In Maryland, there are no state regulations that require a server or bartender to be licensed in order to sell alcohol.
While many states across the nation enforce bartending licenses, Maryland’s serving alcohol laws are fairly lenient.
Keep in mind that some employers may still require employees to obtain a bartending license despite state or city laws.
Minimum Bartending Ages In Maryland
In Maryland, minimum bartending ages depend on (1) the type of alcoholic beverage being served and (2) local jurisdiction.
- Beer or Wine:
- Servers and bartenders must be at least 18 years of age.
- Spirits (liquor):
- Servers must be at least 18 years of age
- Bartenders (those who craft the drink) must be at least 21 years of age
More information can be found this alcohol-related laws document presented by Maryland’s Health Department.
Please note: Maryland statutes allow local governments to dictate their own laws concerning the age to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Some local jurisdictions may have more or less restrictions.
For example, The county of Montgomery allows bartenders to serve by the age of 18, While the cities like Annapolis and D.C., have set their own laws, requiring their bartenders be at least 21 years old.
We suggest to double-check with your manager or local City Clerk’s office for more information.
Maryland Alcohol Training & Certifications
As stated above, the state of Maryland does not require those who wish to serve/sell alcohol to become certified. However, certifications and training can only help. Showing an employer that you have the skills, knowledge, or experience can go a long way in regards to receiving a promotion or getting hired in the first place.
This list of state-approved courses are highly recommended.
If you chose to learn more about bartending on your own, there’s plenty of online resources available for free. For starters, we urge you read our Ultimate Guide to Bartending… or study our essential bartending recipes.
Planning on Catering Events?
An alcohol catering license is needed if you plan to furnish alcoholic beverages at a catering event. It is known as a Statewide Caterer (SCAT) License. You can learn all about here.