Beer in Farmers’ Markets

Another change to California law, in September 2014, now allows sales of beer in farmers’ markets under conditions similar to the sale of wine in farmers’ markets, but unlike wine, beer tasting is not allowed.

Beer sales in farmers’ markets require the consent of the farmers’ market operator as well as a “Type 79” sales permit from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Controls (ABC) for a particular farmers’ market. Breweries, or “licensed beer manufacturers” as they are referred to in the legislation, can only apply for permits for the county in which they are brewing beer, or an adjacent county. The permit is good for a year and can only be used on a single day of the week in a farmers’ market, though the brewery can have multiple sales permits covering different farmers’ markets or different days of operation of a single farmers’ market. The sales can only be conducted by the owner of the brewery, a member of his or her family, or an employee of the brewery.

The breweries are limited to 5,000 gallons of beer sold annually through all of their farmers’ market permits (that’s nearly 9,000 six packs).

A Guide to Opening Small Farmers' Markets in San Jose, California