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Basic Tips for Keeping Your Workstation in Order

Bartending Guide after you Montana Alcohol Server TrainingA clean workstation is an essential element of any bar, and as a bartender or server, you have to learn to make and mix drinks without leaving a messy workplace in your wake. So how do you do it? While it might seem overwhelming to keep the counter clean at first, especially if you work in a busy bar, you’re going to have to learn. These tips are intended to anyone with Montana alcohol server training (or who intends to take the course) learn to keep their workstation or bar as neat and clean as possible. Let’s get started.

Trash Can

You will want a small trash can or waste basket directly below your workstation. If you can have a small basin and set it on the shelf just below your workstation then you can use it to scrape scraps and ice cubes into throughout the night. Then, all you have to do is simply scrape the counter clean instead of making multiple trips across the room. This saves a lot of time, especially if you’re busy.

Wipe Between Drinks

No matter how busy it is, don’t forget to wipe the station down between drinks. You can use a very large wet rag (preferably with a little bit of bleach) to simply swipe over the workstation. Once again, you can do this directly into a small basin or trash can to get rid of any debris or trash that might be on the counter. This helps to keep your workstation from getting sticky and messy, which really helps to keep everything clean. As a tip, keep at least two or three large rags in a basin of bleach water either on or under the counter.

Organize Everything

Everything should have a place so that you can easily put it back, and then find it again as quickly as possible. Even bartenders who have had their alcohol server certification for years can sometimes spend time looking for important items if they don’t have everything organized. Your best bet is to create an exact place for each alcohol and drink ingredient, and then leave it there no matter what. The same rule should apply to knives, spoons, mixing ingredients and straws and anyone new who comes into the workstation should be immediately introduced to the order.

Straighten Up Between Drinks

If you have a few minutes or more between each customer then you should spend at least part of the time straightening up. Whether wiping down the full bar, organizing your bottles, or even straightening them, you can easily keep on top of everything by taking a few minutes here and there throughout the night. For example, straighten all of the bottles so that the labels all face the same way, organize the spoons and straws, and make sure everything looks neat. If you’re using cut fruit, make sure you have it put away properly if it will be more than a few minutes before the next order.

Clean Glasses While Talking to Customers

There’s nothing quite like maximizing your time so if you don’t mind multi-tasking, you can try talking to customers while you do important things like restocking bottles of beer and cleaning the glasses. Of course, if you have a bar-back then you won’t have to worry about this, but otherwise it’s always a great idea. Most bars have the sink in the front so you can easily chat with the nearest customers while cleaning up.

Basic Bartending Tricks: How to Flip a Bottle

Bartending Guide after you Montana Alcohol Server TrainingIf you’ve just completed your mandatory alcohol server training then you’re probably ready to start work as a bartender. If so, you might want to learn a few basic bartending tricks to make serving more fun, and to increase your tips. Probably the very first trick you should learn is flipping a bottle which you can use when making cocktails, serving beer, and more. It is very important to learn balance, and to never try this when drinking as you could actually hurt yourself, and anyone in the area if the bottle is made of glass. Are you ready to learn your first bartending trick? Let’s get started.

How to Flip

The first part of flipping a bottle is to learn the basic technique. The following is a step by step guide to walk you through the mechanics. You should never do this with a glass bottle the first time.

  1. Hold a cup in your opposite hand and grip the bottle by the neck and get a feel for the weight. Every bottle is different so you will have to switch up each time you flip.
  2. Gently flip your wrist up to swing the bottle upward. You don’t want to flip too hard as the bottle could go too high.
  3. Let go of the bottle when it swings on its own and then catch it once it has done a full revolution with the neck pointing down. You should move your hand with the cup to catch the neck in order to catch the liquid before it spills.

To practice, try getting a variety of different sizes of plastic bottles and then filling them up with water. Halfway or three quarters of the way full is probably ideal as you will most likely never have to flip a full bottle. You should practice the trick until you have it mastered and can successfully do the trick ten or more times in a row without dropping the bottle. Once you’ve done that, you can try with a glass bottle, although you should try in an area where it is easy to clean up any mess as if you drop the bottle, it will break. A couple of other tips include that you should practice with the lid on before you get started. You can learn to ‘catch’ the bottle neck before having to catch a spill. You should also practice with different cups including wine glasses, cocktail shakers, and any other sort of glass that might be at the bar.

Perfecting Your Art

There are a lot of variations to the basic bottle flip many of which are required for flair bartending. The most common single hand bottle flip is simply to pour the alcohol directly into a glass. However, you can also flip the bottle and catch it with your opposite hand, flip the bottle and allow it to spin twice before catching it, and if working with plastic bottles or very cheap alcohol, practice flipping higher for a more dramatic affect.

Remember to fully master this technique at home, and with the same bottles you will be using at the bar before trying it at work. If you haven’t yet gotten a job as a bartender, you can learn these tricks after earning your Montana alcohol server training, and then look for a job.

FAQ for Montana Alcohol Server Training

Montana Alcohol Server TrainingIf you’re planning on getting a job selling alcohol in Montana, then you have to take an Alcohol server training class and get a permit. But why is mandatory? And when was it put in place? How many states have Alcohol server training? If you want to know the answer to any of these questions, keep reading.

What is Montana Alcohol Server Training?

Montana Alcohol Server Training requires that anyone serving, selling, or overseeing the sale of alcohol be trained in responsible sale and service. This mostly includes training on how to responsible serve alcohol including when to say no to someone who is underage or who has had too much to drink, how to recognize either of those persons, how to serve alcohol in responsible quantities (I.E. no serving more than one drink per person per table), and a bit on the background behind the rules. There are currently 30 states that have mandatory alcohol server training, although server training does vary per state so you will need to get a different certification for each state you work in.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Certification?

Montana Alcohol Server Training or Mandatory Alcohol Server Training is mandated to be three hours in length and will take that time or longer should you choose to take a break during training. The online course at or costs $19.99 and includes a full course and test with immediate certificate printout available. The course takes different amounts of time depending on the person taking it, but as it is divided into 8 modules, and you can stop between each one, having enough time to complete it is generally not a problem.

Why is Alcohol Server Training Mandatory?

Montana alcohol server training was introduced in 2011 with the Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act. The point of the training and certification is to ensure that any alcohol being sold in Montana is being sold responsibly and that those selling it are not selling to intoxicated customers, not selling to minors, not allowing secondary selling (I.E. someone purchases it and gives it to a minor) and not sold to anyone with a fake or altered ID. The training is mandatory so that the government has some way of ensuring that the people selling are abiding by these rules.

Where Can I Get Alcohol Server Training?

If you’re ready to get your alcohol server training and certification, you have two choices. The first is to study online. The online course, like the classroom course, is mandated to be no less than 3 hours long, but can be taken in multiple sessions depending on your preferences. You can also choose to take your course at an approved training facility. This requires that you show up on time, sit through the full course, and then pass the test in person. Both options will give you immediate access to your certification, although you will likely receive the online one more quickly because you are graded instantly.

Want to know more? Check or to learn more about our online Montana alcohol server courses.

Eight Reasons to Get Your Alcohol Server Certification

Montana Alcohol Server CertificationAre you considering getting your Montana Alcohol Server Certification? Are you wondering if you need it? Check this list of eight reasons that you might need to get your certification.

1. You Want to Be a Bartender – If you want to bartend but don’t have a permit, then you should go get one now. If you check the online course it is only $19.99 and is good for 3 years.

2. You Want a Promotion – If you work as a server but want to serve alcohol as well, or even mix drinks, you should consider getting your Montana alcohol server certification. You won’t be able to get a promotion without one.

3. You Want a Job – Looking for job? If you’re looking in the food and beverage industry you might have better chances if you have your server certification on your resume. Taking the initiative and getting your permit before getting the job shows your future employer that you really are looking forward to the job and you know what it takes. Remember to print out a copy of your certification and include it in your resume for them to see.

4. You’re Managing – If you own or manage any company that sells, or serves alcohol, than you need a Montana alcohol server certification. Did you know that you are legally required to have a certification if you are overseeing employees who need one?

5. It’s Been Three Years or More Since Your Last Certification – The Montana Alcohol Server Certification is only good for three years, so if you’re getting close to the expiration date, you have to take the test again. Fortunately, not everything changes so you will likely get better scores than the first time you took the test.

6. It’s Been Two Months Since You Were Hired – If you were hired by a business that sells alcohol, then you have to take the test. You have a two month deadline from the date of hire to get your certification.

7. You’ve Moved From Another State – If you’ve moved and have a certification from another state, you still need your Montana server certification. Unfortunately laws are different in each state so you have to update your permit each time you move.

8. If You Sell Alcohol, It’s the Law – You can’t really put the reasons more succinctly than that, so if you want to sell or serve, you should definitely get your Montana certification ASAP.

A Guide to Wine Glasses for Bartenders

If you’re going for your Montana Alcohol Server Training certification then you probably want to become a bartender. If so, you have to know which wine glasses to use, and how to tell the difference between each one. There are five distinct styles of wine glasses, and a bartender should be able to recognize them at a glance.

Red Wine Glass

Red WineThe red wine glass is the most versatile of wine glasses and is sometimes known as the ‘all purpose’ wine glass. This glass features a slightly narrowing shaft with a wide bowl and usually a shorter stem. The glass allows wine drinkers to swirl, but is open enough on the top that air can easily enter to allow the aroma of the wine to mature. Usually this glass is used to serve Bordeaux, Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, and Shiraz.




Dark Red Wine Glass

Dark Red Wine



Similar to the tulip shape of the red wine glass, the dark red wine glass is typically used to serve Burgundy, Grand Cru, Pinot, and Nebbiolo. Characterized by a shorter stem and a wider bowl, dark red wineglasses are designed to allow the maximum amount of aroma to escape, which allows the taste and aroma of the rich red to mature. This glass is usually the same width or wider at the top then the bottom. This glass is also sometimes used to serve Chardonnay.




White Wine Glass

White Wine Glass

The white wine glass features a longer stem and a thinner, more tapered body that prevents air from escaping from the glass. Unlike reds, whites are served chilled and should have as little exposure to air as possible. For this reason, the glass has a long stem for gripping the wineglass, and a smaller opening to prevent air from escaping. These glasses are known as ‘fluted’ or ‘tapered’ and are smaller on the top then the bottom.




Champagne Flute


The champagne flute is perhaps one of the most well-known wine glasses, although most mistakenly do not refer to it as a wineglass. This glass is characterized by a tall and thin body which is used to preserve the bubbles in the drink by preventing air from escaping. Popular drinks to serve in a champagne flute include bubbling wine such as Prosecco, Cava, Moscato, and of course, Champagne.




Port Glass

Port Glass The port glass is decreasing in popularity as most bartenders simply use a dark red wine glass. However, for any bar or restaurant with the glass, it can be used to serve both port and sherry. The glass is similar to the champagne flute in that it is tapered but usually features a very wide base that tapers up to a slimmer top.





Getting your Montana Alcohol Server Training certification is just the first step to becoming a bartender. You also have to be able to recognize glasses, make drinks as needed, and of course, be able to entertain the customers. However, your alcohol server certification is your first step to becoming a licensed bartender in the state of Montana, so it is always important to start with your certification.

Do I Need a Montana Alcohol Server Training License?

Montana Alcohol Server TrainingA Montana Alcohol Server Training license for responsible alcohol serving is required for anyone who would like to serve alcohol in the state of Montana. Unfortunately, it isn’t always clear when you need training and when you don’t. For the most part, alcohol server training and certification is intended to prove that you are licensed to safely serve alcohol without serving to minors, as well as training for the responsible serving of alcohol. The following jobs usually require a certification or alcohol server training in the state of Montana.


Whether in a restaurant or a bar, any server including waitresses, waiters, barbacks, or even busboys that fetch drinks must have alcohol server training. This is because it is required that anyone who serves alcohol be able to do so responsibly. This includes recognizing intoxication, checking and verifying age, and serving in responsible amounts. State law requires that no more than one alcoholic beverage is served per person at once, and that free alcoholic beverages cannot be offered to anyone in a public setting.


Most bartenders know that they need a Montana Alcohol server certification in order to bartend, but if you’re looking into the job, starting as a server with your Montana Alcohol Server Training is the best way to break into the career.


Something that many bars and restaurants do not consider is that it is legally required for managers overseeing the sale of alcohol to have alcohol server training. Even if the manager will not be physically serving the beverages themselves, they still need the training. This is because the manager oversees everyone else, and therefore it is most important that they know the full extent of server law and responsible serving in order to uphold it at all times. Owners fall under the same category and must legally be certified in order to sell alcohol on the premises.

Bouncers, Security, and Hosts

While not everyone in this category requires an alcohol server certification, most do. The line is drawn at checking identification for the control of alcohol sale and consumption. Anyone who checks IDs or refuses the sale of alcohol must be certified under Montana law. Therefore any indoor security, anyone refusing entrance to minors, and anyone controlling the sale of alcohol must be certified.


Most people are not aware that a cashier selling alcohol in a bar, restaurant, grocery store or liquor store must have an alcohol certification, but it is a fact. Another consideration is that it is required by law that cashiers be a minimum of 21 years old. This is different from the 18 year old age limit for servers in restaurants and bars. Most of the time, anyone who has anything to do with the preparation or serving of alcohol should have a Montana Alcohol Server certification.

Furthermore, anyone who controls the sale, or watches over and hires people serving alcohol should be certified as well. Using this rule, anyone under either of these categories should get their Montana Alcohol Server Training.

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