In general, Colorado does not require a server or bartender to be licensed in order to sell alcohol.
The exceptions where an employee does need to be licensed are as follows:
- If you work at a liquor store that conducts tastings
- If you work in an establishment that has received a prior alcohol violation
Regardless of Colorado alcohol serving laws, employers and restaurant owners may still push employees to receive serving alcohol training via the “Responsible Vendors” program.
This post was updated on August 22, 2023.
Colorado Responsible Vendors Bartending Training:
In order to be certified, the establishment is required to have all new employees involved in the sale, handling and service of alcoholic beverages complete bartending training within 90 days of date of hire. Usually, the location where you work (or are applying to) will alert you if you are required to become certified.
If you are required to obtain a Responsible Vendors Bartending certification, your class will include at least two hours of instruction time and the successful passing of a final test with a 70% or higher.
Colorado Bartender Training Curriculum:
- Discussion concerning alcohol’s effects on the human body
- Liquor liability
- Sales to visibly intoxicated persons
- Sales to minors
- How to check for acceptable forms of identification
- Other key state laws and rules affecting owners, managers, sellers, and servers
Recertification is required every three (3) years.
You can find a list of Colorado-approved “Responsible Vendor” trainers in your city here.
Minimum Age To Bartend or Sell Alcoholic Beverage for On-Premise Consumption:
- 18, if under the direct supervision of a person who is at least 21 and if the tavern regularly serves meals
- 21 if the tavern does not regularly serve meals
Minimum Age To Sell Alcohol at a Liquor Store or 3.2% Outlet
- 18, if under the direct supervision of a person who is at least 21
Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:
- Driver’s License
- 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.