Beer Permits

The Beer Board is composed of all the members of the City Council. All meetings of the beer board are open to the public. By law the Board will hold regular meetings following each regular meeting of the City Council whenever there is business to come before the Beer Board.

The Beer Board has the power and is directed to regulate the selling, storing, distributing and manufacturing of beer within the City of Athens.

Beer shall mean and include all beers, ales, and other malt liquors having an alcoholic content of not more than five percent (5%) by weight pursuant to State law.

It is unlawful for any person to sell, store for sale, distribute for sale or manufacture beer without first making application to and obtaining a permit from the beer board. The following information is a guide to the application procedure.

Beer Application Procedures
  • Obtain beer application and copy of regulations from City Manager’s Office on Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Fill out (every question) and return beer application to: City Manager’s Office, 815 North Jackson Street, Athens, TN 37303. Please click here for the 2024 Beer Application Deadlines.
  • A nonrefundable fee of $250 will be charged to process the application. The check made payable to the City of Athens is required upon your completion and return of the application to City Manager's Office.
  • To process the application, the Athens Police Department will do a five-year background check on the owner/applicant; and the Building Inspector will schedule an inspection of the facilities to insure Code compliance.
  • The Beer Board meets, as needed, on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. The Athens City Council regular meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting of the Athens City Beer Board will begin at the conclusion of the meeting of the Athens City Council. The Beer Board meets in the Athens Municipal Building located at 815 North Jackson Street. The applicant must be present at this meeting for the beer application to be considered.
  • If approved by the Beer Board, the applicant can pick up his/her permit the following day after 11:00 a.m. in the City Manager's Office. At the time of pick up, the applicant must pay a prorated fee based on $100 per year. (The amount to be paid is calculated based on the number of months left in the current year.)
  • An annual fee will be assessed in the amount of $100 per year to maintain the beer permit within the City of Athens. The applicant shall receive an invoice in November or early December, with payment being due prior to January 1.
To view and or print a complete pdf copy of the City of Athens regulations for the sale of alcoholic beverages please click here.  Ordinances adopted but not included in the above-referenced pdf are listed below:
     Ordinance No. 1016 - To clarify provisions regarding dancing
     Ordinance No. 1035 - Adding new chapter entitled "Liquor Stores"
     Ordinance No. 1048 - Adding new chapter entitled "Sale of Wine in Retail Food Stores"
     Ordinance No. 1067 - Adding new classification for a Special Event Organizer
     Ordinance No. 1068 - Amending distance requirements for Restaurants and Grocery Stores (under 10,000 square feet)
     Ordinance No. 1101 - Amending classification for a Special Event Organizer

The City Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 approved an Athens City Beer Board Penalty Policy. Please click here to view the policy.

In November of 2000 the citizens of Athens passed a liquor by the drink referendum. To apply for a liquor by the drink license you must contact the State of Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Additional Forms:
Restaurant/Golf Course Quarterly Report
Alcoholic Beverage/Beer License Employee Report
Beer Catering Request

Should you have any questions concerning this information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 423-744-2702.
For specific questions regarding the beer regulations, please contact the Chief of Police at 423-744-2730.