New changes to Kentucky’s alcohol laws: Microbrewery license & Local ordinances

History of Kentucky’s alcohol laws is very interesting. It goes deep into The Bootleg Paradise and Dry Law. But in contrast with the past new changes to Kentucky’s alcohol laws are strange enough.

Senate Bill 11 – signed into law earlier this year – took effect July 15 and is now allowing alcohol-related businesses statewide to receive new and increased privileges that are meant to support tourism and advance all kinds of production.

According to the bill’s supporters, the changes include the removal of several archaic regulations dating back to Prohibition as well as a few additions that will ideally set Kentucky up to compete with other states in terms of attracting and expanding businesses.

Here are some of the changes and additions made in the bill, as provided by the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

1. Local option elections

All cities – regardless of population – can now conduct local wet-dry votes. And distilleries located within dry or moist counties can also now hold their own moist precinct local option elections.

2. Local ordinances

All cities and counties – regardless of population – can also now choose to enact ordinances that would allow businesses to remain open and sell alcohol on Sunday or after midnight.

3. Distillery sales

Limits for souvenir package sales and spirit sample sizes both went up under SB 11. Now, customers can purchase up to 4.5 liters – or about six 750 mL bottles – per day at a distillery and can sample 1.75 ounces of one or more spirits – up from 1 ounce previously – during tours.

4. Microbrewery license

The maximum production cap for a microbrewery license has been increased from 25,000 barrels per year to 50,000 barrels per year. A microbrewery license also now allows craft breweries to sell their own beers to customers at fairs, festivals and similar events.

5. Small farm wineries

The maximum production cap for a small farm winery license has been increased from 50,000 gallons per year to 100,000 gallons per year.

6. Authorized public consumption

No, this does not mean anyone can now crack a beer on the street. But customers on a “commercial quadricycle” that has an authorized public consumption license will now be able to bring unopened packages of alcohol aboard to drink while biking around town.

7. Bed and breakfast businesses

Bed and breakfasts can now also apply for NQ-3 licenses, allowing them to sell alcohol to registered guests.



Robert graduated from Brandman University, where he got his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Born in Massachusetts, Robert’s family moved to Kentucky in 2005 where he spent his college life and worked as an insurance agent for four years. Now is the founder and team leader of the website.