Intoxicating Liquors FAQ 23

Who can obtain temporary (picnic) beer and wine licenses and is there any limit on the number of picnic licenses that can be obtained in a year?

Picnic licenses can only be issued to “bona fide” clubs, fair associations or agricultural societies, churches, lodges or societies that have been in existence for at least six months, and to veterans’ organizations. Wis. Stat. secs. 125.26(6) and 125.51(10). The dictionary defines “bona fide” as authentic, genuine, done or made in good faith, without deception or fraud.

“Club” is defined as a group of people organized for a common purpose, especially a group that meets regularly.  Notably, the definition of “club” in Wis. Stat. sec. 125.02(4) appears to be inapplicable to picnic licenses. Also, an individual, partnership, or business corporation is not eligible for a picnic license because they are not a “club” within the meaning of the statute.

Although there is no limit on the number of temporary Class “B” (picnic) beer licenses that may be issued to an eligible organization in a calendar year, not more than two temporary “Class B” (picnic) wine licenses may be issued to an eligible organization in any 12-month period. Sec. 125.51(10).