2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 125. Alcohol beverages.
125.28 Wholesalers' permits.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 125.28 (2017)

125.28 Wholesalers' permits.


(a) Subject to par. (b), the department may issue permits to wholesalers for the sale of fermented malt beverages from premises within this state, which premises shall comply with the requirements under s. 125.34 (2). Subject to s. 125.34, and except as provided in pars. (e) and (f), a wholesaler's permit authorizes sales of fermented malt beverages only in original packages or containers to retailers or wholesalers.

(b) If a wholesaler does not maintain any warehouse in this state but is licensed and maintains a warehouse in an adjoining state that allows wholesalers holding a wholesaler's permit in this state to deliver fermented malt beverages to retailers in the adjoining state without warehousing in that state and that further requires that all fermented malt beverages be first unloaded and physically at rest at, and distributed from, the warehouse of the licensed wholesaler in that state, the wholesaler's permit shall be issued by the department. Notwithstanding s. 125.04 (5) (a) 2. and (c) and (6), the department may issue the wholesaler's permit to a wholesaler described in this paragraph who is a natural person and not a resident of this state or that is a corporation or limited liability company and has not appointed an agent in this state.

(c) No additional license or permit is required for the solicitation of orders for sale to or by wholesalers holding a permit under this section.

(d) Wholesalers holding a permit under this section, employees of such wholesalers, and individuals representing such wholesalers may not provide or participate in providing taste samples under ss. 125.25 (1) and 125.33 (12).

(e) Notwithstanding ss. 125.04 (9) and 125.09 (1), if a wholesaler was issued a retail license prior to January 1, 2011, then the wholesaler may, under its wholesaler's permit, continue to sell at retail fermented malt beverages to individuals as was permitted under the previously issued retail license.

(f) A wholesaler's permit authorizes the wholesaler to sell or give fermented malt beverages to its employees. Fermented malt beverages may be consumed on a wholesaler's premises at events not open to the general public.


(a) A wholesaler's permit may be issued to any person qualified under s. 125.04 (5) except a person acting as an agent for, or in the employ of, another person. Notwithstanding s. 125.04 (5) (a) 5., a person is not required to complete a responsible beverage server training course to be qualified for a permit under this section.

(b) A wholesaler's permit may not be issued to any of the following:

1. A person holding one or more of the following licenses or permits:

a. A Class “A" license issued under s. 125.25.

b. A Class “B" license issued under s. 125.26.

c. A Class “B" permit issued under s. 125.27.

d. An industrial fermented malt beverages permit issued under s. 125.275.

e. A brewpub permit issued under s. 125.295.

f. A brewer's permit issued under s. 125.29.

2. Except as provided in s. 125.33 (2m), a person who has a direct or indirect ownership interest in a premises operating under one or more of the licenses or permits listed in subd. 1. a. to f.

(d) Notwithstanding par. (b) 1. f. and 2., a wholesaler may not hold any ownership interest in any brewer, except a wholesaler that holds an ownership interest in a brewer on July 1, 2011, may continue to hold that interest.


1. Any person holding an unexpired wholesaler's license issued under s. 125.28, 2009 stats., prior to January 1, 2012, shall be treated as holding a valid wholesaler's permit under this section until January 1, 2013. On January 1, 2013, all wholesaler's licenses issued under s. 125.28, 2009 stats., shall be void.

2. After January 1, 2012, the department shall issue to each person holding an unexpired wholesaler's license issued under s. 125.28, 2009 stats., a wholesaler's permit if the person does not hold a license or permit prohibited under par. (b). The issuance of a wholesaler's permit by the department to any person shall invalidate any previous wholesaler's license issued under s. 125.28, 2009 stats., to the person.

(3) Wholesalers' permits shall particularly describe the premises for which issued and are not transferable, except as provided in s. 125.04 (12). A wholesaler's permit is subject to revocation for violation of any of the terms or provisions thereof.

(4) The amount of the permit fee shall be established by the department and shall be an amount that is sufficient to fund one special agent position dedicated to alcohol and tobacco enforcement at the department, but the permit fee may not exceed $2,500 per year or fractional part thereof. All permit fees received under this subsection shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.566 (1) (hd).


(a) The premises described in a permit issued under this section shall be capable of warehousing fermented malt beverages. Any fermented malt beverages sold by the wholesaler shall be physically unloaded at the premises described in the permit, or at any warehouse premises for which the wholesaler also holds a permit under this section and a permit issued under s. 125.19, prior to being delivered to a retail licensee or to another wholesaler.

(b) A wholesaler under this section shall annually sell and deliver fermented malt beverages to at least 25 retail licensees or other wholesalers that do not have any direct or indirect interest in each other or in the wholesaler. The department may not issue a permit under this section unless the applicant represents to the department an intention to satisfy this requirement, and may not renew a permit issued under this section unless the wholesaler demonstrates that this requirement has been satisfied.

(c) No fermented malt beverages retail licensee or wholesaler may receive a benefit from a violation under par. (a) or (b) with knowledge of the circumstances giving rise to the violation.


1. A wholesaler that violates this subsection shall be fined not more than $10,000. In addition, a court shall order the wholesaler to forfeit an amount equal to any profit gained by the wholesaler or retail licensee that violates par. (c), or by both, resulting from the violation, and the court shall further order that the wholesaler's permit be revoked.

2. A court shall order a retail licensee or wholesaler that violates this subsection to forfeit an amount equal to any profit gained by the retail licensee or wholesaler resulting from the violation, and the court shall further order that the retail license or wholesaler's permit be revoked.

3. This paragraph shall not affect the authority of any municipality or the department to revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew or issue a license or permit under s. 125.12.

(e) The department shall promulgate rules to administer and enforce the requirements under this subsection. The rules shall ensure coordination between the department's issuance and renewal of permits under this section and its enforcement of the requirements of this subsection, and shall require that all applications for issuance or renewal of permits under this section be processed by department personnel generally familiar with activities of fermented malt beverages wholesalers. The department shall establish by rule minimum requirements for warehouse facilities on premises described in permits issued under this section and for periodic site inspections by the department of such warehouse facilities.

History: 1981 c. 79; 1989 a. 31, 253; 1993 a. 112, 259, 378, 491; 1995 a. 225; 1999 a. 163; 2003 a. 250; 2005 a. 103, 115; 2007 a. 9, 20; 2011 a. 32.

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