The majority of states in the U.S. permit adults age 18 to 20 to tend bar in on-premises establishments. Below is the minimum age for bartending in each U.S. state.
- Age for Bartending
- Bartending Jokes
Generally the term “bartender” refers to a person who dispenses alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, “server” refers to a waitperson.
On-premises establishments are those selling alcoholic beverages for consumption there instead of elsewhere. They are typically restaurants and bars.
In some states, adults under 21 may legally tend bar. But only in certain types of on-premises establishments, such as restaurants.
In some cases, bartenders must be at least a specified age. But younger employees may stock coolers with alcohol or clear alcoholic beverages from tables.
Some states place conditions on on-premises bartenders under 21 years of age. For example, that a manager or supervisor 21 or older be present when the person is tending bar. Or it might require that a bartender under 21 take special beverage server training.
II. The Minimum Age for Bartending in On-premises Establishments by State
|Georgia||District of Columbia (Washington DC)|
|Hawaii||Indiana (18 with restrictions)|
|Iowa||Kentucky (20 with restrictions)|
|New York||South Carolina|
III. Resources on Bartending
These resources are about successful bartending. They provide much information and suggestions. But they do not address the minimum age for bartending.
Also see these
- Boothby, W. and Burkhart, D. Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender. San Francisco: Anchor, 2009.
- Burton, J. Bartending Basics. Everything You Need to Know to be a Working Bartender. NY: Mud Puddle, 2011.
- Cho, C. A Beginner’s Guide to Become a Bartender. New Delhi: World, 2012.
- Feller, R. and Lifshitz, L. The Complete Bartender. NY: Berkley, 2015.
- Hoopla (firm). Become a Professional Bartender. eVideo. Hoopla, 2004.
- Jones, C. and Schaeffer, L. Brooklyn Bartender. A Modern Guide to Cocktails and Spirits. NY : Black Dog, 2016.
- Kangas, R. Making Money as a Bartender in Your Spare Time.
Cambridge, MA: Barnes & Noble, 1992.
- Matt, W. The Modern Cocktail. Creative and Cutting Edge Bartender Drinks. Jacqui Small, 2017.
- Sennett, B. Complete World Bartender Guide. NY: Bantam, 2009.
- Stephenson, T. The Curious Bartender. The Artistry and Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail. London: Ryland, 2013.
- Vancil, D. Who’s Your Bartender? The Secret Techniques and Basics of Bartending. Bloomington, IN: Trafford, 2012.
- Zavatto, A. The Complate Idiot’s Guide to Bartending. Indianapolis: Alpha, 2011.
IV. Bartending Jokes
Note: Do not rely on this website. Nor any other website for legal information about the minimum age for bartending. Laws can change. Courts often reinterpret them. A locality may have its own higher minimum age for bartending.
This website does not provide any legal advice or opinion. Always consult a lawyer for legal help.