Hard cider sales at core of new Waukesha amendment
Will come before Ordinance & License Committee Monday

By Matt Masterson - Freeman Staff

August 10, 2015

WAUKESHA - Changes may be made to the Waukesha Municipal Code after some revisions to Wisconsin’s alcoholic beverage laws went into effect this month in the new state budget to outline the parameters of hard cider sales at local gas stations.

The Ordinance & License Committee will meet Monday to discuss amending the city’s Municipal Code regarding the sale of “intoxicating liquors” at gas stations to comply with the new state law.

Currently the city does not offer a Class A license to sell such beverages at any filling station or convenience store where gasoline is sold and dispensed into vehicles, according to a letter to the committee from City Attorney Brian Running.

But that is now in conflict with a state law that states municipalities must grant Class A licenses to such businesses if the sale of intoxicating liquors is restricted to cider, and the business already holds a Class A license for beer sales.

Cider - defined as any alcohol beverage “obtained from the fermentation of the juice of apples or pears and that contains not less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume and not more than 7.0 percent alcohol by volume” - is now classified as a wine, which is an “intoxicating liquor.”

Therefore, the city’s current code prohibits selling cider at gas stations while state law demands any business requesting a license to do so must be granted one.

Running said the city already has a pending application from a Kwik Trip, and believes more will soon follow.

He suggests altering the Municipal Code to read: “Sales of Intoxicating Liquors at Motor Vehicle Fueling Stations Prohibited; Exception. No ‘Class A’ intoxicating liquor license shall be issued to any establishment at which gasoline, diesel fuel, E85, or any other fuel for motor vehicles is offered for sale to the public; except a ‘Class A’ intoxicating liquor license for the sale of cider only.”

The O&L Committee is expected to make a recommendation to the Common Council regarding the matter. Monday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Waukesha City Hall, 201 Delafield St.

Email: mmasterson@conleynet.com