In Ohio there aren’t any state regulations in place that require a server or bartender to be licensed in order to sell alcohol.

Ohio Bartending

It is important to keep in mind some employers will require bartenders to complete such courses regardless of state or city laws.

Minimum Age To Serve Alcoholic Beverages In Ohio:

The state of Ohio has somewhat complex laws concerning age and selling/ serving alcohol. We have provided all the details below. If you are seeking to become specifically a bartender, you must be 21.

  • 18-year-olds may sell beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor in sealed containers ONLY
  • 19-year-olds may handle beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor in open containers when acting in the capacity of a waiter/ waitress
    • 19-year-olds may sell beer only across a bar
  • One must be 21 years of age to sell wine, mixed beverages, or spirituous liquor across a bar

** A person of any age, employed by a permit holder, may handle beer, wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor in connection with stocking, bagging, bussing tables, etc.

Recommended Training Material/ Providers:

  • Alcohol Server Knowledge (ASK) Program
    • The ASK program is designed for liquor permit holders and their employees
    • The program provides instruction on laws pertaining to the sale and/or consumption of alcohol
    • Free of charge
    • Once finished, employee’s will be mailed certificate of completion from the Ohio Investigative Unit
    • If interested, contact the Ohio Investigative Unit at (614)644-2415 or by email
  • Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control’s Safe Alcohol Sales Training (pdf)
    • Booklet & helpful guide for understanding many of the liquor laws and rules in the state of Ohio.
  • Ohio Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Education Series
    • Access to various educational material around the restaurant industry including:
      • Webinars/ accompanying slides
      • Ohio Food Safety Codes
      • Meetings & Events
      • ServSafe Programs

Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:

  • Driver’s License or Passport
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Be able to stand long periods of time
  • Knowledge of basic drink recipes

For more information, please contact your local City Clerk’s office.

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