Social Distancing: You Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Ship?

We’ve been getting a lot (a lot) of questions about how breweries, wineries, or distilleries can practice and encourage effective “social distancing” with their clientele. So, let’s review for the record:

Basic Rule: Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries can sell at their place of manufacture/tasting room for off-premise consumption. In other words, they can all sell bottles to go. Even if you are a brewpub, your Combination “Class B” License lets you sell for off-premise consumption; if you have a “Class C” for some reason, your mileage may vary on that answer.

Online Orders (this applies to retailers, too): Breweries, brewpubs, wineries and distilleries (and restaurants/taverns/liquor stores) cannot accept online orders. All orders must be face-to-face. You can accept “reservations” online but not payment; the customer must come to the location, pick it up, and pay for it at the brewery or distillery.

Park-and-Go: Like grocery stores, you can amend your premises to include your parking lot. This may take time as it likely has to go through your municipal liquor license authority. Best practice is that you amend your permit to include 1-3 designated spots, not the whole parking lot. You still cannot accept payment online and you must verify identification and ensure that the customer isn’t inebriated.

Direct Wine Shippers: Wineries with a Direct Wine Shippers’ Permit may “ship” to consumers, but may not “deliver” to consumers. Your local food delivery service (e.g., EatStreet, DoorDash, etc.) is probably not sufficient as a “shipper.” This may change as conversations with Department of Revenue are on-going.

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