State Liquor Control Groups Adapting During COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamper business for producers of craft beverages, many state liquor control groups are temporarily suspending certain restrictions on the sales of alcoholic beverages. 

Below is a list showing how states are reacting to the pandemic. We are frequently updating this page. If we are missing a state or an important update, please notify us at

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has enacted an emergency rule allowing for curbside pick-up and delivery, but only for products in sealed, unopened containers. Read the complete notice of regulatory relief

Guidance pending

On March 20, Governor Douglas Ducey issued an executive order closing bars and restaurants. As part of that order, bars and restaurants are allowed to deliver alcohol in sealed containers. Licensees selling any mixed drinks must seal the container before removing it from their licensed premises. Licensees may apply any number methods to seal containers to include the use of capping and applying a plastic adhesive seal or corking flush with the top of a bottle as is already circumstances. Merely placing a plastic cap on top of a Styrofoam or paper cup as one might expect permitted in some with a non-alcoholic fountain drink is not sealing the container. Read the complete notice of regulatory relief.

The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division set forth a number of rule amendments, including one that now allows distilleries, consistent with their existing licenses, to sell their own products for off-premise consumption and offer delivery of their products to consumers. Read the complete notice of regulatory relief. 

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is temporarily suspending enforcement of specific legal prohibitions, including returns of alcoholic beverages, retail-to-retail transactions, to-go sales and more. Normally, craft distillers may not deliver alcoholic beverages to consumers away from the licensed premises, but enforcement of the delivery provision is temporarily suspended. They must still, however, comply with the 2.25 liter per consumer per day limit. Read the complete notice of regulatory relief.

The Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division is making exceptions to its no-returns policy to allow for returns of alcohol beverages to distributors if COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of events to which those beverages were initially allocated. On March 20, Governor Jared Polis’s Executive Order suspended the prohibition on take-out and delivery of alcohol from on-premise retailers. Read the complete bulletin. 

The Connecticut State Liquor Control Commission, a division of the state’s Department of Consumer Protection, is allowing on-premise pick-up (but not delivery) of alcohol in sealed containers. The hours for such sales will be the same as those for off-premise establishments. The state is also refunding previously non-refundable application fees for licenses for events canceled because of COVID-19. Read the state’s COVID-19 FAQ.

On March 17, 2020, Governor John Carney updated an earlier order suspending all on-premise licensees until further notice to include an exception for alcohol sales in hotel bars. While the sale of alcohol continues to be suspended for consumption in dining areas, patios, lobbies and bar areas, hotels may continue to sell alcohol as part of room service. Read the updated order.

District of Columbia
The COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 allows ABC-licensed restaurants and taverns to sell beer, wine, and spirits for carry-out and/or delivery to D.C. residences in conjunction with the purchase of one or more prepared food items. Click here for updates.

From the Miami New Times: On March 20, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order declaring a Public Health Emergency and a state of emergency for all of Florida. In the five-page declaration, DeSantis addressed restaurants and bars, closing all dining rooms statewide but allowing takeout and delivery of food.

In addition, the governor addressed the sale of alcohol, shutting off on-premises consumption but allowing restaurants and bars to sell wine, beer, ciders, and spirits in sealed containers. 

The state’s Department of Public Health is regularly issuing updates. The city of Atlanta issued a stay at home order, but liquor stores are deemed essential. According to Eater Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has officially signed an order allowing the city’s restaurants to offer beer and wine to-go for “off-premises consumption.” The order does not include options for open containers or liquor, and expires in 60 days.

Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii, Kauai, Maui)
Guidance pending

Spirits may be sold by the drink to go as long as the product is sealed. “Sealed means a closed container to prevent consumption, leakage or alteration of its contents in any fashion or manner, and be sealed with a tamper-proof seal.” The state is allowing for delivery of beer and wine but not spirits. Read the complete notice of regulatory relief.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is allowing on-premise retailers to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption only when authorized by the on-premise establishment’s local liquor control board. The commission also is temporarily authorizing deliveries by on- and-off-premise retailers. Read the state’s FAQ on all of its COVID-19-related actions. 

The state is allowing on-premise retailers to offer food carryout, drive-thru and delivery but has not changed its laws related to alcohol carryout, drive-thru or delivery. Read the state’s memorandum on the subject

The State of Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division has temporarily expanded off-premise sales privileges for Class “C” on-premise liquor licensees, allowing those establishments to sell spirits in their original, unopened containers for off-premise consumption (effective March 19 through 11:59 p.m. on March 31). Prior to the change, the license only permitted such sales for beer. Read the complete notice of regulatory relief. 

The Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division is allowing certain licensees—including craft distilleries, to make curbside sales. The state defines “curbside” as “within a 50-foot radius of the entrance to their licensed premises. The state also is authorizing event-related returns to distributors if that event was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Read the notices related to curbside sales and event returns

Effective March 19, on-premise drink licensees may sell for off-premises consumption any alcohol beverages ordinarily able to be sold for on-premise consumption, provided that those beverages are in their original, sealed containers (to-go cups are prohibited) and that they’re incidental to the purchase of meals and not in bulk quantities. Read the complete notice of regulatory relief. Click here for updates.

As of March 17, 2020, the state’s office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control is temporarily allowing on-premise establishments to offer drive-thru and curbside pickup. It’s also offering temporary alcohol beverage delivery permits, but spirits are excluded. Read the ATC commissioner’s memorandum. 

Gov. Janet T. Mills’s Executive Order, which ordered closed all on-premise establishments effective March 18 through March 31 (subject to renewal), allows for sales of beer and wine for off-premise consumption, but prohibits such sales of spirits. Read the memorandum from the state’s Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations. 

In an effort to help Maryland’s craft alcohol manufacturers keep their businesses afloat through the COVID-19 pandemic, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced on March 18 that his office is temporarily suspending its enforcement of limits imposed on customers purchasing beer and distilled spirits. Current state law restricts how much product a Maryland-based craft brewery and craft distillery can sell to its customers for carryout and off-premise consumption.  For breweries that possess a Class 5 production license, that limit is 288 ounces – the volume equivalent of one case. For Class 1 distilleries, the maximum is 2,225 milliliters (2.25 liters) of spirits – the volume equivalent of three regular-sized bottles of vodka, gin, whiskey or rum. Click here for updates.

Effective March 17, all on-premises consumption licensees are prohibited from selling alcohol to the public until April 5. The advisory does not apply to licenses for off-premises consumption, including grocery stores, pharmacies, package stores, direct wine shippers, and farmer-series licensees. Click here for more advisories.

Via an executive order, all places of accommodation are closed to the public until at least April 13. A variety of licensees, including distilleries, are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages to go. Click here for updates.

As of 5 p.m. March 17, all restaurants and bars in Minnesota were temporarily closed and could not provide on-premises consumption.  This order by the Governor will last until at least through March 27. Establishments must have an off-sale license to sell alcohol that is allowed off the premises. Click here for updates.

According to news station WLOX, after the Mississippi Department of Revenue made temporary changes to its alcohol laws, liquor store owners say they’re seeing a spike in sales as more people buy alcohol in bulk. Liquor stores are now allowed to sell alcohol online or by phone. They can also provide curbside service.

The state’s Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued a reminder that all retail-by-drink licensees that they are allowed to sell intoxicating liquor in the original package under Section 311.200.5. This would allow these establishments to adhere to the social distancing recommendations by giving them the option to provide carryout and/or curbside pickup services.

Per an executive order from Gov. Steve Bullock, bars, restaurants and distilleries are closed for on-premise consumption. However, a retailer or manufacturer licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the state of Montana may deliver for sale the alcoholic beverages for which it is licensed. Click here for updates.

In a March 19 executive order, Gov. Pete Ricketts permitted restaurants and bars statewide greater flexibility to serve Nebraskans during the current public health emergency. Restaurants are allowed to sell beer, wine and spirits to go and establishments are permitted to sell alcohol on drive-thru or curbside orders. Click here for updates.

All non-essential businesses were ordered to close on March 20. According to the Associated Press, “if the state’s tourism economy is shuttered for 30 to 90 days, state and local governments are expected to miss out on more than $1 billion in tax revenue just from the casino and resort industry.”

New Hampshire
On March 18, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission announced that food and beverage sales are restricted to carry-out, delivery, curbside, pick up and drive-through only, to the extent permitted under current law. Click here for updates.

New Jersey
In order to protect the public and prevent the spread of COVID-19, licensed establishments may offer take-out or delivery only and only during regular posted business hours. Absolutely no table or bar service and no on premise alcohol consumption are allowed until further notice. Click here for updates.

New Mexico
According to a March 18 letter from the director of New Mexico’s Alcohol Beverage Control Division, no restaurant, eatery, bar, brewpub, winery or such shall serve customers for consumption on-premises. Restaurants and bars may be able to take and fulfill “to-go” orders for food, but under no circumstances shall alcohol, beer or spirits be sold for off-premises consumption from a restaurant, food establishment, or bar. Off-premises (“package”) are still available from package liquor stores; brewpubs in growler, bottled or canned form; or for package sales from a winery. Click here for updates.

New York
On March 20, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the state’s residents to stay indoors and ordered nonessential businesses to keep workers home (under the Governor’s direction, the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages are deemed essential). On March 16, the New York State Liquor Authority issued guidance to cease on-premises consumption of all food and beverages. However, any on-premises licensee and any manufacturing licensee with on-premises retail privileges may sell for off-premises consumption any alcoholic beverages that it is able to sell for on premises consumption under the law. Click here for updates.

North Carolina
Per an executive order on March 17, distilleries in North Carolina may still sell bottles for off-premises consumption. The ABC Commission will not enforce the requirement of a tour of the distillery before purchasing a bottle. On-premise mixed beverage sales or consumption is not allowed at distilleries while this executive order is in effect. Tastings are on-premise consumption and are not authorized at retail locations, distilleries, wineries or breweries. Also, due to the State of Emergency declared by Governor Cooper, ABC Chairman A.D. ” Zander” Guy has established a grace period for the registration/renewal process until June 30. Click here for more updates.

North Dakota
According to Valley News Live, the Fargo City Commission has approved the curbside, to-go sale and delivery of alcohol within Fargo city limits for a period of 30 days beginning Monday, March 23.

Ohio is under a stay at home order, but stores that sell alcoholic beverages are exempt.  Follow @ohliquor on Twitter for updates.

The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission announced that it is allowing the delivery of alcoholic beverages until April 17. The ABLE Commission’s announcement will allow liquor stores to deliver beer, wine and spirits to consumers at least 21 years old.

Liquor stores and distillery tasting rooms can now deliver factory-sealed containers of distilled spirits direct to consumer curbside or to their parking lots. Click here for updates.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board recently announced the indefinite closure of all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centers. Click here for updates for consumers and click here for recent press releases.

Rhode Island
Some businesses are allowed to deliver alcoholic beverages. See updates here.

South Carolina
South Carolina Regulation 7-702.51 has been temporarily suspended, allowing current holders of a valid On or Off-Premises Beer/Wine Permit who meet certain requirements to sell sealed containers of beer and wine for curbside/drive-thru pickup for off-premises consumption. However, curbside delivery and pickup of alcoholic liquors, as defined by South Carolina Code of Laws Section 61-6-20, as amended, is prohibited. Click here for updates.

South Dakota
Due to the Governor’s executive order, South Dakota’s Department of Revenue offices will be closed until March 23rd.

Retail package stores are allowed to remain open, unless they are ordered to close by local government, and are allowed to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Click here for updates.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has a robust page on its website dedicated to updating the public on the coronavirus. Many license holders are allowed to offer to-go sales of alcoholic beverages. Distilleries are allowed to sell spirits to go but may not deliver spirits. This chart outlines who is allowed to make to-go sales and deliver alcohol to consumers. 

Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) is temporarily limiting store hours at all DABC stores until further notice. To-go sales of alcoholic beverages are restricted.

The Vermont Division of Liquor Control is regularly posting updates here.

On April 6, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) extended temporary in state direct to consumer shipping privileges for distilleries that have existing agreements with ABC to manufacture and sell products as agents of ABC at their distillery site. Virginia currently has more than 45 distilleries with ABC distillery store agreements. Some caveats apply. Previously, the authority had adjusted some of its licensing regulations and announced reduced store hours. Click here for updates from CEO Travis Hill and click here for media updates.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is temporarily waiving some restrictions regarding returns of alcohol product, curbside service and delivery. For the latest updates click here.

West Virginia
A stay at home order was issued on March 24. However, distilleries and retail liquor outlets are deemed essential and will remain open. Click here for updates.

Per proposed guidance, “Brewers, manufacturers (distilleries), rectifiers, Class “A” beer, “Class A” liquor, Class “B” beer, and “Class B” liquor license holders may sell alcohol beverages in original, sealed containers on a “carry-out” basis only, and only where permitted by municipal ordinance.” Click here for updates.

With a recent Governor’s Order to close several types of businesses that hold liquor licenses (bars and restaurants), only full retail license holders, distilleries (and satellites) and microbreweries (and satellites) can sell package alcoholic beverages. These are the only license types allowed to sell package. Click here for updates.

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