Alcohol Delivery Could Become The New Normal

Ever since the time of our nation's Puritan settlers, the United States has been one big patchwork quilt of alcohol regulations and restrictions, and navigating this legal labyrinth has never been easy. But in light of the recently announced closures of bars and restaurant dining rooms throughout the country, some of the usual limitations placed on beer, wine, and liquor deliveries are being relaxed to keep business flowing.

As explained by Eater Chicago, even in places where restaurants can normally deliver alcohol in unopened packages to customers within a certain delivery radius, it's not always clear which products (and how much) they're allowed to sell that way. But in states like Illinois, where new executive orders are outlining updated operating procedures for bars and restaurants, businesses are now more directly encouraged to serve alcohol "through means as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, and curbside pick-up." Eater is quick to point out that these regulations need even more clarification:

Licensed restaurants and bars can sell unopened bottles or cans of alcohol for takeout and delivery. Restaurants owners said they needed this spelled out. For instance, could a customer drink a beer inside while waiting for a carryout order? (The answer is no.)

Even with a fresh FAQ page relating to the statewide closure, the Illinois Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will no doubt be fielding a lot of additional questions about the how, when, and where of alcohol delivery. For what it's worth, a number of typical rules still apply: You need to present proof that you're 21, you have to wait until official liquor sale hours, etc. But for those currently missing out on their favorite breweries' latest releases, it's well worth contacting those businesses to see what workarounds are being offered.