Some of your questions

If you need help, we have a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Click a question below to view the answer.


Why do I need an SOL (Special Occasion License)?

The government of British Columbia requires that any individual, group, or organization acquire a Special Occasion Liquor License for any private or public event where alcohol will be served and/or distributed.

Where can I get an SOL?

You can apply for a SOL here at the BC government’s website;

How much is an SOL?

For private events the price is $25 per day.

Are there any prerequisites to me obtaining an SOL?

Yes, all applicants who intend to host an event requiring an SOL must, by law, take and complete a brief RBS (responsible beverage service certification), This course can be done quickly online here;

Why do I even need a bartender?

Hiring a Serving it Right certified bartender ensures your event runs simply and smoothly, as well as guarantees the individual responsible for alcohol service is trained and responsive to any situation that arises that puts you, or your guests, at risk. It is also legally required for those regularly serving alcohol to have a valid SIR license (This is NOT the same as the RBS required to host an event).

How long does my SOL application take to process?

Roughly 7 – 14 business days.

Can guests bring their own liquor?

No, by law this is not permitted.

How much liquor do I buy?

Assume your guests will drink in the proportions of 50% beer, 30% wine, 20% spirits and drink four drinks per three hour event. We will also inquire about this during our personal consultation to establish what your guests prefer have on the menu, and to what quantity. You can also find the governments’ recommendations on page 8 of the SOL brochure.

What do I need & what do I bring?

On event day, you should print, sign and post your SOL in the designated liquor service area. You must also display and follow any terms and conditions set by the reviewing parties. A security plan, if applicable to your event, should also be readily available on site should a liquor inspector or police request to see it. You will also need all alcohol that was predetermined at your consultation. We bring the rest.

What types of service can I offer my guests?

We offer open bar (Free liquor service to guests), Toonie bar (Each 1oz drink costs $2.00 and $4.00 for doubles respectively.), By Donation (Guests determine an appropriate rate to pay for their drinks).

Can I request special drinks be served?

Yes, we will discuss all possible specialty drinks to be served at your consultation. Please refer to our drink menu for a list of cocktails we offer.

Can I have a non-alcoholic event?


Does Down the Hatch sell alcohol?

No, we are legally only eligible to serve it, as are all incorporated mobile bartending services.

Where can I purchase liquor for my event?

At BC liquor stores.

What happens to the liquor after the event?

Any unopened alcohol may be returned to BC liquor stores. Opened liquor may be taken home by event organizers.

Can I work for Down the Hatch?

We'd love to hear from you. Send us an e-mail to with your resume and how you would like to contribute to Down the Hatch.