When deciding on the appropriate TABC permit or licenses for your business, it can sometimes be confusing to narrow down which one you actually need. Understanding the differences between similar permits, as well as differences in costs, can help you make an informed decision. Below, we’ll break down the differences between a TABC Mixed Beverage Permit and the Wine and Malt Beverage Permit.

Why Are There Separate Permits?

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) divides permits into different classifications of alcohol. For example, a brewery may only need a permit that covers the brewing of malt beverages while a distillery would need one for distilling spirits. So the permit that you need depends on the type of business you have and the kind of alcohol that you are crafting, serving, or selling.

What Is a TABC Mixed Beverage (MB) Permit?

A Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) authorizes a business to sell distilled spirits, wine, and malt beverages for consumption on the business premises.

This permit makes the most sense for businesses where alcohol is only consumed on-site. This may include establishments such as a bar or a restaurant.

What Is a TABC Wine and Malt Beverage (BG) Permit?

A Wine and Malt Beverage Retailers Permit (BG) includes the authority to sell wine and malt beverages for both on- and off- premises consumption. It also includes the ability to sell or serve alcohol at temporary off-site events (though there is still an approval process which must be followed).

This permit makes the most sense for businesses where there needs to be flexibility about where the alcohol is consumed–such as a wine bar that serves glasses of wine and also sells bottles of wine for consumers to enjoy at home. A caveat of this type of license is that businesses are required to be able to serve alcohol on-premise, so there must be some seating provided.

What is the Cost Difference Between Mixed Beverage (MB) Permit and a Wine and Malt Beverage (BG) Permit?

The cost of permits can differ depending on your location. While the initial permit through the state has one fixed cost, there are additional costs that may depend on your county and city/town.

State Costs for Mixed Beverage (MB) Permit and a Wine and Malt Beverage (BG) Permit

Keep in mind that if your business also serves food, you may need to also obtain a food and beverage certificate.

  • Mixed Beverage Permit Cost: $5,300.00 for the original permit; $2,650.00 upon renewal of the two-year permit
  • Wine and Malt Beverage Retailers Cost: $1,900.00

Local Costs for Mixed Beverage (MB) Permit and a Wine and Malt Beverage (BG) Permit

Below we break down some local costs for some of the bigger cities and their counties  in Texas to give you a sense of how much it varies by locale. Please note that we are noting costs for the first year, not renewals. These costs all vary year by year.

CityCountyMixed Beverage Cost
Wine and Malt Beverage Cost
HoustonHarris$0/Exempt first three years$500/$1000
DallasDallas$0/Exempt first year$1000/$1000
San AntonioBexar$0/Exempt first three years$1000/$1000
AustinTravis$0/Exempt first three yearsVaries/$175
Corpus ChristiNueces$0/Exempt first three yearsVaries/Half of state fee
El PasoEl Paso$0/Exempt first three yearsVaries/$175

As you can see costs can vary quite substantially, and in renewal years they can vary even more. For example, in Dallas County, a Wine and Malt Beverage permit renewal is $750.00, while a Mixed Beverage renewal is $1,125.00 after the first three years of issuance have passed. Speaking to a law team familiar with federal, state, and local liquor laws is essential as they can help you understand your future fees as well as what initial fees you need to pay. They can also help you decide which permit is right for you.

If you still have questions about the differences between a TABC Mixed Beverage (MB) Permit and a Wine and Malt Beverage (BG) Permit, or if you need assistance navigating the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out. The liquor licensing consultants at Ranger Licensing are here to help. You can contact us at (713) 881-9009 for personalized guidance and professional support.