Breweries and other businesses are currently under quarantine restrictions related to the outbreak of COVID-19. Breweries in Colorado can sell beer to go but cannot have on-site consumption. Because on-site consumption represents such a significant revenue stream for most breweries, everyone is looking for ways to stay afloat. One brand new possibility for Colorado Breweries is home delivery. On Friday, Governor Jerad Polis issued an executive order temporarily allowing breweries with a wholesale license to deliver beer directly to consumers. That order also permits restaurants to deliver alcohol with food orders. The Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division immediately issued guidelines for home delivery of beer and alcohol under the order. Accordingly, a brewery must:
- Operate a licensed salesroom;
- Only deliver beer it has manufactured on-site;
- Receive orders online, in person, telephonically, or third party vendor;
- Deliver the beer in a sealed container;
- Deliver only to the address in the order and only by an employee at least 21 years old;
- Verify that the consumer is at least 21 years old; and
- Retain records of the delivery
The Colorado Brewers Guild thereafter issued its own recommendations for compliance with the executive order and the LED’s guidelines. Those recommendations include:
- Obtain the consumer’s name, address, and DOB at the time of order, and then verify that information at the time of delivery.
- Make sure you account for the sales tax for the region of the delivery.
- Check to see whether your insurance carrier will cover the deliveries.
- Consider mileage reimbursement for employees.
Breweries in Colorado have historically been banned from home delivery and Governor Polis’s allowance is set to expire April 18, 2020. In order to lift the ban permanently, a state law will have to be enacted. There is precedence for this in other states. Michigan, for example, allows craft brewers to deliver beer directly to consumers as long as the beer is delivery by an employee, the employee verifies that the consumer is at least 21 years old, and the employee has taken an alcohol server training program. If you would like to reach out to your state congressperson and provide him or her input on this issue, we have included that information here.
DENVER UPDATE: On March 23, 2020, Mayor Michael Hancock issued an executive order, effectively shutting down most the city until April 10th. The order requires that all people in the City and County of Denver stay home and businesses implement work from home policies to the greatest extent possible. During the initial press conference, Mayor Hancock indicated breweries and liquor stores would not be able to operate during the shutdown. However, by the next day, the mayor’s office had amended its position to allow breweries to sell beer to-go and conduct home delivery. Restaurants will also be able to continue to deliver food and alcohol.
That’s all for now. Quarantine rules change almost daily so please check back in with us for updates. Cheers.
- Click here for Governor Polis’s Executive Order D 2020 011.
- Click here for the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division’s guidelines for home delivery.
- Click here for the Colorado Brewers Guild’s recommendations for temporary delivery and here for its coronavirus resource page.
- Click here for the Michigan Brewers Guild’s guidelines for operating during Michigan’s statewide coronavirus closures.
Edited on March 25, 2020, to account for updates from the City and County of Denver.
Brandon M. Selinsky