Alcohol Regulations for RAGBRAI

View or download the Wholesaler/Retailer Q&A Handout (PDF)

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 AreaAttached Outdoor Service Area Image

License Transfers

License transfers must be done for a minimum period of 24 hours. After transferring your license, there can 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. Local ordinances 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. Always check IDs. The use of wrist bands is helpful in visually showing 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 that person.

Advertising: No brand names (beer brands, liquor brands, etc.) can be displayed on the outside of premises or the public facing fence/wall of 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: Product being sold must be purchased from appropriate sources. Beer and coolers must be purchased from a beer wholesaler. Wine must be purchased from a wine wholesaler. Liquor must be purchased from a Class E liquor licensee.

Tapper Wagons: Tapper wagons are allowed when from Class E liquor licensees or private vendors. Tapper wagons cannot be obtained from beer or wine wholesalers.  A proof of purchase is required, so be sure to maintain your receipts.

Wholesalers: There are many rules wholesalers must follow to abide by laws and regulations. Wholesalers may not give or pay for furnishing, fixtures, or equipment used in storing, dispensing, or handling alcohol beverages and food; this includes glassware. (The wholesalers may, however, sell disposable glassware.) Additionally, wholesalers 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 for employees/volunteers 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 separating the licensed and public areas intact.

Penalties for Violations

Sales-to-Minor: 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 licensee are:

  • First Instance - $500 fine
  • Second Instance - 30-day suspension and a $1,500 fine
  • Third Instance - 60-day suspension and a $1,500 fine
  • Fourth Instance – Revocation and no license for the license holder for two years and no license for 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.