Experiences involving alcohol in California
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.*
You should never serve alcohol to guests who are under 21 or allow underage guests to consume alcohol. Also, make sure you aren’t serving alcohol to a guest who you know is inebriated or has a drinking problem.
Do I need a license if I serve alcohol to my guests at my home, at a private venue, or outdoors?
If your party is pre-booked by guests, you don’t charge for alcohol (or invite your guests to bring their own alcohol), and you don’t let in people who are not invited or pre-booked, you may not need a license.
Currentlyunder the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act to you do not need a license to serve alcohol if you’re hosting a private party that meets the following requirements:
- You don’t charge for or sell the alcohol you serve
- Your party is not open to the general public at the time you serve the alcohol
- Your party is not located at a venue (like a bar) that is maintained for the purpose of keeping, serving, consuming or otherwise disposing of alcohol
If you’re hosting an experience in a public venue or outdoor space, in addition to the considerations above, make sure alcohol is permitted to be consumed in that venue and ask if a permit is required. You might consider hiring a licensed caterer for experiences with a large number of guests.
Serving alcohol to your guests (unless you’re taking them to your favorite local bar) is generally a tricky area. We encourage you to check your local alcoholic beverage control department and speak to an attorney to make sure you’re correctly interpreting this exemption and are following your local laws.
Can I sell alcohol to my guests?
To sell alcohol to your guests, you generally either need a license under the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act or you need to hire a licensed caterer.
Note: For a variety of reasons, licenses are generally not available for alcohol sold at a private residence.
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 that are licensed under the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.
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 and isn’t open to the general public, then hosting a BYOB experience does not appear to require a license under the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. We encourage you to check with your local alcoholic beverage control department and consult an attorney to make sure this is the case.
I brew my own beer or produce my own wine. What do I need to keep in mind?
Homebrewers 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, and even allow guests to brew their own batch as long as you’re not brewing on their behalf and comply with certain other requirements.
Like the private party exception above, you may not sell guests any of your homebrewed beer or wine, and your experience may not be open to the general public or located in a place maintained for the purpose of keeping, serving, or consuming alcohol (i.e. a bar).
We encourage you to check with your local alcoholic beverage control department and consult an attorney to make sure you’re 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).