FAQ

frequently asked questions

Booking + Pricing

  • How much does it cost to rent the trailer?
    • The trailer rental fee is $795 minimum (Monday-Wednesday) and $995 minimum (Thursday – Sunday) and includes 3 hours of service.
    • Additional hours of service may be purchased for $150 per hour.
  • What are additional charges I may incur?

    Additional charges may include:

    • 99 cents per basic glass champagne flute or 75 cents per disposable champagne flute. See all options are here.
    • $1.50 per mile for destinations more than 10 miles outside of Santa Monica, CA
    • A 3% credit card processing fee if you choose to pay by credit card
    • $150 per hour for more than 3 hours of service
    • Florals, if desired

    Please inquire for more information.

  • How far in advance do I need to book my event?

    Due to California state liquor laws, all events require an alcohol catering permit (Don’t worry! It’s only $25 and we take care of securing the permit for you.) All permit applications must be submitted a MINIMUM of one month in advance. We can always apply in less time than that. However, an approved permit is not guaranteed.

    In addition to the permitting, there are certain seasons and times of year that are busier than usual. To start, contact us to see if the trailer is available on the date of your event.

  • How do I purchase the kegs?

    You may purchase kegs through our exclusive bar caterer, Wingman. The basic bubbly keg runs $295. Additional bubbly and wine options are available. Prices vary based on specific keg. Upon booking confirmation, we will connect you with a Wingman representative to complete your order.

  • Do you offer full bar catering?

    Bar catering is provided by our exclusive bar caterer, Wingman, and their bar catering company, Cocktail Collective Co. We are happy to connect you with a Cocktail Collective Co. representative to learn more.

  • I'm sold! How do I book the trailer?

    Bookings are reserved on a first come, first serve basis. A 50% deposit is required to secure your date. Click here to start the process.

The Bubbly

  • Do you only serve bubbly?

    Two of our taps are “wired” to serve bubbly and one tap is set up to serve flat wine (rosé, anyone??)

    We also offer full bar catering services through our exclusive liquor partner, Wingman Entertainment and Cocktail Collective Co. If you currently have a bar caterer for your event, they can purchase the kegs on your behalf. If you are purchasing the alcohol yourself for your event, we are happy to refer you to a liquor retailer where you can purchase the kegs. In either of the latter two scenarios, we charge a premium on the trailer rental fee based on the number of kegs purchased.

  • How much bubbly is in a keg?

    One keg contains 5.5 gallons of bubbly or roughly 115, 6-ounce glasses of bubbly. Typically, a few glasses of bubbly are lost (we know, tragic) when hooking and/or switching out a new keg. A larger pour will yield fewer glasses.

  • How do I estimate how many kegs I need for my event?

    The standard catering calculation for alcoholic beverages at an event is one drink per person, per hour. However, certain variables, such as additional beverages being served, ratio of men to women, etc. will affect how much bubbly you should order. We can tell you we tend to be quite popular at events 🙂 One of our Tap Trailer experts will be able to help you figure out how many kegs you need.

  • What bubbly do you serve?

    It’s top secret! We had to do A LOT of tasting to find one that was “just right” (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.) Our bubbly is made from Albariño grapes and tastes light, crisp, and refreshing. It suits a variety of palates, making it perfect for multiple glass consumption.

  • Do you offer tastings?

    Unfortunately, the bubbly we serve is only offered in kegs.

  • Signage, Florals and Customization

    Click the links for more information on disposables/glasswaremenus/signage, and customizing your trailer.

    Florals may be added for an additional fee.

The Trailer

  • How much space does the trailer need?

    The trailer is roughly 15 feet in length, 8 feet in height and 6 feet in width. Maneuvering the trailer into position requires additional space. We recommend an additional 8-10 feet in front of the dispensing area for guests to wait in line and be served.

  • Does the trailer need access to electricity?

    The trailer needs access to a standard 120V outlet to run (we bring plenty of extension cords). If you do not want cords showing, or there is no access to an outlet, a generator may need to be rented.

  • Can guests serve themselves?

    Due to California liquor laws (damn liquor laws always be gettin’ in the way!) we are unable to let guests serve themselves.

  • Are bartenders included with trailer?

    Due to California liquor law, whoever is providing the alcohol must provide the staff. Wingman/Cocktail Collective Co. provides one bartender for up to 250 people. For over 250 people, a second bartender is included. In rare cases where a guest count exceeds 500 people, a third bartender will be included at no additional cost.

  • What do the bartenders wear?

    Our bartenders wear the official Bubble Tap uniform consisting of white denim jeans (no rips or worn areas) with a white button up or “Pulling taps is the new popping bottles” tee, a matching white waist apron and clean white tennis shoes. Custom uniforms are available for an additional fee.

  • Is glassware included?

    Glass champagne flutes may be rented for 99 cents per flute and disposable champagne flutes may be purchased for 75 cents each. See all options are here.

Liquor Law

  • When do I need an ABC Liquor License Special Event Permit?
    When do I need an ABC Liquor License Special Event Permit?

    Knowing whether or not you need a California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Liquor License and Event Permit for catering and special events in California can be confusing.

    One can be easily misguided regarding the laws regarding liquor licenses, alcohol service and permits for catering and special events. In addition, the ABC has become increasingly strict with the types of events they approve for alcohol service and the enforcement of the law. Not complying and maintaining proper licenses and permits can result in both legal and financial consequences to both the host party and venue.

    Common questions we get are: When do I need an ABC permit? Do I need to hire a licensed caterer? Can I hire a licensed bartender? We have put together some commonly asked questions and answers to assist in the professional, compliant and legal service of alcohol for your next event.

    Who governs the service of alcohol at events?

    The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a state-run government agency that oversees the licensing of alcohol service in the State of California for any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages including restaurants, bars, hotels, retail stores, caterers and events.

    When must I have an ABC event permit in place?

    If any of the following applies to your event, you will need an ABC special event permit:

    • The event is open to the public, i.e. there is no private guest list or anyone can walk in uninvited
    • There is an admission cost for the event, i.e. ticket price, donation or door charge
    • Any other fundraising activities are being held at the event, i.e. silent auction
    • Drinks are being sold at the bar, i.e. no-host or “cash” bar
    • A licensed caterer is providing alcoholic beverages
    • The event venue requires an ABC permit to be in place for the event
    When do I not need to have an ABC event permit in place?

    An ABC event permit is not required if ALL of the following are true:

    • The event is private, i.e a bona fide guest list restricts access to invited guests ONLY
    • The host is providing all of the alcohol and the alcohol has been purchased through a retail store
    • All drinks are complimentary, i.e. hosted bar
    • There is no admission cost for the event, i.e. no ticket price, donation or door charge
    • The event venue does not require an ABC permit
    Do you need to own a liquor license to cater alcohol at an event?

    Yes. The first step to cater alcoholic beverages anywhere in the State of California is to own a Type 47 or 48 (full liquor license) or a Type 41 or 42 (beer & wine only license). These licenses are typically held by a restaurant. With one of these licenses, the licensee must then apply for a 58 License (sometimes referred to as a “Caterer’s Permit”) which then allows the licensee to apply for special event permits (see below) to serve alcohol outside their licensed premises.

    What is an ABC event permit?

    An ABC event permit (also known as an ABC 218) is required whenever a licensed caterer serves alcohol at a catered event. The ABC license owner files a request and pays a fee to the ABC with the event date, location, event sponsor, hours and guest count for the specific event. Once approved, the permit must be on-site during the catered event.

    Who may file for an ABC 218 event permit?

    You must be an ABC license owner as described above to file for an ABC 218 permit.

    How long does it take to get an ABC event permit?

    It is very important to plan ahead. The ABC requires the permit to be filed at least 15 DAYS prior to the event. We see it happen time and time again with frantic last minute requests. People don’t take the ABC requirements seriously or simply don’t think it applies to them. They are then scrambling a day or two before the event to find someone who can permit the event. By that time, unfortunately, it is often too late.

    Can I get an event permit for my private party without hiring a licensed caterer?

    No. You must either hire an ABC licensed caterer or if your event is a fundraiser and your organization is a registered and certified Non-Profit Organization (501-C3), then you may apply for a 1-day event permit (ABC 221) directly with the ABC. Keep in mind that you still may want to hire a caterer or licensed event staffing company to staff, serve and manage the alcohol service.

    Can someone other than the ABC provide permits to serve alcohol at an event?

    No. The ABC is the only organization that is authorized to approve alcohol event permits.

    How many ABC event permits can be issued at an event venue per calendar year?

    The ABC limits the number of event permits that can be issued at a single event location to 24 per calendar year.

    Can multiple ABC event permits be obtained for the same event?

    No. The ABC only allows one event permit to be issued for an event.

    How can I be sure that the caterer I hire is ABC licensed?

    Ask your caterer to provide you a copy of their ABC liquor license and 58 Caterer’s Permit.

    Is an ABC liquor license transferable for an event?

    No. Liquor licenses and event permits are not transferable and cannot be “borrowed”. The only staff authorized to serve alcohol under an ABC liquor license and event permit are the employees of the company that owns the license. Always check to make sure the name on the liquor license is the same name as the company you are hiring.

    Can I hire my own bartenders?

    The only situation where you can hire your own bartenders is when you purchase the alcohol yourself from a retailer, such as a liquor store. If you hire a catering company to provide the alcohol, it is California State Liquor Law that the caterer must provide their staff.

    What is a “licensed bartender”?

    Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “licensed bartender”.  Companies are ABC licensed, not bartenders. However, it is always best to hire bartending staff from a licensed caterer or event staffing company. If a bartender says they are licensed, ask to see their ABC liquor license.

    What do I do if my event venue asks for proof that I am hiring a licensed caterer?

    Once you have secured the services of an ABC licensed caterer, ask them to provide a copy of their ABC liquor license and event permit to the event location.

    Do some event venues require a permit even for private events?

    Yes. Event venues are becoming increasingly concerned about non-licensed companies serving alcohol at events and the liability associated with this. In order to ensure that a licensed company is serving, a venue may require a permit even if the ABC does not.

    Are there any event venues that cannot be permitted for an event?

    The ABC will not issue event permits for locations that currently own or are in the application process to obtain a permanent liquor license, such as a restaurant, bar, hotel or banquet facility. In addition, any property that has a history of violations or repeated problems with law enforcement agencies may not be able to be permitted.

    My caterer says they can provide liquor, but don’t own a liquor license. Is that okay?

    No. You must own an ABC liquor license to cater alcohol for any type of event. Contrary to popular belief, most caterers do not own liquor licenses and cannot legally cater alcoholic beverages. Purchasing alcohol at a retail store and reselling it to you or being “reimbursed by you” is illegal and strictly forbidden by the ABC. If your caterer is providing you alcohol under any circumstances, they must own an ABC liquor license.

    If I provide the alcohol for my own event, can my caterer or staffing company serve?

    Yes. A non-licensed caterer or event staffing company can serve alcohol provided to them by the host. Make sure that all the criteria for a non-permitted event apply if you are hiring a non-licensed caterer or staffing company (see above). Also, make sure that they provide you a copy of their Liquor Liability insurance policy (not General Liability). This way you know you are protected from any liability resulting from alcohol service.

    Will a liquor store license work for my event?

    No. A liquor store license, also known as an “off sale” license, is not permitted to cater alcoholic beverages and not able to apply for ABC event permits (see types of licenses required above).

    Can a beer and wine only license owner cater full liquor?

    No. Only the privileges extended to the license owner under their liquor license can be extended to the event, i.e. Type 41 or 42 licenses can only serve beer and wine at an event, type 47 or 48 licenses can serve Full Liquor at an event. Full Liquor includes the service of spirits, i.e. cocktails and mixed drinks.

    If drink tickets instead of cash are used at the bar, do I still need an event permit?

    Yes. Tickets are considered the same as cash. Either way, the ABC views it as money changing hands for drinks, so an ABC event permit is required. Also, the old fraternity party trick of “charging for the cup” and giving the alcohol away free is still considered paying for drinks.

    Can I be fined for illegally reselling alcoholic beverages?

    Yes. The ABC is actively pursuing the illegal service of alcoholic beverages at events, non-licensed caterers, and events operating without proper permits.

    What time do you have to stop serving alcohol?

    At no time are alcoholic beverages to be served between the hours of 2:00 am and 6:00 am. Furthermore, all drinks must be out of the hands of guests by 2:00 am, therefore, it is recommended to stop alcohol service no later than 1:30 am.

    Is it legal to serve alcohol after 2:00 am if it is in a private home?

    Though it may be commonplace to consume alcohol in a private home after 2:00 am, it is NOT legal for a hired company (e.g. event staffing or catering company) to serve alcohol after 2:00 am, even in a private home. If they do so, they are breaking the law just like they would be if in a restaurant or bar. If you must have that drink at home after 2:00 am, you will just have to get up and serve it yourself.

    Is it illegal to serve someone who is obviously intoxicated?

    Yes. It is a misdemeanor to serve alcohol to any person who appears obviously intoxicated and, of course, it is illegal to drink and drive…so don’t do it.

    We hope this helps clarify any questions regarding the Alcoholic Beverage Control rules and regulations regarding alcohol service. Please do not hesitate to email nicole@taptrailerco.com if you have any additional questions. Here’s to making your next event a smashing success!

  • Do you carry insurance?

    We carry insurance on all of our trailers and are happy to add you/your event as additionally insured.

833 827-8428