Experiences Involving Alcohol in Seattle
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to include alcohol during my experience, is there anything I should be thinking about?
Yes. If you plan to include alcohol during your experience, we encourage you to please keep your safety, and that of your guests, front of mind.
Safe experiences do not involve providing alcohol to a Guest:
- Who is under 21;
- Who will be driving or operating any type of vehicle;
- Who looks or acts inebriated;
- Who has informed you that they are ill or has a drinking problem; or
- Until after any portion of an Experience involving physical activity (like yoga, swimming, hiking, biking) or activities that involve operating machinery is complete.
In addition, if you are hosting an experience with alcohol in a public venue or outdoor space, make sure alcohol is permitted to be consumed in that venue and consider whether a permit is required.
Do I need a license if I serve alcohol to my guests at my home, at a private venue or outdoors?
To sell alcohol to your guests, you either need a license under the Washington Alcohol Beverage Control Law or you need to hire a licensed caterer. Note that, for a variety of reasons, licenses are not generally available for alcohol sold at a private residence. Selling alcohol includes situations where:
- You sell alcohol to your Guest (by, for example, charging Guests for a glass of wine you serve yourself).
- You sell alcohol to your Guest indirectly - by including a charge for the wine you serve to your Guest in your Experience price.
Serving Complimentary Alcohol:
As of the date when we posted this article, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board allows alcohol to be served at private, invitation-only events if you are not selling alcohol to your Guests. This means you may not need a license to serve alcohol to your Guests at a party that meets all of these requirements:
- You don’t charge anything for your experience involving alcohol (you cannot even charge for food served with the alcohol). This means that any Experience that involves serving alcohol in a private home (as opposed to taking your guests to a licensed local bar) has to be free for the Guest;
- Your Guests may bring their own alcohol and consume it; and
- Your party is pre-booked by Guests and you don’t let in people who are not invited or pre-booked.
Generally speaking, this is a tricky area and we encourage you to check with your local division of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and speak to a lawyer to make sure you are correctly interpreting these provisions and are following your local laws.
What if my experience takes place at a bar?
You would be unlikely to run afoul of regulations if you take your guests to your favorite local bars or restaurants that are licensed under the Washington Alcohol Beverage Control Law. You can even pay for a first round of drinks there and include the cost in your Experience Price.
What if my Experience is BYOB, and I want to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
If your experience is in your private home or other private location and it is not open to the general public, then hosting a BYOB experience likely does not appear to require a license under the Washington Alcohol Beverage Control Law.
I brew my own beer or produce my own wine. What do I need to keep in mind?
Under the Washington Alcohol Beverage Control Law and federal law, home-brewers can make beer or wine for their own family or personal use, and not for sale, without a license. You can teach Guests how to brew beer or wine at your own home, but Guests shouldn’t be allowed to brew their own batch. However, you may not sell Guests any of your home-brewed beer or wine.
That said, we encourage you to check with your local division of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board or speak to a lawyer to make sure you are correctly interpreting this exemption and are following your local laws.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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