Passport Event Guidelines

Answers to questions about “Passport Events”.

What is a “Passport Event”?

These events are essentially marketing activities that may be conducted by wineries, breweries, or distilleries (“manufacturer licensees”) through a third party (typically a local or regional winegrower association, or brewers or distillers guild, but could be a for-profit marketing agent) in which consumers purchase access to various manufacturer licensee-based experiences that include a taste of wine, beer, or distilled spirits at participating manufacturer licensees. Such events may involve the purchase by consumers, from the association, guild or marketing agent (or their designee) coordinating the marketing event, of an identifiable event glass, a wristband, a map of participating manufacturer licensees, or a “passport” or “punch card” identifying participating manufacturer licensees. “Passport events” are commonly held during a designated weekend, or may entitle the consumer to visit participating manufacturer licensees over a specified period of time, that could be quite extended (for example, the Department is aware of some “passports” that are valid for a single taste at designated manufacturer licensee any time during a two-year period).

Does the marketing organization coordinating the event need to obtain a “one-day” license from ABC?

ABC has determined that no license is required by the marketing organization under the following circumstances:

  • The organization is merely marketing an event that is actually put on by the participating manufacturer licensees (whether this be individually or collectively through a trade association of which they are members);
  • The organization is selling only access to experiences or activities that the manufacturer licensee may lawfully provide free of charge to consumers;
  • The manufacturer licensees involved are doing no more than providing tastes of wine, beer or distilled spirits to participating consumers under the authority of their license, which allows such manufacturer licensees to give or sell such tastes; and
  • There is no commingling of funds or sharing of revenue—that is, while individual manufacturer licensees may sell entry to the event to consumers acting as the agent for the marketing organization for such purpose, all proceeds must go to the organization; likewise, if a manufacturer licensee sells alcoholic beverages to consumers separate and apart from the tastes given during the marketing event,  none of the revenue may be shared with the marketing organization (or any other person).

In addition, because the giving to consumers of tastes of beer, wine, or distilled spirits, as authorized by the manufacturer’s license, is a privilege of such license, the participating manufacturer licensees do not need any additional or special license(s) themselves.

What if the event is done differently than this?

Then a license may be required by the marketing organization, which must be eligible to hold a license.

Can 17/20’s participate in these events without the organization having to get a license?

No. Since Type-17/20 licenses do not authorize tastings of any alcoholic beverages to consumers, whether with or without charge, any passport-type event involving such licensees may only be conducted pursuant to a license. In such situations, the marketing organization must be eligible to hold a license and would be required to obtain an appropriate license, and must actually control the licensed venue and conduct the event itself. Type-17/20 licensees may assist the marketing organization obtaining the license in conducting the event as otherwise authorized by the ABC Act.

Prepared by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Legislative Office. Please contact LegislativeOffice@abc.ca.gov with any questions.

Contact

For additional information,
contact your local ABC District Office.

- OR -


Bakersfield

map

4800 Stockdale Highway., Suite 213
Bakersfield CA, 93309

Phone:
(661) 395-2731
Fax:
(661) 322-5929
Email:
Bakersfield@abc.ca.gov

Eureka

map

1105 Sixth St., Suite C
Eureka CA, 95501

Phone:
(707) 445-7229
Fax:
(707) 445-6643
Email:
Eureka@abc.ca.gov

Fresno

map

1330 B East Shaw Ave.
Fresno CA, 93710-7902

Phone:
(559) 225-6334
Fax:
(559) 225-8740
Email:
Fresno@abc.ca.gov

LA/Metro

map

888 S Figueroa Street, Suite 320
Los Angeles CA, 90017

Phone:
(213) 833-6043
Fax:
(213) 833-6058
Email:
LAMetro@abc.ca.gov

LB/Lakewood

map

3950 Paramount Blvd., Suite 250
Lakewood CA, 90712

Phone:
(562) 982-1337
Fax:
(562) 982-1396
Email:
LongBeach/Lakewood@abc.ca.gov

Monrovia

map

222 E. Huntington Dr., Suite 114
Monrovia CA, 91016

Phone:
(626) 256-3241
Fax:
(626) 357-4173
Email:
Monrovia@abc.ca.gov

Oakland

map

1515 Clay Street, Ste 2208
Oakland CA , 94612

Phone:
(510) 622-4970
Fax:
(510) 622-4990
Email:
Oakland@abc.ca.gov

Palm Desert

map

34-160 Gateway Dr., Suite 120
Palm Desert CA, 92211

Phone:
(760) 324-2027
Fax:
(760) 324-2632
Email:
PalmDesert@abc.ca.gov

Redding

map

1900 Churn Creek Rd., Suite 215
Redding CA, 96002

Phone:
(530) 224-4830
Fax:
(530) 224-9338
Email:
Redding@abc.ca.gov

Riverside

map

3737 Main Street, Suite 900
Riverside CA, 92501

Phone:
(951) 782-4400
Fax:
(951) 781-0531
Email:
Riverside@abc.ca.gov

Sacramento

map

2400 Del Paso Road, Suite 155
Sacramento CA, 95834

Phone:
(916) 419-1319
Fax:
(916) 419-3994
Email:
Sacramento@abc.ca.gov

Salinas

map

1137 Westridge Parkway
Salinas CA, 93907

Phone:
(831) 755-1990
Fax:
(831) 755-1997
Email:
Salinas@abc.ca.gov

San Diego

map

1350 Front St., Room 5056
San Diego CA, 92101

Phone:
(619) 525- 4064
Fax:
(619) 231-1171
Email:
SanDiego@abc.ca.gov

San Francisco

map

33 New Montgomery St., Suite 1230
San Francisco CA, 94105

Phone:
(415) 356-6500
Fax:
(415) 356-6599
Email:
SanFrancisco@abc.ca.gov

San Jose

map

100 Paseo de San Antonio, Room 119
San Jose CA, 95113

Phone:
(408) 277-1200
Fax:
(408) 917-9421
Email:
SanJose@abc.ca.gov

San Luis Obispo

map

3220 S. Higuera St., Suite 233
San Luis Obispo CA, 93401

Phone:
(805) 543-7183
Fax:
(805) 543-3814
Email:
SanLuisObispo@abc.ca.gov

San Marcos

map

570 Rancheros Drive, Suite 240
San Marcos CA, 92069

Phone:
(760) 471-4237
Fax:
(760) 471-6142
Email:
SanMarcos@abc.ca.gov

Santa Ana

map

2 MacAurthur Place, Suite 200
Santa Ana CA, 92707

Phone:
(657) 205-3533
Fax:
(657) 205-3520
Email:
SantaAna@abc.ca.gov

Santa Rosa

map

50 D Street, Room 130
Santa Rosa CA, 95404

Phone:
(707) 576-2165
Fax:
(707)527-9537
Email:
SantaRosa@abc.ca.gov

Stockton

map

31 E. Channel St., Room 168
Stockton CA, 95202

Phone:
(209) 948-7739
Fax:
(209) 546-7853
Email:
Stockton@abc.ca.gov

Van Nuys

map

6150 Van Nuys Blvd., Room 220
Van Nuys CA, 91401

Phone:
(818) 901-5017
Fax:
(818) 785-3761
Email:
VanNuys@abc.ca.gov

Ventura

map

1000 South Hill Road, Suite 310
Ventura CA, 93003

Phone:
(805) 289-0100
Fax:
(805) 289-0110
Email:
Ventura@abc.ca.gov