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Delaware could gain at-home beer delivery

A bill legalising alcohol delivery from restaurants and breweries via third party vendors is being mulled by the Delaware Assembly.

The Senate Bill, which has been created to allow restaurants, breweries and other venues with liquor licences to use contractors to deliver alcoholic beverages to the homes of Delawareans, now awaits Gov. John Carney’s decision

According by local reports, the bill states that by paying US$1,000 every other year, third-party services like DoorDash and Uber Eats could register with a licence from the Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner to deliver alcohol.

The bill does however reportedly prohibit venues that already hold a licence to serve alcohol on-site, limiting the possibility of a restaurant using its own staff to handle deliveries. Additionally, businesses that also primarily handle interstate shipment of goods would also be disallowed to handle alcohol deliveries.

At present, the state has a three-tier distribution system that requires producers — like breweries and wineries — to sell its products to wholesalers, who in turn sell it to retailers. However, Delaware is one of the smallest states in the US and the aim of the bill is to assist vendors and intrusive am element of quality control. Despite this, critics have also highlighted how things have limited the ability of beer and wine manufacturers to sell directly to customers.

The pandemic led to businesses being forced to get creative in reaching customers and as such Delaware lawmakers have focused on how to ease restrictions on the state’s alcohol sector. One example of this can be seen from the move to legalise to-go cocktails and other drinks back in 2022.

The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) was involved in developing SB 166 with Walsh this year to keep customer safety and business liability a priority.

DRA president and CEO Carrie Leishman said: “Restaurants take responsible alcohol safety seriously and by law must ensure that each individual working with, selling and serving alcoholic beverages be certified under an approved certification course.”

Leishman added: “Consumers of all ages are seeking flexibility and enhanced dining options which include food and beverage to go and this new law will be a win-win by providing additional opportunities for consumers and operators alike.”

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