Beer question for ITBers: Inter-state transport by a bar owner???

I think I already know the answer to this, but am having trouble finding the specific code detail to help a friend.

If a restaurant or bar, located in California, buys kegs of beer from a brewery or distributor IN California. can they legally transport that beer to another state for sale in their own bar in THAT second state?

There are lots of small craft breweries in California that self-distribute only locally, or through small distributors within the state. I’m assuming (from what I know of the law) that a bar located in say, Nevada, could only buy from a brewer or distributor IN NEVADA. For example, I’m thinking of a situation where a restaurant group has locations in CA and NV. Would they have to buy only from licensed distributors in each state OR could they buy in either state and transport the product across the state line themselves? Would the law be the same regardless of what state the second location might be located in?

If anyone has federal/state code links or citations I’d be very grateful.

MN bar owner prosecuted last year for buying a keg of beer in WI and selling it in MN

They have to buy from within the state. I believe every state has a law to that effect. What you’d be looking for are regulations regarding purchase of alcohol by a licensee.

Thanks. That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t sure if all states were the same on this or if there’s Federal law covering it.

Beer goes exactly where the brewery wants it to go, especially the limited beers.

Now what CAN happen, in cases like what you mentioned IF the bar has a strong relationship with the brewery, is that the brewery get distribution approval in the second state but only send over what the bar is special ordering. It can be cost prohibitive unless the order can be piggybacked on another brewery’s order that’s going in the same direction, and the distributor has to be 100% on board otherwise future legalities could make life complicated. Even then you can end up with a lot of pressure to send more and more beers as other locations see those beers on whatever state ABC listings, and they may not think it’s worth the headache. Most breweries are trying to be under-represented and sell their beers where they are already the most popular, even withing their home state.

Id’ think the beer going where the brewery wants it to go is a marketing decision. My question is about what governs whether or not a beer legally obtained in one state can be transported inter-state by the bar. Seems pretty certain that it’s not legal, but is that governed exclusively by the states (ie- a brewery with no license to be sold there) or is Federal law involved too?

State by state. Some states still have restrictive abv% rules, so breweries can have representation but not send certain beers.

I found what I think are the appropriate Nevada codes on this. Only a licensed “importer” can bring in and sell to a retailer/bar/restaurant. I’m pretty certain that 3-tier rules would preclude the bar from doing both. Also, the brewery itself must approve the importer via certification in Nevada. So… it seems to be confirmed as not legal for the bar to bring it in on their own. Thanks for the help.