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Planning An Anniversary Party In St. Louis? What Should You Know About Your Liquor Options?

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If you're planning a party for a milestone anniversary, you may be most concerned about ensuring your guests have adequate food and refreshments. And with the sometimes confusing laws surrounding the sale and consumption of liquor in Missouri (and St. Louis specifically), you may be wondering what you'll need to do to ensure that you'll be able to provide your guests with wine, beer, or liquor of their choosing. Fortunately, some conscientious planning should be all you'll need in order to keep your party well-lubricated. Read on to learn more about when you'll need a liquor license to serve alcohol at an anniversary party in St. Louis, as well as what you'll need to do to apply for a license if one is needed. 

Do you need a liquor license to serve alcohol at a party in St. Louis?

Although "house parties" in which a homeowner serves alcohol to his or her guests don't require any type of licensing or registration, those who serve or sell alcohol in a public place must hold a valid liquor license. A violation of the Missouri liquor licensing laws could subject you to a hefty fine and other civil penalties, and enforcement of these laws can be stringent.

If you're hoping to have your party catered, you won't need to apply for a separate liquor license on your own -- as long as the catering company you use has its own license, this will cover any alcohol served or provided by the caterers. And if your party is being sponsored by a non-profit organization (for example, an anniversary party for your parents sponsored by an organization at which they frequently volunteer), this organization will need only to obtain a "picnic" license. 

However, if you're catering this party on your own or using a caterer that doesn't already have a liquor license, and you'd like to serve alcohol at your anniversary party, you'll need to apply for a temporary serving license on your own. 

What should you do to apply for a liquor license? 

Applying for a Missouri liquor license doesn't need to be complicated -- you'll just need to visit the St. Louis County Revenue website to determine exactly what type of license you need. By providing some information on the event venue, the date and time, and other identifying information, you'll be able to put your request before the county board for approval or denial and should know well in advance of your planned party whether you'll be able to serve alcohol (and, if so, whether you'll be restricted to beer or wine or can also serve liquor). To find out more, speak with someone like Arizona Liquor Industry Consultants.