When the Illinois Liquor Control Commission put out its guidance and Q&A regarding operations of the alcoholic beverage industry members during the COVID-19 pandemic, it made a particular point that its interpretation of the Illinois Liquor Control Act involved not allowing breweries, brewpubs, distilleries and distilling pubs to ship or deliver directly to Illinoisans even though retailers and wineries have that right provided they obtain/hold the right licenses and local permissions.

This put Illinois’s brewpubs, distilleries, and breweries that could sell to consumers from their premises in a bind as they were the only groups that could serve alcohol on-premise to thirsty Illinoisans, that couldn’t deliver or ship directly to the doorstep of concerned citizens. That eliminated a large amount of potential sales at a time when Illinois’s residents were being advised to avoid unnecessary travel and to stay at home – e.g., maybe you skip that trip to the taproom to pick up the beer or liquor.

Well, that did not sit well with the Illinois Craft Brewers’ Guild, who wanted to fight for their members and achieve the acknowledgment that they should be allowed to deliver to customers during this crisis since their taprooms have been shut down. And guess what! They won.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has updated its guidance and allowed breweries, distilleries, brewpubs and distilling pubs to deliver direct to consumers.

Here is the full guidance:

Illinois Liquor Control Commission

COVID-19 Related Action

Guidance on Temporary Delivery of Alcoholic Liquor

March 19, 2020 

Delivery Authorization:

Due to the hardships on liquor license holders as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak and in an effort to limit gatherings at a single business location, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission temporarily authorizes the delivery of alcoholic liquor to non-licensees under the following conditions:

  1. Subject to the approval of the local liquor control commission, all retail licensees, including on premises only licensees, (“Retailers”) shall be authorized by the State Commission to conduct packaged sales, “to go” sales, curbside deliveries, home residential deliveries, and any other sale or delivery intended to promote social distancing (“Temporary Deliveries”).
  2. Subject to authorization of the local liquor control commission, brewer, class 1 brewer, class 2 brewer, class 1 craft distiller, class 2 craft distiller, brew pub, distilling pub, and wine-maker premises license holders (“Temporary Delivery Licensees”) shall have the limited authority to make Temporary Deliveries of alcoholic liquor.
  3. Retailers and Temporary Delivery Licensees shall not conduct Temporary Deliveries of alcoholic liquor they are not normally authorized to sell to non-licensees.
  4. Subject to authorization of the local liquor control commission, Retailers and Temporary Delivery Licensees may use third party delivery services to make Temporary Deliveries.
  5. Including all sales of beer pursuant to 235 ILCS 5/6-6.5 (growlers/crowlers), all Temporary Deliveries shall be made in the original container. Licensees are not authorized to sell or deliver pre-mixed cocktails normally intended for on-premises consumption (e.g. pre-mix margaritas, sangrias).
  6. All Temporary Deliveries made to a residence or to a curbside vehicle shall require the delivery representative to observe the appearance of the delivery recipient at a safe social distance, and if necessary, require the examination of the recipient identification to ensure the recipient is over twenty-one. If such observation of the recipient or recipient identification cannot be accomplished while respecting safe social distancing, the alcoholic liquor shall be returned with a full refund.

The temporary authorization of deliveries contained herein overrides all previous COVID-19 statements made by the State Commission related to alcoholic liquor deliveries.

The post Illinois’s brewers and distillers can now deliver direct to consumers, if they can sell to them from their premises, as restrictions on manufacturers delivering during the COVID-19 epidemic get stayed due in large part to the work of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild – Thanks @IllinoisBeer appeared first on Libation Law Blog.