Press Release: New RBS Training Provider in California!

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Craft Serving, LLC | 0 comments




California’s Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program is relatively new!

The passage of Assembly Bill 1221 in 2017 tasked the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) with creating a mandatory, statewide RBS Training Program. Over the course of the next five years, the ABC worked on developing and implementing the framework for the new program.

On July 1, 2022 the program took effect, requiring an estimated 1,000,000 people in California to complete RBS training by August 31, 2022 at the latest. Any workers hired after that date have 60 days to complete training.

Enactment of the law was delayed due to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry. But now that it is in place, it will affect some 56,000 establishments in California, 10,605 of which are in Los Angeles County alone according to John Carr, a spokesperson for the ABC.


On July 5th, Craft Serving went live with its new California RBS Training Course! Craft Serving’s online course is approved by the ABC for individuals that need to obtain RBS Certification to serve alcohol at liquor-licensed businesses.

Slipping in perhaps at the last minute, Craft Serving joined the ranks of 30 other online RBS training providers offering a course in English. With currently only four online providers offering a course in Spanish, Craft Serving’s next order of business will be to translate its course to Spanish.


Although the RBS Training Program is new to California, many other states have already implemented similar, mandatory training programs for alcohol servers. As the proprietors of Craft Serving, we hail from two such states (Washington and Oregon)!

Before we became an RBS training provider in California, we were bartenders in the Pacific Northwest. As bartenders, we took pride in what we did and placed emphasis on craft and skill. We loved every aspect of bartending except mandatory alcohol server education.

The online courses we took seemed poorly organized, outdated and out-of-touch with the issues alcohol servers actually face. And, although we had a good relationship with our local inspector from beverage control, we also felt like the information we received from the state was not always clear or practical.

Consequently, we set out to help bridge the gap by creating a new, modern course that makes mandatory alcohol server education as painless as possible. Starting out in Oregon, we’ve now expanded to serving the entire west coast.



Unfortunately for us, there are many other RBS training providers. But fortunately for you, only one of them is special!

What makes our course special? You might have to take our course to learn all the reasons, but here are our top three:

  • To start, our course builds upon itself. This may seem like a basic concept, but for some reason, it is something many of our competitors have yet to figure out.
  • Our course incorporates a variety of visual and interactive tools to create an entertaining and engaging learning environment.
  • Our course teaches the basics of RBS training in a clear, concise format so you can easily recall information from the course long after you have completed it.

By the end of your training, we know you will feel confident in your ability to serve alcohol responsibly and be committed to upholding liquor laws, even under challenging circumstances!



Assembly Bill 1221 was authored by former California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). She pushed for state-mandated RBS training after a fatal car crash in May 2015 involving a drunk driver in the Mission Valley area of San Diego.

The driver was leaving a local restaurant when he went the wrong way on State Route 163 and caused a collision that killed two UC San Diego medical students and seriously injured three others.

In the aftermath of the accident, Fletcher worked with the classmates of the victims to develop legislation that would better equip servers to identify signs of overconsumption and intervene before tragedy strikes.

On April 27, 2017, Assembly Bill 1221 was approved by the Assembly Government Organization Committee with a bipartisan, unanimous vote of 19-0 with Fletcher quoted as saying,

“Developing a simple, standardized training program for staff at bars and restaurants will cut down on drunk driving and save lives. This approach protects the server, patron, business and public.”


— Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, California State Assemblywoman

(Quote retrieved from The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint)



The curriculum for the new RBS Training Program is an adaptation of the ABC’s Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) Program started in 1991. As its name suggests, the LEAD Program was designed to provide free, educational training to California retail licensees on a voluntary basis. However, the training was also recommended for managers and alcohol servers.

As we developed our RBS Training Course, we realized that some of the required material is more relevant to licensees than alcohol servers. For example, record keeping and alcohol-related laws pertaining to licensees only, as well as, associated disciplinary action including the Petition for Offer in Compromise (POIC) outlined at Business and Professions Code 23095(a)-(c).

Additionally, the new RBS Training Program places a strong emphasis on instructing licensees to develop their own set of house policies, something that alcohol servers have little control over. However, as the curriculum keeps circling back to house policies, it encourages alcohol servers to regularly consult and follow house policies.



Implementing RBS training in the nation’s largest state is a huge feat for the California ABC. It is also the most recent of many milestones that illustrate how the ABC has advanced its mission of protecting California’s communities. These are a few of the ABC’s noteworthy milestones:

For more information on RBS training, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for California. For inquiries on how to partner with Craft Serving to provide your employees or staff with a discount to our RBS Training Course, please reach out to our customer service team by phone at 213.772.7759 or by email at [email protected]





Craft Serving is ABC Certified

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This online course is approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

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Thanks for checking out this article!  If you found it helpful, feel free to share it or leave us a comment.

Below are links to some of our other Alcohol Server Education related news posts. Check them out and be sure to let us know if there is a topic you are interested in learning more about. We will try and cover it in our next news update!

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Sarah Travis
Co-Founder and Bon Vivant
Craft Serving, LLC


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