Frequently Asked Questions


These are ABC's most frequently asked questions about:

Q. 102. May retail licensees give samples of alcoholic beverages?

A. An on-sale retail licensee licensed to sell wine or distilled spirits may offer instruction on the product by furnishing not more than three tastings to any individual in one day. A single tasting of distilled spirits may not exceed one-quarter of an ounce, while a single tasting of wine may not exceed one ounce. (Section 23386 and Rule 52)

Q. 103. Under what circumstances may wholesalers give samples of the alcoholic beverages they distribute to retail licensees?

A. If the retailer has not purchased the product before and if the samples do not exceed the following sizes: wine-one quart or one liter when bottled; beer-one bottle or can opened on the premises of the licensee; distilled spirits- 500 milliliters or smallest marketed size. (Rule 52)

Q. 104. Is a retailer permitted to sell alcoholic beverages which have been given as samples?

A. No. (Rule 52)

Q. 105. Can credit tokens be given to persons purchasing alcoholic beverages, highball glasses, etc.?

A. No. The giving of any kind of gift, premium or free goods in connection with the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. (Section 25600 and Rule 106)

Q. 106. If a retailer buys 100 cases of beer from a wholesaler, may any be given free?

A. No. The wholesaler and the retailer would both be in violation of the law prohibiting the giving of gifts or free goods. This applies also to gifts of wine or distilled spirits. (Section 25600)

Q. 107. May an on-sale licensee place peanuts, popcorn and pretzels upon counters or tables for patrons?

A. If they are put in a bowl where anyone can take some whether a drink is purchased or not, a gift has not been made in connection with a sale and it is not violation of the law.