Licensing Along the Ragbrai Route

There are three ways in which beverage alcohol may be lawfully sold and served along the Ragbrai route: 

  • 5-Day Licenses
  • Outdoor Service
  • License Transfers

5-Day Licenses

There are 3 different types of permits that fall under 5-day licenses: Class B Beer (Beer and Coolers), Special Class C Liquor (Beer, Wine, and Coolers), and Class C Liquor (Liquor, Wine, Beer, and Coolers.) To apply electronically for one of these permits, sign into the e-Licesning program.

Entire Premises is Outdoors

Outdoor Premises Image

Outdoor Service Areas

Outdoor service areas must be designated (fenced, barricaded, etc.) and attached to existing licensed premises. Only products permitted by license may be served in these areas.

Designated, Attached Area

Attached Outdoor Service Area Image

License Transfers

License transfers must be done for a minimum period of 24 hours. After transferring your license, there is to be no selling or serving at the original location. To apply for a license transfer electronically, sign into the  e-Licesning program.


Hours of Sale

Alcohol is allowed to be sold Monday – Saturday from 6AM until 2AM, and Sunday from 8AM until 2AM. A Sunday sales privilege is required for selling and serving beverage alcohol on Sundays.


Laws and Regulation

Age to Serve: People serving alcohol must be 18 years of age or older, there are no exceptions. Localordinances do apply pertaining to the age to serve alcohol in your area. 

Legal Drinking Age: The legal drinking age is 21 years of age or older with an ID present. The use of wristbandsis helpful to show visually who is over the legal age to drink. If in doubt, do not serve.

Intoxicated Persons: If you are uncertain how intoxicated someone is, do not serve them.

Advertising: There are to be no brand names (beer brands, liquor brands, etc.) on the outside of premises or outdoor service areas under the control of the licensee. This includes banners, inflatables, etc. All advertisements with brand names must face the inside of the licensed establishment.

Buying Product: You are to buy your product from different establishments depending on what type of alcohol it is. Beer and coolers you get from a beer wholesaler, wine from a wine wholesaler, and liquor from a Class E liquor licensee.

Tapper Wagons: Tapper wagons are allowed with Class E liquor licensees as well as private vendors. It is not permitted with beer or wine wholesalers.  A proof of purchase is required, so be sure to maintain your receipt.

Wholesalers: There are many rules wholesalers must follow to abide by the laws and regulations. Wholesalers may not give or pay for furnishing, fixtures, and equipment used in storing, dispensing, or handling alcohol beverages and food; this includes glassware. (The wholesalers may however sell disposable glassware.) They also may not assist with selling or serving alcoholic beverages, extend credit for product or contribute money to a retail licensee; which includes non-profits. Not complying with these regulations will result in violation to both the wholesaler and the retailer.

Suggestions: To best follow these laws and regulations without violation, it is suggested to schedule two hour shifts to employees and prohibit these servers from drinking. It is also recommended to forbid gallon containers, serve no more than two drinks at a time, and keep a fence intact.


Penalties for Violations

Sales-to-Minor Violations: Sales-to-minors result in penalties for both the minor and the employee. Criminal fines against the seller are $1,500 towards the licensee, and $500 towards the agent or employee.

Administrative sanctions against the license conclude in the first instance being a $500 fine, second being a 30 day suspension and $1,500 fine, third being a 60 day suspension and a $1,500 fine, and the fourth case resulting in revocation and no license to the license holder for two years, and no license to the premises for one year.

Suspensions: Immediate suspension may be given to prevent or avoid immediate danger to the public’s health, safety and welfare. Although the licensee has process rights, there will be no selling or serving until the final disposition of the matter.


Questions can be directed to the licensing section at the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division at 866.469.2223, option 1. 


View the 2015 RAGBRAI presentation