Handbook for Microbreweries

Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Kansas Department of Revenue 109 SW 9th Street
Mills Building, 5th Floor Topeka, Kansas 66612

Phone: 785-296-7015 / Fax: 785-296-7185
Website: www.ksrevenue.org/abcindex.html
Email: Kdor_abc.email@ks.gov

Please report errors, omissions or suggestions for improvement to this handbook to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control by telephone at 785-296-7015, by fax at 785-296-7185 or by email to Kdor_abc.email@ks.gov.

Changes made to this handbook since the previous revision(s) have been highlighted with a yellow background.

Table of Contents

Changes made to this handbook since the previous revision(s) have been highlighted with a yellow background.

Definitions

Alcoholic candy

Means any candy or other confectionary product with an alcohol content greater than 0.5% alcohol by volume (for purposes of manufacturing), or 1% alcohol by volume (for purposes of sale at retail). [Subsection (b) of K.S.A. 41-102]

Alcoholic liquor

Means alcohol, alcoholic candy, spirits, wine, beer and every liquid or solid, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, wine or beer and capable of being consumed by a human being, but shall not include any cereal malt beverage. [Subsection (c) of K.S.A. 41-102]

Beer

Means a beverage, containing more than 3.2 % alcohol by weight, obtained by alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or concoction of barley, or other grain, malt and hops in water and includes beer, ale, stout, lager beer, porter and similar beverages having such alcoholic content. [Subsection (c) of K.S.A. 41- 102]

Beneficial interest

Means any ownership interest by a person or that person’s spouse in a business, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other form of business organization that exceeds 5 percent of the outstanding shares of that corporation or a similar holding in any other form of business organization. [Subsection (b) of K.A.R. 14-13-1]

Domestic beer

Means beer containing not more than 15% alcohol by weight, and which is manufactured in this state. [Subsection (i) of K.S.A. 41-102, as amended by 2018 HB 2470]

Hard Cider

Means any alcoholic beverage that:

  1. Contains less than 8.5% alcohol by volume;
  2. has a carbonation level that does not exceed 6.4 grams per liter; and
  3. is obtained by the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound, ripe apples or pears, including such beverages containing sugar added for the purpose of correcting natural deficiencies.

[Subsection (o) of K.S.A. 41-102]

Microbrewery

Means a brewery licensed by the director to manufacture, store and sell domestic beer and hard cider. [Subsection (q) of K.S.A. 41-102] A microbrewery is not considered to be a retailer. [Subsection (y)(2) of K.S.A. 41-102] A microbrewery is not considered to be a manufacturer. [Subsection (p)(2) of K.S.A. 41-102]

Non-beverage user

Means any manufacturer of any of the products set forth and described in K.S.A. 41-501, and amendments thereto, when the products contain alcohol or wine, and all laboratories using alcohol for non-beverage purposes. [Subsection (t) of K.S.A. 41-102] Non-beverage users include:

  • Religious organizations using wine imported solely and exclusively for sacramental purposes. [Subsection (d) of K.S.A. 41-501]
  • Manufacturers of patent and proprietary medicines and medicinal, antiseptic and toilet preparations; flavoring extracts and syrups and food products; scientific, industrial and chemical products; or experimental or mechanical purposes. [Subsection (e)(1) of K.S.A. 41-501]
  • Any school or college using alcohol or wine for scientific, chemical, experimental or mechanical purposes. [Subsection (k) of K.S.A. 41-501]
  • Any hospital, sanitoria or other institutions using alcohol or wine for caring for the sick. [Subsection (k) of K.S.A. 41-501]

Powdered alcohol

Means alcohol that is prepared in a powdered or crystal form for either direct use or for reconstitution in a non-alcoholic liquid. [Subsection (w) of K.S.A. 41-102]

Sample

Means a serving of alcoholic liquor which contains not more than: (1) One-half ounce of distilled spirits; (2) one ounce of wine; or (3) two ounces of beer or cereal malt beverage. A sample of a mixed alcoholic beverage shall contain not more than one-half ounce of distilled spirits. [Subsection (cc) of K.S.A. 41-102]

Application for Licensure - Required Forms, Fees and Licensing Bond

Effective January 1, 2021, all applications must be submitted to ABC online at https://www.ksabconline.org.

The biennial license fee is $500. [Subsection (e) of K.S.A. 41-310] This fee is refundable if the applicant is denied a license.

The applicant may pay either the full amount of the license fee or may pay ½ of the license fee at the time of application. The remaining ½ of the license fee, plus 10% of the remaining balance, is due one year from the date on which the license was issued. Failure to pay the remaining license fee and 10% fee timely will result in the license being canceled. [Subsections (b) and (c) of K.S.A. 41-317]

There is an additional application fee of $30 for new applicants and $10 for renewals. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-317] There will be an additional $20 modernization fee assessed to each application fee (initial or renewal). [K.S.A. 41-213] The application and modernization fees are not refundable.

At the time of initial licensing, applicants must submit and maintain a licensing bond. See “Licensing Bond” section for details.

The license term commences on the date specified on the license. [Subsection (n) of K.S.A. 41-310] At the end of the two-year license term, the license is renewable for another two-year term unless sooner suspended or revoked, as long as the licensee and premises continue to meet the requirements of all relevant laws and regulations. [K.S.A. 41-327]

In addition to the application, the applicant shall also submit the following to the director of ABC:

  • If the applicant is a corporation, a certificate of authority issued by the Kansas Secretary of State to do business in Kansas. [K.S.A. 41-313]
  • If the applicant is a corporation, provide a copy of a duly executed power of attorney appointing a person who is a citizen of the United States and a resident of Kansas as its agent and authorizing that agent to accept service of process from the director of ABC and Kansas courts and to exercise full authority of the corporation and full authority, control and responsibility for the conduct of all business and transactions of the corporation within the state relative to alcoholic liquor and the microbrewery business. The agent must be approved by the director of ABC as having satisfactory character. [K.S.A. 41-313]
  • If the applicant is a foreign corporation (not incorporated in Kansas), provide a copy of a duly authorized and executed power of attorney authorizing the Kansas Secretary of State to accept service of process from the director of ABC and Kansas courts and accept service of any notice or order provided for in the Liquor Control Act. Such service shall be binding upon the corporation. [K.S.A. 41-313]

Once all of the required documents and forms have been received, required fees have been paid, and required bonds have been posted, the director has 30 days to either issue the license or issue an order denying the license. If no license is issued or no denial order is issued within that time, then the license is deemed to be denied. The applicant may agree in writing to give the director an additional 30 days to either issue or deny the license. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-319]

An order by the director denying a license shall state the reason(s) therefore. The order denying a license is appealable to the Secretary of Revenue by filing a form available from the Office of the Secretary. The form must be either mailed to the secretary by certified mail or personally served upon the office of the Secretary within 15 days from the date of service of the director’s order upon the licensee. The review of the director’s order will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Kansas Administrative Procedures Act. [K.S.A. 41-321]

The decision of the Secretary or Secretary's designee on an applicant's appeal of a denial of licensure may be appealed to District Court pursuant to the Kansas Act for Judicial Review and Civil Enforcement of Agency Actions, K.S.A. 77-601 et seq. [K.S.A. 41-323]

A microbrewery license is a personal privilege and is not assignable. [K.S.A. 41-326]

Qualifications for Licensing

Subsections (a) and (f) of K.S.A. 41-311 list the qualifications for an initial license. The same requirements must be met for renewal of an existing license except as specifically indicated below.

Partnerships

Each partner must meet all of the qualifications for individual ownership below. [Subsection (f)(4) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Corporations

At least 50 percent of the stock must be owned by persons who meet all of the licensing qualifications for individual ownership below. The owners of the remaining stock must meet all of the licensing qualifications for individual ownership below except for the U.S. citizenship and Kansas and county residency requirements. [Subsection (f)(5) of K.SA. 41-311]

A person who is an officer and/or director of a corporation but not a stockholder does not have to meet any of the qualifications for an individual owner.

An individual stockholder owning less than 50 percent of the stock must provide fingerprints, information and documentation as required by K.S.A. 41-311b if that person is a non-resident of Kansas on the date of application or have been a resident of Kansas for less than one year immediately preceding the date of submission of the application. If such stockholder is a corporation, then the director may require that each officer, director and major stockholder provide fingerprints, information and documentation as required by K.S.A. 41-311b. If such stockholder is a partnership, then the director may require that each partner provide fingerprints, information and documentation as required by K.S.A. 41-311b. If such stockholder is a trust, then the director may require that each trustee provide fingerprints, information and documentation as required by K.S.A. 41-311b.

Every corporation seeking a license shall appoint a citizen of the United States and resident of Kansas as process agent to receive service of process and exercise authority of the corporation. The process agent must meet the licensing qualifications for individual ownership below except for residence in the county where the licensed premises will be located. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-313]

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

LLCs must meet the same qualifications for licensure as a corporation as set forth in K.S.A. 41-311 and K.S.A. 41-311b. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 311c] However, persons having more than a 5 percent interest in the ownership of the LLC must meet the qualifications for ownership of a person (see below).

The LLC must submit a copy of its Articles of Organization and its Operating Agreement to the director in a form and manner as prescribed by the director. [Subsection (b) of K.S.A. 41-311c]

Every LLC seeking a license shall appoint a citizen of the United States and resident of Kansas as process agent to receive service of process and exercise authority of the LLC. The process agent must meet the licensing qualifications for individual ownership below except for residence in the county where the licensed premises will be located. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-313]

The statutes relating to the formation and operation of LLCs are K.S.A. 17-7663 et seq. enacted in 1999 and 2000. An LLC is composed of one or more members. [Subsection (f) of K.S.A. 17-7663]

Trusts

For trusts to be licensed, each grantor, beneficiary and trustee must meet the licensing qualifications for individual ownership below. However, a beneficiary does not have to be at least 21 years of age. [Subsection (f)(6) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Persons

U.S. Citizenship.

The person must be a U.S. citizen. [Subsection (a)(1) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Resident of Kansas.

The person must be a resident of Kansas on the date of application for licensure and must maintain Kansas residency while licensed. [Subsection (f)(1) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For either an initial or renewal license, this requirement does not apply to the person's spouse. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Felony conviction.

The person cannot have been convicted of a felony in Kansas or any other state or the United States. [Subsection (a)(2) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For an initial license, this requirement also applies to the person's spouse regardless of when the conviction occurred. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For a renewal license, this requirement also applies to the person's spouse, but only if the conviction occurred during the time that the person's spouse was licensed under the Liquor Control Act. [Subsection (a)(13) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Previous liquor license revocation.

The person cannot have had a license revoked for cause under the Kansas Liquor Control Act or the Kansas Beer and Cereal Malt Beverage Keg Registration Act or the cereal malt beverage laws of Kansas or any other state. However, a revocation will be disregarded if it occurred more than 10 years ago and was the result of a conviction of a misdemeanor. [Subsection (a)(3) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For an initial license, this requirement applies to the person's spouse. For a renewal license, this requirement does not apply to the person's spouse. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Conviction for keeping a house of prostitution.

The person cannot have been convicted of being a keeper of a house of prostitution or is keeping a house of prostitution, or has forfeited bond to appear in court to answer charges of being a keeper of a house of prostitution. [Subsection (a)(4) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For an initial license, this requirement also applies to the person's spouse regardless of when the conviction occurred. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For a renewal license, this requirement also applies to the person's spouse, but only if the conviction occurred during the time that the person's spouse was licensed under the Liquor Control Act. [Subsection (a)(13) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Conviction for owning a gambling house, pandering or crime opposed to decency or morality.

The person cannot have been convicted of being a proprietor of a gambling house, pandering or any other crime opposed to decency and morality and cannot have forfeited bond to appear in court to answer charges for any of these crimes. This includes both felonies and misdemeanors. [Subsection (a)(5) of K.S.A. 41-311]

"Pandering" is not currently used in the Kansas criminal law. Black's Law Dictionary defines a "panderer" as one who solicits for prostitution. The definition of "pander" includes being a "pimp" or procurer of persons to be prostitutes. Most of these acts are currently prohibited by K.S.A. 21-6419 (selling sexual relations) and K.S.A. 21-6420 (promoting the sale of sexual relations).

Crimes involving morality are defined as including:

  • prostitution
  • procuring any person
  • solicitation of a child under 18 years of age for any immoral act involving sex
  • possession or sale of narcotics, marijuana, amphetamines or barbiturates
  • rape
  • incest
  • gambling
  • adultery
  • bigamy

For an initial license, this requirement also applies to the person's spouse regardless of when the conviction occurred. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For a renewal license, this requirement also applies to the person's spouse, but only if the conviction occurred during the time that the person's spouse was licensed under the Liquor Control Act. [Subsection (a)(13) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Age requirement.

The person must be at least 21 years of age. [Subsection (a)(6) of K.S.A. 41-311]

For either an initial or renewal license, this requirement does not apply to the person's spouse. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Employee of ABC.

The person cannot be an employee of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. [Subsection (a)(7) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Law enforcement officer.

The person cannot be a law enforcement official. [Subsection (a)(7) of K.S.A. 41-311] "Official" is not defined in the statute but is interpreted as being any commissioned law enforcement officer or head of a law enforcement agency. Since this subsection does not mention jurisdiction, it is assumed that this restriction applies regardless of whether the law enforcement official is located in the same county, city, etc. as the RLS. [Ruling approved by the Director on Jan. 19, 2005.]

Persons not commissioned as law enforcement officers, including non-commissioned correctional facility employees, are not included as “law enforcement officers” for purposes of acquiring a license. [Ruling by the Director on July 24, 2012]

For an initial license, this requirement applies to the person's spouse. For a renewal license, this requirement does not apply to the person's spouse. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Supervisor of law enforcement officers.

The person cannot hold a position that appoints or supervises any law enforcement officer. However, members of the governing body of a city or county (assume this means city council members and county commissioners) are exempt from this restriction. [Subsection (a)(7) of K.S.A. 41-311] Since this subsection does not mention jurisdiction, it is assumed that this restriction applies regardless of whether the person is located in the county, city, etc. as the RLS. [Ruling approved by the Director on Jan. 19, 2005.]

For an initial license, this requirement applies to the person's spouse. For a renewal license, this requirement does not apply to the person's spouse. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Acting as agent of another.

The person cannot intend to act as an agent for another in operating the licensed business. [Subsection (a)(8) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Beneficial interest in another license issued under the Liquor Control Act or CMB Act.

The person cannot have a beneficial interest in a manufacturer, distributor or retailer licensed under the Liquor Control Act or a retailer licensed under the CMB Act. [Subsection (f)(2) and (3) of K.S.A. 41-311]

The spouse of an applicant for a farm winery licensee may own and hold a retailer’s license if the spouse does not hold a microbrewery or farm winery license. [Subsection (f)(3) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Beneficial interest in a license issued under the Club and Drinking Establishment Act. The person may have a beneficial interest in a class B club license, drinking establishment license or caterer's license issued pursuant to the Club and Drinking Establishment Act. The person cannot have a beneficial interest in class A club license or a combination drinking establishment/caterer license. [Subsection (a)(4)(E) of K.S.A. 41-2623 and subsections (a)(6) and (a)(7) of K.S.A. 308a]

For an initial license, this requirement applies to the person's spouse. For a renewal license, this requirement does not apply to the person's spouse. [Subsection (a)(12) of K.S.A. 41-311]

CMB license.

The person cannot hold a CMB license issued pursuant to the CMB Act. [Subsection (a)(10) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Current in payment of all liquor taxes.

If a person is not current in the payment of all liquor drink taxes and enforcement taxes, gallonage tax, fees or fines to the State of Kansas, then the director may reject the application for an initial license or license renewal. [Ruling approved by the Director]

Conviction of violating the intoxicating liquor laws.

The director may deny an initial license or deny renewal of an existing license if the person or the person's spouse has been convicted of violating the intoxicating liquor laws of any state or the United States or has forfeited bond to appear in court on charges of any such violation, within 10 years immediately preceding the date of application for an initial license or for renewal of an existing license. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-330]

Conviction of violating the Cereal Malt Beverage Act.

The director may deny an initial license or deny renewal of an existing license if the person or the person's spouse has been convicted of violating the laws of any state relating to cereal malt beverages, within 10 years immediately preceding the date of application for an initial license or for renewal of an existing license. [Subsection (b) of K.S.A. 41-330]

Previous finding of hidden beneficial interest.

The person cannot, after a hearing before the Director, be found to have held an undisclosed beneficial interest in any liquor license which was obtained by means of fraud or any false statement made on the application for such license. [Subsection (15) of K.S.A. 41-311]

Federal permit

The applicant must possess a basic permit issued by the federal government and must register with the federal government as an alcohol dealer. The application and registration forms are available for download at https://www.ksrevenue.org/abcmicro.html or at https://www.ttb.gov/images/pdfs/forms/f510024.pdf. [Ruling by the Director, Aug. 20, 2012]

Microbrewery Packaging and Warehousing Facility

Each microbrewery licensee may have one facility separate from their manufacturing facility for packaging and warehousing their products. The microbrewery must obtain a separate Microbrewery Packaging and Warehousing Facilities License. [Subsection (c) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

The biennial license fee is $200. [Subsection (e)(3) of K.S.A. 41-310] This fee is refundable if the applicant is denied a license.

The applicant may pay either the full amount of the license fee or may pay ½ of the license fee at the time of application. The remaining ½ of the license fee, plus 10% of the remaining balance, is due one year from the date on which the license was issued. Failure to pay the remaining license fee and 10% fee timely will result in the license being canceled. [Subsections (b) and (c) of K.S.A. 41-317]

There is an additional application fee of $30 for new applicants and $10 for renewals. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-317] There will be an additional $20 modernization fee assessed to each application fee (initial or renewal). [K.S.A. 41-213] The application and modernization fees are not refundable.

This license allows the microbrewery to perform the following activities only:

  • The transfer of domestic beer and hard cider manufactured at the microbrewery's licensed premises to the packaging and warehousing facility for the purpose of packaging and/or storage. [Subsection (c)(1) of K.S.A. 41-308b] On April 25, 2006, the director approved the following activities that may be conducted at the packaging and warehousing facility as part of the packaging process:
    • dilution of concentrated beer to its final product
    • filtration of otherwise finished beer
    • The transfer of domestic beer manufactured by the licensee from the packaging and warehousing premises back to the main manufacturing premises. [Subsection (c)(2) of K.S.A. 41-308b]
    • The removal of domestic beer manufactured by the licensee for the purpose of delivery to a licensed beer wholesaler. [Subsection (c)(3) of K.S.A. 41-308b]
    • The removal of hard cider manufactured by the licensee for the purpose of delivery to a licensed wine distributor. [Subsection (c)(4) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Location of the Licensed Premises

  • The location of the licensed premises must be zoned agricultural, commercial or business. [Subsection (b) of K.S.A. 41-710] However, Attorney General Opinion 92-92 states that this statute is in conflict with K.S.A. 19-2921, which states that land used for agricultural purposes is exempt from county zoning regulations.
  • There is no requirement that the microbrewery must be located in a "wet" county in order to manufacture or sell domestic beer in the original container. However, a microbrewery may not serve samples of its domestic beer unless it is located in a "wet" county where drinking establishments are allowed to sell alcoholic liquor by the drink. [Subsection (a)(5) of K.S.A. 41-308b] Information concerning the status of each county may be found on the ABC website at: http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/abcwetdrymap.pdf

The premises cannot be located within 200 feet of a public or parochial school, college or church unless the existence of the licensed premises predates the school, college or church. [Subsection (c)(1) of K.S.A. 41-710] In the case of a school or college, the distance shall be the shortest distance, measured in a straight line, from the outside wall of the premises to the nearest property line of the school or college. In the case of a church, the distance shall be shortest distance, measured in a straight line from the outside wall of the premises to the actual church building. [Attorney General Opinion No. 91-29 issued March 25, 1991] However, a city may, by ordinance, waive this restriction for licensed premises located within a core commercial district as defined by K.S.A. 12-17,122. [Subsection (d) of K.S.A. 41-710]

  • The premises must conform to all applicable local building regulations, if any. [Subsection (c)(2) of K.S.A. 41-710]
  • A microbrewery license or microbrewery packaging and warehousing facility license shall apply only to the premises described in the application and in the license issued and only one location shall be described in the license. [Subsection (f) of K.S.A. 41-308a]
  • All original packages of finished domestic beer must be stored upon the licensed premises of the microbrewery or the microbrewery’s packaging and warehousing facility until sold or served as free samples in accordance with applicable statutes.

The individual must own the premises to be licensed or have a valid written lease thereon at the time of application. [Subsection (a)(11) of K.S.A. 41-311]

If a microbrewery is also licensed as a club or drinking establishment, the licensed premises for the two licenses may overlap. [Subsection (a)(7) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Service of Free Samples Off the Licensed Premises

A microbrewery may serve free samples of its domestic beer off the licensed premises at “special events monitored and regulated by the division of ABC”. [Subsection (a)(5) of K.S.A. 41-308b] Samples may only be served at a special event if the location of such an event is within a county where the sale of alcoholic liquor by the drink is permitted by law. “Monitored and regulated” is not defined. The term is therefore interpreted to require the licensee to provide notification to ABC before the licensee may participate in special event. The microbrewery licensee shall submit electronic notification not less than 10 days prior to the event. Log on or register for a Kansas Customer Service Center account at https://www.kdor.ks.gov/Apps/kcsc/login.aspx to register special events online.

“Special Event” is defined as a public or private gathering of two or more persons, arranged for a specific commercial, charitable or social purpose, having a limited duration and not conducted in the ordinary course of business.

No person may purchase the domestic beer to be used for sampling from the microbrewery. The domestic beer must be withdrawn, without charge, from the microbrewery’s inventory. [Interpretation of subsection (a)(5) of K.S.A. 41-308b on Aug. 28, 2012] However, a microbrewery may accept an appearance or convenience fee to serve free samples of its beer at a special event. The appearance or convenience fee is not subject to liquor enforcement tax but would be subject to income tax. [Ruling by the director, Sept. 19, 2012]

Employees

Employees of microbreweries and microbrewery packaging and warehousing facilities are subject to the following restrictions pursuant to subsection (g) of K.S.A. 41-308b:

  • Any employees involved with the manufacture, sale or serving of any alcoholic liquor must be at least 18 years old.
  • Any employee who is under the age of 21 years must at all times be under the supervision of an on-premises employee of the licensee who is 21 years of age or over.
  • Any employee who is mixing or dispensing alcoholic liquor on the licensed premises must be at least 21 years old.
  • No person shall be employed in the manufacture or sale of alcoholic liquor if the person has been convicted of a felony.

Days and Hours of Sales

A microbrewery may sell domestic beer to consumers for consumption off-premises at any time between 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. on any day. [Subsection (e) of K.S.A. 41-308b, as amended by 2018 HB 2470]

Label Requirements and Approval

Each label of domestic beer sold inter-state must comply with the labeling requirements of federal regulations adopted by TTB. The regulations may be found at 27 CFR Part 7. Labels for beer products sold solely within Kansas do not need a Certification of Label Approval (COLA).

Labels for hard cider must be registered. If the product contains less than 7% alcohol by volume, it is not subject to federal approval.

Each microbrewery shall submit for the director's approval a sample of each label used before the domestic beer or hard cider is offered for sale. The $25 registration fee provided in subsection (b) of K.S.A. 41-331 does not apply to microbreweries. To comply, a microbrewery must apply online at https://www.ksabconline.org.

Director's Permit for the Import of Small Quantities of Beer

The director may issue a permit to the Kansas State Fair or to any bona fide group of brewers for the import into Kansas of small quantities of beer to be used for bona fide educational and scientific testing tasting programs. Such beer may only be given as free samples and shall not be sold. Such beer shall not be subject to the gallonage tax imposed by K.S.A. 41-501 et seq.

Application for the permit must be made to the director by letter at least 45 days in advance of the tasting program. The application must include the following:

  • The date and time of the program.
  • The exact location where the program will be held.
  • The brand, type and quantity of beer to be imported.
  • A statement that any beer samples offered will be consumed on the premises described in the application and in accordance with all applicable law.

The director will then respond with either an approval or denial. If approved, the approval and the letter of application will serve as the permit. If denied, the director will state the basis for the denial. [Subsection (e) of K.S.A 41-308b]

Distribution of Products and Franchise Agreements

A microbrewery may distribute its products through licensed beer distributors. [Subsection (a)(3) of K.S.A. 41-308b] If a microbrewery chooses to distribute a particular product through a licensed distributor, then it must enter into an exclusive franchise agreement with that distributor for a specified geographic area, which may be the whole state or part of the state.

K.S.A. 41-410 requires that all distributors licensed in Kansas must provide to ABC a signed copy of the franchise agreement between the distributor and their supplier, manufacturer, farm winery, microbrewery or microdistillery.

Termination of an existing franchise agreement does not require ABC approval. However, the microbrewery must give ABC at least 30 days advance notice before the termination becomes effective.

Upon receipt of the notice of termination, the Director is required to "immediately" send notice by certified mail to all affected parties of the impending termination, modification or alteration of the franchise agreement. [Subsections (c) and (d) of K.S.A. 41-410]

The ABC Marketing Unit will perform the following actions with regard to a termination of a distributor by a supplier, manufacturer, farm winery, microbrewery or microdistillery:

  • Mail a letter by certified mail to all affected parties notifying them of the pending termination. This would include the distributor being terminated and the proposed new distributor, if any. A copy of the notice of termination from the microbrewery will be enclosed. The letter will state the effective date of the termination, which will be 30 days after ABC received the notice of termination from the microbrewery. A copy of this letter will also be sent to the microbrewery so that they are made aware of the effective date of the termination on ABC's records.
  • Unless prohibited by court order, on the next business day following the 30 day waiting period ABC will update the Active Brands database on ABC's website to reflect the termination and, if applicable, the transfer of products to the new distributor.

Voluntary relinquishment of a franchise agreement by a distributor will be processed by ABC in the same manner as a termination. [Ruling by the director, Sept. 10, 2012]

Termination of a franchise agreement, other than by mutual agreement of the parties, must be for "reasonable cause." [Subsection (f) of K.S.A. 41-410] In any situation where termination is disputed, the aggrieved party may file an action in state district court to determine whether there is "reasonable cause." [Subsection (e) of K.S.A. 41-410]

The statutes do not address the situation where a microbrewery goes out of business with one or more franchise agreements still running with Kansas distributors. If approval is requested from ABC for a new franchise agreement on a product currently covered by a franchise agreement, and there is an assertion that the microbrewery under the existing franchise agreement has gone out of business, then ABC will require documents or evidence supporting the assertion.

A franchise agreement does not automatically terminate upon close of business by either the microbrewery or the distributor, unless the agreement specifically authorizes such termination.

Authorized Activities

Manufacturing domestic beer.

A microbrewery may manufacture and store not less than 100 and not more than 60,000 barrels of domestic beer during a calendar year. However, if a microbrewery licensee holds a 10% or greater ownership interest in one or more entities that also hold a microbrewery license, then the aggregate number of barrels of domestic beer manufactured by all such licensees with such common ownership shall not exceed the 60,000 barrel limit. [Subsection (a)(1) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Manufacturing hard cider.

A microbrewery may manufacture and store an aggregate of not more than 100,000 gallons of hard cider during a calendar year. Not less than 30 percent of the products utilized in the manufacture of hard cider shall be grown in Kansas unless a lesser proportion is authorized by the director, who may also set production requirements based on the annual production of domestic hard cider. [Subsection (a)(2) and (b) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

The microbrewery must obtain a permit from the TTB to produce hard cider and qualify for an alternating proprietorship with the TTB. In addition, the microbrewery must complete and submit to the Director an Affidavit regarding the manufacture of hard cider (form ABC-283).

Sales to distributors.

A microbrewery may sell its beer to licensed beer distributors and its hard cider to licensed wine distributors. [Subsection (a)(3) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Transfer for sale or storage to other microbreweries.

If a microbrewery licensee holds a 10 percent or greater ownership interest in one or more entities that also hold a microbrewery license, then the domestic beer may be manufactured and transferred for sale or storage among such licensees with such common ownership. [Subsection (a)(8) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

A microbrewery engaged in a contract brewing agreement may also transfer beer and hard cider manufactured by that microbrewery to the other contracting microbrewery or microbreweries. [K.S.A. 41-308b(a)(10)]

Sales to consumers for off-premises consumption.

A microbrewery may sell its beer in the original, unopened container and its hard cider to consumers for consumption off the licensed premises. [Subsection (a)(4) of K.S.A. 41-308b] There is no restriction on the price charged.

Sale of “growlers” and other similar products.

A microbrewery may, on its licensed premises, sell refillable and sealable containers of domestic beer manufactured by the licensee for consumption off of the licensed premises. These containers must be between 32 and 64 fluid ounces in size. The microbrewery must attach a label to all such containers sold, indicating the licensee’s name and the name and type of beer contained within. [K.S.A. 41-308b(a)(5)]

Serving of samples on the licensed premises.

Microbreweries may serve on the licensed premises free samples of domestic beer and hard cider manufactured by the licensee if the premises are located in a county where the sale of alcoholic liquor is legally permitted in licensed drinking establishments. [Subsection (a)(5) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Sales to consumers for on-premises consumption.

If the microbrewery is also licensed as a club or drinking establishment, it may sell and transfer domestic beer to such club or drinking establishment and the club or drinking establishment may sell domestic beer and other alcoholic liquor for consumption on the licensed premises as authorized by the Club and Drinking Establishment Act. [Subsection (a)(6) of K.S.A. 41-308b] Such sales to consumers shall only take place during times when clubs and drinking establishments are authorized to serve and sell alcoholic liquor. There is no statutory prohibition on a microbrewery owning more than one DE and selling its domestic beer to consumers at each.

Sales as a caterer.

If a microbrewery is also licensed as a caterer, the sale of domestic beer and other alcoholic liquor for consumption on unlicensed premises as authorized by the Kansas Club and Drinking Establishment Act. [Subsection (a)(8) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Sales of kegs.

A microbrewery may sell kegs of domestic beer to consumers for consumption off the licensed premises in the same manner as they sell other containers of domestic beer. [Subsection (a)(3) of K.S.A. 41-308b] However, kegs of four gallons or more must be registered and tagged pursuant to the Beer and Cereal Malt Beverage Keg Registration Act (K.S.A. 41-2901 et seq.).

K.S.A. 41-308b does not specifically mention that a microbrewery can or cannot sell kegs of beer at retail. The Beer and Cereal Malt Beverage Keg Registration Act (K.S.A. 41-2901 et seq.) only refers to kegs being sold by a "retailer." "Retailers" are specifically defined in the Liquor Control Act as not including microbreweries. However, the ABC regulations for keg registration, specifically K.A.R. 14-15-1, defines "licensee" as including microbreweries. K.A.R. 14-15-2 requires that all kegs sold by licensees to consumers (and not for resale by another retailer) must be tagged and registered.

Contract brewing.

A microbrewery may enter into a contract with other microbreweries for the purpose of manufacturing beer or hard cider for the other microbreweries. Any microbrewery located in the State of Kansas may manufacture and package beer and hard cider for a microbrewery located within or outside of Kansas.

When operating under a contract brewing agreement, each party to the contract must count the total amount of barrels and gallons manufactured under the agreement, and include that amount as part of their allowed aggregate total as provided in K.S.A. 41-308b(a)(1) and (2). [K.S.A. 41-308b(b)]

Prohibited Activities

Sales for consumption on the licensed premises.

A Microbrewery shall not sell alcoholic liquor to a customer for consumption on the licensed premises unless the microbrewery also has a drinking establishment license or class B club license issued under the Club and Drinking Establishment Act. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Sales to minors.

Microbreweries shall not sell or furnish domestic beer or other alcoholic liquor to a person under 21 years of age.

Sales to retail liquor stores.

A microbrewery shall not sell domestic beer to retail liquor stores. [Prohibited by implication because it is not authorized by subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Sales to clubs and drinking establishments.

A microbrewery shall not sell domestic beer to clubs and drinking establishments other than to itself if so licensed. [Subsection (a)(7) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Sales to caterers.

A microbrewery shall not sell domestic beer to caterers. [Subsection (a)(8) of K.S.A. 41-308b]

Sale of powdered alcohol.

A licensee shall not sell or offer for sale any powdered alcohol. [K.S.A. 41-730]

Administrative Actions for Violations of Statutes and Regulations

If an ABC enforcement agent observes a violation of the state liquor statutes or administrative regulations, the agent may issue an administrative citation setting forth the details of the violation as listed in subsection (c) of K.S.A. 41-106. The Agent shall deliver the administrative citation to the licensee or person in charge of the licensed premises at the time of the violation. A copy of the administrative citation shall also be sent to the licensee by U.S. mail within 30 days after the date of the violation. [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 41-106]

If a law enforcement officer from any other law enforcement agency observes a violation of the state liquor statutes, the law enforcement officer may prepare a notice of the violation (Form ABC-60) and serve the notice on the licensee or person in charge of the licensed premise. The law enforcement officer shall then submit a report of the violation to ABC for review to determine if administrative action should be taken against the licensee. If ABC decides to take action, then an administrative citation and notice of administrative action is sent to the licensee by U.S. mail within 30 days after the date of the violation. [Subsection (b) of K.S.A. 41-106]

The “person in charge” is defined as any individual or employee present on the licensed premises at the time of the alleged violation who is responsible for the operation of the licensed premises. If no individual or employee has been designated by the licensee as being in charge, then any employee present is considered the “person in charge” for the purpose of delivering an administrative citation by an ABC Enforcement Agent or for delivering a notice of violation by any other law enforcement officer. [Subsection (e) of K.S.A. 41-106]

The director may suspend, involuntary cancel or revoke any license issued by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control for any of the following reasons after the issuance of a citation to the licensee and a hearing conducted by the director pursuant to the Kansas Administrative Procedures Act in which the licensee has an opportunity to participate:

  • Providing false information on the license application or at any hearing relating to the issuance of the license.
  • Violation of any provision of the Liquor Control Act or any administrative regulation adopted pursuant to such act.
  • No longer meets the qualifications to obtain a license pursuant to K.S.A. 41-311 or K.S.A. 41-311b.

[Subsections (a) and (b) of K.S.A. 41-320, K.S.A. 41-320a and K.A.R. 14-16-15]

The director may also impose a civil fine not exceeding $1,000 for each violation. Any fine imposed for a violation of the act shall be by written order of the director and state the nature of the violation, amount of fine, and the right of the licensee to appeal the order. A licensee will be granted a formal hearing under KAPA upon written request to the director. Fines are to be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit into the state general fund. [K.S.A. 41-328]

The director may determine a penalty based on the ABC fine and penalty schedule, dated July 16, 2012. Penalties may vary from the schedule based on the presence of mitigating or aggravating circumstances. The liquor penalty grid is available for download from our website at https://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/LiqPenGrid.pdf.

Any order by the director suspending, involuntarily cancelling or revoking an existing license, or imposing a fine on a licensee is appealable to the Secretary of Revenue by filing a form available from the office of the Secretary. The form must be either mailed to the secretary by certified mail or personally served upon the Office of the Secretary within 15 days from the date of service of the director’s order upon the licensee. The review of the director’s order will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Kansas Administrative Procedures Act. [K.S.A. 41-321]

Gallonage Tax and Reporting

Kansas microbreweries must pay the gallonage tax on all beer, wort, liquid malt, malt syrup and malt extract manufactured, and is to be collected at the time of manufacturing or bottling. [Subsection (b) of K.S.A. 41-501] The gallonage tax amount should not be charged to customers directly, but may be included in the eventual price charged by the licensee. Kansas microbreweries must report and remit their gallonage tax to the ABC Marketing Unit no later than the 15th day of each month using the Kansas Microbrewery Gallonage Tax Return and Report (ABC-1025). This form must be filed each month even if no domestic beer is manufactured. [K.S.A. 41-502]

The relevant Kansas gallonage tax rates are listed below. [Subsection (b)(1) of K.S.A. 41-501]

  • 18 cents per gallon on beer and CMB
  • 20 cents per gallon on wort and liquid malt
  • 10 cents per pound on malt syrup and malt extract
  • 30 cents per gallon on hard cider (same tax rate as light wine)

Payment by electronic funds transfer is available. Contact KDOR Electronic Services Unit at https://www.ksrevenue.org/eftabcinfo.html for more information. No microbrewery must remit payment for any monthly gallonage tax less than $5. [Revenue Ruling, 2010]

Domestic beer sold to out-of-state wholesalers is exempt from the gallonage tax. The microbrewery must provide an affidavit with its monthly report to the Director for such exempt sales. Bills of lading are subject to review by the director. [Subsection (c) of K.S.A. 41-501]

Domestic beer sold to a nonbeverage user is exempt from the gallonage tax if it is sold for use in the manufacture of any of the following products:

  • Patent and proprietary medicines and medicinal, antiseptic, and toilet preparations
  • Flavoring extracts and syrups and food products
  • Scientific, industrial and chemical products
  • Scientific, chemical, experimental or mechanical purposes

Records Requirements

Microbreweries must maintain records of:

  • All domestic beer produced [K.S.A. 41-501];
  • All sales of domestic beer [Subsection (a) of K.S.A. 79-3609];

Microbreweries shall retain these records for a period of three years. They are subject to inspection by the director or any agent or employee of the director.

For a period of 90 days after the purchase, withdrawal or sale, the records must be kept on the licensed premises. The records may be in electronic or paper format. If electronic, the records must be available to print upon request by the director or any agent or employee of the director. [Subsection (k) of K.A.R. 14-13-16 and subsection (f) of K.A.R. 14-13-17]

After 90 days, the records may be stored off the licensed premises but shall be provided within a reasonable time upon request.

Liquor Enforcement Tax

Kansas imposes a liquor enforcement tax on all domestic beer sold by a microbrewery to Kansas consumers for off-premise consumption. The tax is 8 percent of the retail sale price of the beer and is collected by the microbrewery from the consumer at the time of sale. [K.S.A. 79-4101] The tax return and payment must be received by the department by the 25th day of the following month in which the sales were made. [K.S.A. 79-4103] The tax return must be filed each month even if no domestic beer is sold by the licensee. Any microbrewery with no sales during the tax period should report zero sales for that month.

Liquor enforcement tax may be filed and paid electronically at https://www.ksrevenue.org/bustaxtypesliqenf.html

This tax is a substitute for the Kansas retail sales tax. Therefore, alcoholic liquor sold to consumers is exempt from the retail sales tax. [Subsection (g) of K.S.A. 41-501 and subsection (a) of K.S.A. 79-3606]

A microbrewery which also holds a club, drinking establishment or caterer’s license must remit liquor enforcement tax on all beer transferred from the microbrewery for sale by the club, drinking establishment or caterer.

Licensing Bond

Each microbrewery must post and maintain a licensing bond in the amount of $2,000. [Subsection (g)(6) of K.S.A. 41-317] Bond shall be posted on form ABC-803 (escrow bond) or form ABC-804 (surety bond).

Bonds shall be made payable to the Kansas Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control for and on behalf of the State of Kansas. Surety bonds shall be countersigned by an agent whose authority to sign the bond on behalf of the bonding company shall be evidenced by a duly executed power of attorney, a copy of which shall be attached to the bond at the time it is filed with the director. [K.A.R. 14-17-1]

Revised 12/2020