, golf courses, arenas, etc. Taverns are the only license not required to have revenue from anything but the sale of beer. However, minors are not allowed on the premises of a tavern. The hours for beer sales in these establishments are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and sold on draft or in bottles and cans.  Packaged beer is also available at supermarkets, grocery and convenience stores.

Single Event Permits

Single event permits are available from the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control for groups that want to sell liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, beer, and heavy beer at temporary events.  These are available to a bona fide partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, political or religious organizations, or incorporated associations (including recognized subordinate lodges, chapters or other local units) that have been in existence for at least one year.  The organization must be conducting a civic or community enterprise or convention.  The permit allows for the sale of alcoholic beverages to the general public, or to the organization's own invited guests for the duration of the event. The permit allows for hosted bars or cash bars and the sale of alcohol for fundraising purposes.  Permits are approved by the Director of DABC and applications must be submitted 30 days in advance of the event. Local licensing is also required.

Temporary Beer Permits

Temporary event permits for the sale of beer are issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control for on-premise consumption at a temporary event. Permits are approved by the Director of DABC and applications must be submitted 30 days in advance of the event.  Local licensing is also required.

Private Parties

Individuals and organizations hosting private events, such as weddings or company parties, are not required to obtain a permit from DABC if the event is not open to the general public and alcohol is provided only to invited guests free of charge.  If you are advertising on social media, handing out tickets, or there is an admission fee, it is not a private party.

Metered Dispensing

Utah law requires any licensees that serve liquor, i.e. full restaurants, bars, banquet licensees, reception centers, hospitality amenities and airport lounges, to use metered dispensing systems that are calibrated to dispense no more than 1.5 ounces of primary liquor in a mixed drink. Secondary alcoholic flavorings may then be added to a mixed drink as the recipe requires, not to exceed a total of 2.5 ounces of spirituous liquor.

Wine Service

Full and limited restaurants, banquets, reception centers, bars, hospitality amenities, and airport lounges may serve up to five ounces of wine by the glass, or by the bottle.

Brown Bagging

"Brown Bagging" is a term that refers to the practice of bringing alcoholic beverages into an establishment that is open to the public for consumption on the premises. This practice is generally prohibited, however there are three exceptions.

  • A person may bring bottled wine onto the premises of a full service, or limited service restaurant, or a bar (at the discretion of the licensee) for consumption.  The licensee may charge a fee for this service.
  • Alcoholic beverages may be brought onto and consumed in limousines and charter buses under certain restrictions.
  • A person may brown bag any type of alcohol to a private party.