Georgia OKs Alcohol Delivery by C-Stores, Grocers, Restaurants

Gov. Kemp signs bill to enable businesses to offer the convenient service once guidelines are set. 

August 05, 2020

ATLANTA—With so many consumers ordering online for home delivery as the pandemic continues, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a measure that will let convenience stores, grocery stores and some restaurants delivery wine, beer and liquor directly to consumers, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“House Bill 879 is a great example of how Georgia’s regulatory system allows for increased consumer choice while providing local businesses with the opportunity to grow and flourish,” said K.C. Honeyman, the executive director of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Georgia.

However, the state’s Department of Revenue has to come up with regulations for home delivery first, and that will likely take a few months. “It’s just a response to consumer demand,” said Brett Harrell, House Ways and Means chairman. “One of the companies that delivers in other states had over 400,000 requests for delivery [in Georgia] in calendar year 2019 ... and they had to say ‘no’ to every one of them. Clearly, there is demand, and more and more people are ordering groceries online. It’s just a convenience for the consumer.”

Some metro Atlanta restaurants already deliver alcoholic drinks with food orders, but this law will allow for bottled beer or wine to be delivered as well. The law also mandates that delivery personnel validate IDs to ensure the recipient is old enough to purchase alcohol. Furthermore, the measure would let localities opt out of delivery of alcoholic beverages.

For years, Georgia restricted sales of alcohol. In 2011, the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores and a coalition of other groups finally helped overturn the state law that prevented Sunday beer sales.