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Cocktails in Quarantine: How your State Governs Booze Buying during Lockdown

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has shifted the way we live. How we work, if we work, the risks we are willing to take, and the ways we connect with friends and family are all evolving as the months of social distancing tick by. For many of us, there is comfort in having an after-work “Quarantini” or having a few beers in a Zoom happy hour with friends. But, like almost everything else, the rules about how we buy alcoholic beverages—or even if we can get them at all—have suddenly changed.

Thankfully, with all the other added stress created by the outbreak of COVID-19, most states have chosen to relax alcohol laws in a pragmatic bid to save struggling businesses and encourage compliance with social distancing. Some states, like Texas, now allow restaurants to sell mixed drinks to go; others, like Maryland, now allow liquor stores to deliver to homes; and even federal regulators have eased rules that prevented distilleries from producing hand sanitizer.

Not every state, however, seems to understand how far consumers are willing to go in order to keep their glasses full. When Pennsylvania shut down all of its 600 state-run liquor stores in mid-March—and following a failed attempt to offer online sales—residents of the Keystone State poured over the border to buy liquor. They arrived in such numbers that some neighboring states, like Ohio and West Virginia, were forced to stop sales to holders of out-of-state IDs, while Delaware authorized state troopers to stop and search cars with out-of-state plates, specifically targeting a popular alcohol retailer just over the Philadelphia border.  

Drinkers in states like Pennsylvania can take solace in the fact that, at least with regards to alcohol, things will eventually return to normal. Yet, for those in states where alcohol rules have suddenly become a little saner, the question is: Should we go back or were the previously draconian rules #NeverNeeded in the first place? At least in some cases, there is reason to hope that the reforms prompted by the coronavirus outbreak may become permanent and, perhaps, neighboring states will follow suit once they see that the world won’t end if you can buy wine, beer, and liquor in the same store or have it delivered right to your door.

In the meantime, CEI has prepared this handy list of states that currently allow alcohol delivery or curbside pickup. Enjoy responsibly (and please let us know if we’ve missed anything).  

Alabama

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

No limit (container limit of 288 ounces)

Wine

Yes

No

1500 ml

Spirits

No

No

1 liter

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Alabama is one of seven states that prohibits all alcohol delivery. As of March 18, 2020, the Alcohol Control Board authorized restaurants and bars to sell alcohol to go and for curbside pickup. Less than two weeks later, it raised the limit allowed per order, which was previously capped at one 750 ml bottle of wine or liquor and one six-pack of beer. State-controlled liquor stores are not offering delivery or curbside pickup, but remain open. More details here. Alabama’s lockdown was lifted as of April 30.

Alaska

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Spirits

Yes

No

Bottles must be sealed

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

As of April 15, restaurants can sell beer and wine with food orders for takeout and delivery. This does not extend to third-party delivery services, such as DoorDash, and alcohol is limited to no more than twice the value of the food ordered. As for liquor, any business with a license to sell spirits—including package stores, distilleries, and bars—may sell curbside liquor in sealed bottles. One catch is that liquor stores appear to need prior approval from the liquor control board in order to do curbside sales. Alaska’s lockdown ended on April 21.

Arizona

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants and bars

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants and bars

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants and bars

Delivery of liquor was already legal in Arizona (except between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM), including through third-party delivery services like Drizly. Arizona is also one of the few states that already allowed drive-through liquor stores. And now, thanks to Governor Doug Ducey’s March executive order, restaurants, bars, and breweries may sell any type of alcohol, including mixed drinks, for takeout, drive-through, or delivery. Restaurants may only sell alcohol to go with food orders and must continue to make sure that at least 40 percent of their revenue continues to come from food. The executive order also lifted a rule that barred sellers from buying back unopened products from restaurants, bars, and clubs. Which makes one wonder, was that rule really ever necessary? Arizona’s lockdown is set to end on May 15.

Arkansas

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Limit 750 milliliters with food orders, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

Limit 750 milliliters with food orders, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Liquor stores only

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Arkansas already allowed drive-through liquor sales, but alcohol delivery is largely banned in the state, unless it is from a winery that you have visited in person. But in March, Governor Asa Hutchinson issued an emergency order to allow delivery by liquor stores, distilleries, breweries, and wineries. The order also allows restaurants and bars to deliver or sell for takeout beer and wine with food orders, but not spirits or mixed drinks. Deliveries must be made by establishment employees so, unfortunately, you will not be able to order through third-party and online vendors.

California

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants. Craft distillers may only sell up to 2.25 liters per day per customer.

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Alcohol delivery, including wine, beer, and spirits, was already legal in California. With the order signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on March 20, 2020, restaurants in the Golden State can now also deliver alcohol—including mixed drinks and cocktails—for pickup and delivery. Unsealed drinks, such as growlers and cocktails, must accompany food orders. Craft distilleries, which apparently were not allowed to deliver before the order, may now do so, but are limited to selling 2.25 liters per day per customer. The order also temporarily lifts the state’s ban on drive-through alcohol sales. California began a phased reopening as of May 8.

Colorado

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

While delivery of wine, beer, and spirits was already allowed in Colorado, including by third parties, the executive order signed by Governor Jared Polis on March 20 executive order allows restaurants and bars in the state to sell or delivery alcohol. The only limitation is that alcohol to go must be accompanied with food, but this may be as small as a bag of potato chips. Colorado’s phased reopening began on April 27.

Connecticut

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food and limited to 1.5 liters of alcohol, for restaurants. Limit 9 gallons for breweries.

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food and limited to 1.5 liters of alcohol, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food and limited to 1.5 liters, for restaurants

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Alcohol shipping in Connecticut was already legal for any business licensed to sell off premises.  Governor Ned Lamont’s April 2 executive order now also allows restaurants, bars, and breweries to deliver sealed alcohol, but not mixed drinks, with food prepared on-site (so, no just buying a bag of chips). The state alcohol authority also limits the amount that can be sold for off-premise consumption by different license holders. Predictably, the former (and soon-to-be again) holders of the monopoly on off-premise alcohol sales have been none too pleased with the competition.  Connecticut’s phased reopening is set to begin on May 20.

Delaware

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

Must be sealed. No more than 40% of the total order

Wine

Yes

No

Must be sealed. Alcohol must be 40% or less of total sale

Spirits

No

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Delaware is among the seven states that prohibit all alcohol delivery. But with the March 18 order signed by Governor John Carney, businesses licensed to sell alcohol on site can now also sell it for takeout or drive-through. The rule limits alcohol as part of take-away sales to no more than 40 percent of the total cost of the purchase and doesn’t allow alcohol to be part of deliveries. Given that few (if any) food establishments sell sealed spirits, it seems likely that the relaxed rules only apply to beer and wine. Furthermore, the order doesn’t appear to allow for curbside pickup from package stores, so you will still have to physically enter a store in order to buy liquor. Delaware is set to reopen on a phased basis beginning on June 1.

Florida

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Secure container with food orders, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

Secure container with food orders, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Secure container with food orders, for restaurants

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

Secure container with food orders, for restaurants

Florida already has drive-through liquor stores and alcohol delivery was already widely legal in the state. Now, with rule changes in place, any establishment with an on-premise alcohol license can also sell alcohol to go and for delivery, as long as it’s in a sealed container. While originally the order prohibited mixed drinks, a late March revision by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation revised the rule to allow mixed drinks to be sold for off-premise consumption as long as they are in “reasonable containers.” Florida’s state of emergency is set to continue at least through July.

Georgia

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

By county, usually with food orders

Wine

Yes

No

By county, usually with food orders

Spirits

Yes

No

At liquor stores

Mixed drinks

Yes

No

By county, usually with food orders

Sorry Georgians, when it comes to getting alcohol delivered, your state doesn’t give you much leeway. While drive-through liquor stores are allowed, depending on the county, alcohol deliveries are prohibited. Unlike many other states, the governor has not signed an order relaxing the current laws during the outbreak. However, mayors in some cities have authorized restaurants and bars to sell alcohol (including mixed drinks in Atlanta).

On the bright side, the current situation has greased the wheels for legislation that would permanently allow residents to get home delivery of beer and wine from grocery stores, convenience stores, and third-party delivery services. The bill, B 879, was approved by the Georgia House with overwhelming support on March 10 and headed to the Senate. The state suspended the legislative calendar before the bill received a final vote. That said, the success of HB 879 in the House indicates a decent amount of support for such a measure that may carry forward when legislators return.

In the meantime, breweries and distilleries are allowed to sell directly to consumers, as they have been since 2017, and some are reportedly now offering curbside pickup. 

Georgia ended its shelter at home order on April 30, but the emergency status is set to continue until June 12.

Hawaii

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food order in prepackaged container

Wine

Yes

No

With food order in pre-packaged container

Spirits

Yes

No

With food order in prepackaged container

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food order in prepackaged container

Alcohol delivery was already legal in Hawaii, though services may be limited to the few places licensed to do so (e.g. Target in Honolulu and Kailua-Kona). But, with Governor David Y. Ige’s April 7 executive order, any establishment with a license to sell alcohol may sell it for off-site consumption with takeout and delivery food orders, so long as bottles are unopened and prepackaged (including cocktails.) Reportedly, some restaurants are selling bottles of liquor and several breweries have been able to continue offering to-go growler fills. So, even if you can’t hit the waves, at least you can enjoy some good brew with your loco moco. Hawaii begin a phased reopening on May 7.

Idaho

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed container

Wine

Yes

Yes

No more than 24 9-liter case annually, for delivery

Spirits

Yes

No

Sealed container

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

Sealed container

“The delivery of alcohol remains prohibited,” according to Idaho’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Bureau. However, direct shipping of wine is already legal in the state as are beer deliveries from in-state breweries. So are drive-up alcohol purchases. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Brad Little closed many businesses, but not liquor stores. Furthermore, under the emergency order, along with a rule change from ABC, licensed bars and restaurants can sell beer and wine and mixed drinks for pickup or delivery, while mixed drinks can be sold to go in sealed containers. The order also allows for third-party delivery. Idaho is currently in stage two of its reopening plan.

Illinois

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

In original manufacturer’s container

Wine

Yes

Yes

In original manufacturer’s container

Spirits

Yes

Yes

In original manufacturer’s container

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Delivery of alcohol is legal in Illinois, depending on local laws. Third-party delivery services are already legal in places like Chicago. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission issued orders temporarily allowing to-go, curbside, and delivery alcohol sales by any business holding a license to sell alcohol on premise, including restaurants, bars, craft breweries, craft distilleries, brew pubs, and wineries. This doesn’t extend to selling mixed drinks, however, unless they are prepackaged and in their “original container.” Illinois has set a reopening date of May 30.

Indiana

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

In original manufacturer’s container

Wine

Yes

Yes

In original manufacturer’s container

Spirits

Yes

Yes

In original manufacturer’s container

Mixed Drinks

No

No

N/A

Delivery apps, like Drizly, are already operating in Indiana so residents can have beer, wine, or spirits delivered to their door. However, Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s March 23 executive order now allows any establishment licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on site to also sell beer, wine, and liquor (in their original container) for carryout. While certain restaurants could already offer to-go alcohol sales, the order allows those even without a carryout license to do so. Liquor stores are now only allowed to make sales curbside. Indiana is in stage two of its reopening plan.

Iowa

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Wine

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Even though Iowa is a control state, with the state buying all liquor available for retail sale,  privately owned liquor stores are already allowed to offer a drive-through option. Furthermore, delivery of alcohol has been allowed for certain retailers in the state since 2011. Governor Kim Reynolds’s extended emergency order allowed—at least until April 7—bars and restaurants or any other holder of a “C” class license to sell alcohol for takeout or delivery. Graciously, to-go sales also included golf courses with liquor licenses. That doesn’t include in-house made cocktails, but with the ability to sell bottles of liquor, many establishments are selling complete cocktail kits to go. Iowa officially reopened on a limited basis on May 8.

Kansas

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

In a sealed “to go bag”

Wine

Yes

Yes

Delivery limited to 12 cases a year.

Spirits

Yes

No

specific/A

Mixed drinks

Yes

No

In a sealed “to go bag”

As of this week, Kansas no longer has a stay-at-home order and many counties are beginning to engage in a severely restricted “soft reopening” of businesses. Luckily for both consumers and businesses, liquor stores in the state were already allowed to offer drive-through purchases and, under the emergency rules, restaurants, bars, and liquor stores can offer curbside sales. This also extends to mixed drinks and cocktails not in their original container. Kansas’s state of emergency is set to continue until at least May 26.

Kentucky

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food orders

As of July, this year, Kentucky residents will be able to have any alcohol shipped directly to their homes, thanks to a law enacted by the state legislature in April. In the meantime, Governor Andy Beshear signed an order allowing food establishments to temporarily sell alcohol with meals, including cocktails, for takeout or delivery, so long as containers are sealed and the sales don’t occur in a dry county. Some breweries in the state are also offering delivery. Until the new law takes effect, it appears that home delivery of retail liquor (by liquor stores) isn’t an option, but drive-through liquor stores are legal in the state.

Louisiana

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Special license holders (e.g. liquor stores, third party delivery apps)

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Louisiana has notoriously liberal alcohol laws, with drive-through liquor and daiquiris and home delivery of alcohol by grocery stores, liquor stores, and third parties already on the menu pre-coronavirus. While the Governor John Bel Edwards’s executive order, which has been extended to May 16, permits restaurants in the state to sell takeout and curbside pickup beer and wine with food orders for the moment, the rule does not allow them to sell mixed drinks. Louisiana plans a phased reopening to begin on May 15.

Maine

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Spirits

Yes

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food and container limited to 4.5 ounces of spirits.

As per Governor Janet T. Mills’s order, any closed restaurant or bar is now able to sell for takeout, delivery, and drive-through beverages including beer, wine, and cocktails in original or tamper-proof sealed containers. Maine’s state of emergency is set to continue until at least May 31.

Maryland

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers. With food, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers. With food, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers. With food, for restaurants

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers. With food, for restaurants

Per Governor Larry Hogan’s, executive order, alcoholic beverage stores, including liquor stores, distilleries, breweries, and wineries, are allowed to remain open. Furthermore, any entity licensed to make or sell alcohol may, for the duration of the emergency, sell those beverages curbside, for carryout or delivery. This generally doesn’t apply to cocktails, but certain counties in Maryland, like Montgomery, have also authorized cocktail takeout and delivery. Maryland’s state of emergency has been extended until May 15.

Massachusetts

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, except for breweries

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, except for wineries

Spirits

No

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Breweries in Massachusetts already sold beer for delivery and takeout, but thanks to Governor Charlie Baker’s municipal relief bill, restaurants in the state can now also sell alcoholic beverages for takeout and delivery. Distillers in the state have petitioned the government to allow at-home delivery, but such a measure has yet to pass. Bars and restaurants have not been authorized to sell cocktails for delivery or takeout, but some clever bars have begun selling “cocktail kits,” which include everything except spirits. Massachusetts plans to begin reopening on May 18.

Michigan

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

N/A

Wine

Yes

Yes

N/A

Spirits

Yes

 

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Establishments with a “specially designated merchant” license have been allowed to sell beer and wine directly to consumers’ homes since 2017. That means many bars and restaurants can sell beer and wine for takeout and delivery. Liquor and cocktails are off the menu even though many prominent members of the beverage industry have petitioned the state to allow it. Liquor stores and other sellers of alcohol (such as grocery stores) are offering curbside pickup. Michigan’s state of emergency has been extended to May 28.

Minnesota

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, limited to 72 ounces per order

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, limited to 750 milliliters per order

Spirits

No

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Minnesotans could already have beer and wine delivered. And while liquor stores have remained open under Governor Tim Walz’s emergency order (which has been extended to May 18), restaurants and bars have to remain closed. They are, however, allowed to sell sealed beer and wine to go and for delivery. The change does not apply to hard liquor and, for some reason, also does not nor, for some reason, apply to breweries in the state, which have been closed and not allowed to sell beer for takeaway. Minnesota’s stay at home order has ended, but will remain in a state of emergency until June 12 (with businesses partially reopening by June 1).

Mississippi

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

Liquor stores only

Wine

Yes

No

Liquor stores. Restaurants with food orders and in sealed bags

Spirits

Yes

No

Liquor stores only

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Mississippi is one of only seven states that prohibit all alcohol delivery. Under the emergency order, Mississippi’s Department of Revenue eased some of the regulations, allowing customers to purchase wine with takeout orders. Liquor stores can now also offer curbside delivery. Mississippi’s “safer at home” order has been extended to May 22.

Missouri

Drink type

Curbside/takeout

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed in tamper-proof container and purchased with food

Wine

Yes

Yes

Sealed in tamper-proof container and purchased with food

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Sealed in tamper-proof container and purchased with food

Mixed drinks

Yes

No

Sealed in tamper-proof container and purchased with food

State law allows for home alcohol delivery, including by third-party services, such as Drizly. Furthermore, Missouri already has drive-through liquor stores and restaurants licensed to sell alcohol could already offer drinks to go, not including mixed drinks. But last month, the Department of Public Safety waived restrictions, allowing restaurants to offer all alcoholic beverages, including mixed drinks, along with takeaway food orders. Missouri’s state of emergency has been extended to June 15.

Montana

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

In original containers

Wine

Yes

Yes

In original containers

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Distillers limited to selling 1.75 liters per person per day.

Mixed drinks

Yes

No

With food and in a container with a lid

Beer and wine are available at grocery stores. The only place to buy liquor—state-run stores—have remained open under Montana’s stay-at-home order. Furthermore, the Montana Department of Revenue is also temporarily allowing some businesses to deliver alcohol in its original container (and also cannabis). While this would seem to preclude mixed drinks, some restaurants are reportedly offering to-go margaritas with takeout food orders. This includes bars, casinos, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Restaurant orders must be made with food and distilleries are limited to 1.75 liters per person per day. It does not extend to third-party food or alcohol delivery services, like Grubhub. Montana began a phased reopening on April 27.

Nebraska

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With a lid

If you live in Nebraska, you’re in one of the 12 states that already allowed delivery of beer, wine, and spirits. Governor Pete Ricketts’s March 26 order loosened the rules further, temporarily, allowing restaurants to deliver beer, wine, spirits, and mixed drinks with food orders, as well as sell alcohol drive-through and curbside. 

Nevada

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Wine

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Mixed drinks

Yes

No

Sealed containers

While Nevadans could already have beer and wine home delivered, areas around the state, like Las Vegas, are allowing restaurants, taverns, and bars to deliver beer and wine with food orders. Additionally, localities have offered businesses a separate curbside permit, which allows establishments to sell alcohol (and, in some places, cannabis). Curbside pickup and delivery of liquor is now also allowed in certain areas, like Las Vegas and Clark County, including cocktails, at least until May 15 when the emergency order is set to expire. Restaurants were allowed to reopen for dine-in service on May 9.

New Hampshire

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Spirits

No

No

Liquor stores

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

New Hampshire is one of the few states that allows delivery of all alcoholic beverages. But, as of Governor Chris Sununu’s March 18 order, any business licensed to sell both food and alcohol on premise can now also sell beer and wine for takeout or delivery, so long as it is accompanied by a food order. Liquor stores are open and allowed to deliver curbside orders. New Hampshire’s stay at home order is set to expire May 31. For a handy list of establishments and the types of delivery or pickup they offer, see here.

New Jersey

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers, with food for restaurants and bars

Wine

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers, with food for restaurants and bars

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers, with food for restaurants and bars

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Home delivery for beer, wine, and spirits is already legal in the Garden State, as are drive-through liquor stores. Now, as per emergency rules for the COVID-19 outbreak, restaurants and bars may also sell alcohol to go or for delivery, so long as it’s in its original container (meaning, no cocktails). Strangely, the state has specifically excluded breweries and distilleries from the temporary relaxation of the rules.

Bills currently under consideration by the legislature would allow for takeaway and home delivery of cocktails, but they have not yet been approved.

New Jersey’ state of emergency has been extended to June 5. Restaurant reopening will likely  be regional.

New Mexico

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

Purchased on-premise

Wine

Yes

No

Purchased on-premise

Spirits

No

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Unlike other states on the list, New Mexico hasn’t loosened restrictions on alcohol sales and the food industry is suffering because of it. Liquor stores, which were deemed non-essential, were shut down until at least May 15. Unfortunately, while the legislature has considered allowing beer and wine deliveries with food, such legislation has yet to be approved, so it remains illegal.

Even as businesses are being forced to close—many for good—the state has not made allowances for most businesses to do curbside or home delivery of alcohol. The Alcoholic Beverage Control division even issued a special advisory in May telling license holders that they may only make sales on premise.

On top of that, places that have remained open, like convenience stores, which normally sell liquor are—in some places like Gallup, New Mexico—being prohibited from doing so for the sake of “public health.” All that said, breweries can still sell beer to go. Wineries and distilleries are making takeout sales, as well.

Even with the challenges, New Mexicans appear to have found ways to keep boozing, ranking as the third highest alcohol-consumption state during the pandemic.

As of May 14, there is no set reopening date for dine-in service at restaurants.

New York

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

New York already allows beer, wine, and liquor delivery by third-party services. As per Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 16 order, restaurants and bars may also deliver alcohol (including cocktails) so long as it’s accompanied by food. To comply with the limitations, some clever shops are offering a “free” bag of chips with every cocktail order. Curbside pickup is also available in the state.

New York’s state of emergency was extended to June 7, but plans to begin reopening on a regional basis on May 15. Restaurants will likely be closed for dine-in service in big cities, like New York City, until June.

North Carolina

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Wine

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers

Spirits

Yes

No

Sealed containers

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

While delivery of spirits is prohibited, North Carolina already allows beer and wine home delivery. Beer, wine, and liquor stores were deemed essential businesses and remain open. The state also already authorizes drive-through liquor stores.

As of last week, Governor Roy Cooper began implementing the state’s reopening plans, which include allowing restaurants and bars to reopen for off-premise sales. In this case, the governor’s order continues to allow restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries to offer beer and wine for delivery and beer, wine, or liquor for takeaway. Sorry, this doesn’t include cocktails.

North Carolina’s state of emergency is set to continue through May.

North Dakota

Drink type

Curbside/drive-though

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Package stores only

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants

North Dakota normally allows beer and wine for delivery, but not liquor. During the emergency period, however, cities have begun authorizing sales of alcohol with takeaway food orders. Fargo, for example, has temporarily relaxed the rules, allowing restaurants and bars to sell beer and wine, but not mixed drinks. Other cities, like Grand Forks, have declared mixed drinks legal for takeaway and delivery.

While the rules were set to expire at the end of April it seems some establishments continue to offer delivery of everything from growler refills to bottles of Old Fashioned. Either way, you can still utilize North Dakota’s drive-through liquor stores during and after the COVID-19 emergency.

North Dakota (one of only two states, along with Kentucky, that currently meets federal reopening standards) began reopening on May 1.

Ohio

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

2 pre-packaged drinks with food

Wine

Yes

Yes

2 pre-packaged drinks with food

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food, maximum of 2 ounces spirits per container

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food, maximum of 2 ounces spirits per container

While grocery stores already offer delivery of beer and wine and third parties already deliver liquor in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine’s April 7 order allows bars, restaurants, and other businesses with on-premise alcohol licenses to sell up to two prepackaged drinks for takeout or delivery with a single meal. This includes mixed drinks in sealed containers.

It also allows breweries to sell beer and wine they didn’t produce, with or without food, as well as liquor, with food. The order will be in effect for 120 days, through July, unless rescinded by the Liquor Control Commission. Even after the order ends, drive-through liquor stores will remain legal.

Ohio began reopening on May 12. Restaurants will be allowed to open for dine-in service on May 21.

Oklahoma

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders, restaurants only

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders, restaurants only

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food orders, restaurants only

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

While Oklahoma is one of the few states that bans all alcohol delivery, the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission announced on March 24 that it will allow restaurants to deliver alcohol.

Oklahoma’s legislature recently extended the state’s emergency status to run until early June, but the ABLE Commission has so far only extended its more liberal alcohol rules through May 15. This allows liquor stores, small brewers, wineries, restaurants, bars, and clubs to sell beer, wine, and spirits in original packaging (including growlers, but not mixed drinks) for takeaway, curbside, and delivery. Phase two of Oklahoma’s reopening is set for May 15, but will likely be delayed.

Oregon

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

N/A

Wine

Yes

Yes

N/A

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Off-premise license holders can offer curbside delivery. Only small distilleries may do home deliveries.

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Oregon already allows delivery of beer and wine. While the legislature has recently considered bills to change the law, home deliveries of hard liquor remain illegal. With dine-in service indefinitely prohibited by the governor, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has made some concessions to help struggling small businesses. The temporary order allows on-premise license holders to offer beer, wine, and cider to go.

Home delivery for these beverages was already legal, but the order, in addition to extended the hours of delivery to 2:30 AM, now allows small distillers to offer curbside and at-home delivery and third-party delivery services, like Grubhub, to fulfill orders. Even though the state’s struggling bars have begged for the right to offer mixed drinks to go, cocktails remain off the menu, except for prepackaged versions sold at liquor stores.

The state of emergency in Oregon was extended to July 6. Governor Kate Brown’s separate stay-at-home order, in effect since March 23, has been extended indefinitely. While the state is expected to begin reopening to a degree on May 15, the prohibition on on-premise dining will likely remain in effect longer.

Pennsylvania

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Home delivery by in-state breweries

Wine

Yes

Yes

In-state wines

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Local distilleries; State-stores if the website ever works.

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

I feel for residents of my home state, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) failures before and during the COVID-19 outbreak have been well documented. Beer and wine are available in some grocery stores. Oddly—considering the state’s general approach to alcohol—delivery of wine and beer with food orders was legal long before the COVID-19 emergency. With the outbreak limiting dine-in services, many more places are beginning to offer the service. But liquor can only be purchased at state-run stores. When the state issued its stay-at-home order on March 18 (extended to June 4), PLCB shut down all state-run stores.

Since then, PLCB has tried to address the widespread anger by allowing some stores to offer curbside purchasing, but it has reportedly not worked well and the exercise has been more frustrating than helpful. Phone orders for curbside pickup are limited to Mondays from 9 AM to 1 PM and pickup limited to Tuesdays through Saturday.

Online ordering for home delivery has reportedly not worked at all … for anybody. Perhaps the most recent headaches caused by this emergency will push forward proposals to privatize state-run liquor stores and permanently legalize takeaway cocktails.

That said, there are other ways for residents to get booze delivered to their homes from local breweries, distillers, and wine shops. Here are a few guides for places like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lehigh Valley.

Pennsylvania is reopening on a county-by-county basis.

Rhode Island

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

From liquor stores

Wine

Yes

Yes

From liquor stores

Spirits

Yes

Yes

From liquor stores

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

From liquor stores (prepackaged) or from restaurants with food orders

Rhode Island is another state that disallows direct shipping of all alcohol, with a few exceptions. Wine shipping is legal if orders are placed in person at wineries. Furthermore, local reporters note that liquor stores have been able to deliver for some time, with at least some shops offering delivery.

Although restaurants will begin reopening next week, for outdoor seating only, the governor has allowed restaurants to sell beer, wine, and mixed drinks with takeout orders. Drive-through liquor remains a legal option in Rhode Island, as well.   

Rhode Island began reopening on May 9 with restaurants set to reopen, for outdoor dining only, on May 18.

For a list of establishments taking orders for delivery or curbside pickup, see this handy list from the Providence Journal.  

South Carolina

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

On-premise sales only

Wine

Yes

No

On-premise sales only

Spirits

No

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

South Carolina hasn’t allowed restaurants to deliver alcohol, but has authorized curbside pickup for beer and wine. On the plus side, restaurants and liquor stores have been allowed to stay open throughout the emergency. Additionally, the state’s current experience with curbside delivery may increase the chance that proposals—introduced before the COVID-19 emergency—will ultimately be enacted.

South Carolina’s emergency order expired on May 11 and businesses, including restaurants, have begun reopening.

South Dakota

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

On-premise sales

Wine

Yes

No

On-premise sales

Spirits

Yes

No

Drive-through liquor stores

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

South Dakota never officially declared an emergency or stay-at-home order, so bars and restaurants have remained open in some (but not all) parts of the state. Perhaps, as a result, the state has not taken up the liberalization policies of others. Delivery alcohol remains illegal and restaurants, bars, and other dine-in establishments cannot sell alcohol for takeaway or curbside orders.

In 2017 then-Governor Dennis Daugaard signed SB 143, a bill that created a new form of license to allow home delivery of alcohol, though unfortunately, orders would still have to be placed in person. In 2019, the legislature considered, but did not approve, a measure that would have allowed for phone or online orders for delivery. 

On the plus side, restaurants, breweries, and shops in the state have been doing what they can to offer customers contactless delivery of both food and alcohol, with many offering curbside pickup. Also, drive-through liquor stores are legal in the state.

Tennessee

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Spirits

Yes

Yes

Single-serving with food, for restaurants and bars

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

You lucky Tennessee residents can have any type of alcohol delivered to your home, including by third-party services like Grubhub and Drizly. Additionally, Governor Bill Lee signed an order in March allowing restaurants and bars to sell beer, wine, or spirits with takeout and delivery orders during the state of emergency, which has been extended to June 30. Restaurants have reopened as of April 27.

Texas

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

N/A

Wine

Yes

Yes

N/A

Spirits

Yes

Yes

N/A

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food orders

As of last year, beer and wine makers are allowed to deliver products to residences. Brew pubs were excluded from the new rule, but it did allow them to sell takeaway beer on-site, in growlers. Furthermore, liquor stores in the state, along with third-party delivery services, can also deliver beer, wine, and liquor. On March 18, Governor Greg Abbott issued a waiver that allows restaurants to deliver beer, wine, and mixed drinks with food orders.

Texas’ stay at home order ended last week, with restaurants reopening with limited capacity, but, some cities are refusing to comply.

Utah

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

No

No

N/A

Wine

No

No

N/A

Spirits

No

No

N/A

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Utah is another state that was never officially in a state of emergency, although Governor Gary Herbert put the state under “moderate risk” protocols.

Unsurprising to anyone, Utah disallows direct shipment of all alcohol (though this may change for wine soon). Utah is also a control state, meaning hard liquor can only be purchased at state-run stores, which have remained open and have seen increased sales recently.

The state has also made no allowances for restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 emergency.

Utah restaurants were allowed to reopen as of the end of April.

Vermont

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Spirits

Yes

No

With food, for restaurants and bars

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food, for restaurants and bars

Vermont already allows alcohol delivery for beer and wine, but not liquor. Vermont is a control state—liquor stores can be owned privately but they still sell on behalf of the state—but Governor Phil Scott has exempted beer, wine, and liquor stores from having to close down during the emergency. Furthermore, a rule issued by Scott in March allows restaurants and bars— to sell beer, wine, and cocktails with takeout and delivery food orders through May 15.

Retail stores may also offer curbside pickup and delivery for unopened beer, wine, and “spirit-based products.” However, deliveries are restricted to between 10 AM and 11 PM and stores have to keep a log of names and locations of recipients.

Vermont plans a gradual reopening beginning on May 18 with restaurants (maybe) reopening on May 22.

Virginia

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

N/A

Wine

Yes

Yes

N/A

Spirits

Yes

Yes

State distilleries (6 bottles of 1.75 milliliters per month per customer.)

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With food orders

Virginia, another control state, already allows for beer and wine delivery, including through third-party apps, but liquor must be purchased in person, at stores run by the state Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Authority. While ABC stores were deemed essential, some have temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To support businesses, Governor Ralph Northam issued orders allowing restaurants, breweries, wineries, and other entities licensed to sell alcohol on- and off-premise to sell alcohol to go or for delivery. This includes beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

The new rules will likely expire with the end of the state of emergency (set for June 10), but at least some of the changes are permanent, like a March 26 rule change that allows distillers to deliver directly to homes—including via common carriers such as FedExs or UPS—up to six bottles no larger than 1.75 milliliters each per customer each month. The state Alcohol Control Board has even allowed deliveries through third-party services, like GrubHub.

Some parts of Virginia may see restaurants reopening by the end of May.

 Washington

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

N/A

Wine

Yes

Yes

N/A

Spirits

Yes

Yes

N/A

Mixed drinks

Yes

Yes

With a “full mean” Sealed containers

Washington state residents are among those lucky Americans who can get all alcohol delivered. Under the COVID-19 emergency, set to continue in Washington until the end of May, the state Liquor and Cannabis Board has also, temporarily, allowed food establishments to sell beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails for takeaway or delivery. Washington’s stay at home order was extended to May 31.

West Virginia

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers and with food, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

Sealed containers. With food, for restaurants Limit 2 cases per month (for retail)

Spirits

Yes

No

Drive-through liquor stores

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

West Virginia, like Vermont, maintains a monopoly over wholesale liquor, although stores may be privately operated. While wine delivery is legal (up to two cases per month), other alcohol is not available for delivery to homes under normal circumstances.

Thanks to an April 3 emergency rule change, however, restaurants, breweries, and other outlets (but not third party services) are now allowed to deliver both beer and wine directly to homes, and restaurants may offer curbside delivery. While the change is temporary, brewers in the state are hoping to make beer delivery permanent. Takeaway and delivery of spirits remains illegal, but West Virginia also already allows drive-through liquor stores.

West Virginia began reopening as of April 30, with restaurants and stores set to reopen on May 21.

Wisconsin

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

No

On-premise only, with food orders

Wine

Yes

Yes

Delivery limited to 12 cases per year, on-premise sales with food

Spirits

Yes

No

Drive-through liquor stores

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Under normal conditions, Wisconsinites can only have wine delivered directly to their homes, although brewers in the state are hoping to add beer to the list of alcoholic beverages available for home delivery. Wisconsin is among the few states that, apart from allowing carry out, hasn’t given food establishments the ability to deliver alcohol during the COVID-19 emergency. Curbside pickup for retail alcohol, from grocery stores, has been limited and criticized, but is available. Drive-through liquor stores were already legal in the state. Wisconsin’s stay at home order was struck down by the state supreme court on May 13.

Wyoming

Drink type

Curbside/takeaway

Delivery

Limits

Beer

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Wine

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Spirits

Yes

Yes

With food orders, for restaurants

Mixed drinks

No

No

N/A

Wyoming residents may have any type of alcohol delivered to their homes. Additionally, with Governor Mark Gordon’s March 30 executive order, restaurants and bars may also sell alcohol with curbside food deliveries, so long as the price of alcohol is less than 50 percent of the total bill and limited to 750 milliliters of wine and 48 ounces of beer. Liquor stores can also deliver curbside and drive-through was already allowed. Wyoming bars and restaurants are set to reopen on May 15.