Home Delivery of Alcohol

Home Delivery of AlcoholYou can order a pizza to be delivered to your door, so wouldn’t it be great if you could order the beer to go with it? Home delivery of alcohol is on the rise, depending on where you live.

The concept isn’t entirely new as there are many liquor stores that offer delivery by special request; however, technology is expediting the process.

Apps for Alcohol Delivery

Several startups in the Boston area offer smartphone apps to order and track the delivery. According to Home Liquor Delivery…Another Dream Come True, Drizly’s service is attractively priced: $20.00 minimum order and a flat $5.00 delivery fee. When you factor in gas and time, $5.00 seems like a steal. In addition to Boston, Drizly also operates in Manhattan.

Drizly doesn’t actually deliver your order. It partners with liquor stores that fill and deliver the order. Boston Globe Business’s “Alcohol delivery services offer convenience, but state law murky,” reports that so far, Drizly has partnered with 11 liquor stores in Boston, Cambridge, Acton and Winchester. Drizly charges each liquor store a flat fee to participate and promotes the chance to increase sales as a major benefit to joining its network.

If you’re in San Francisco, check out Lasso and Instacart, both of which offer a full line of delivered goods including groceries to go with your drinks. LiquorCart in Denver provides customers their choice of beer, wine, and spirits, and like Drizly, offers attractive minimum orders and delivery fees. Pink Dot offers supermarket delivery that includes alcohol, serving the Los Angeles area.

If you live in Cambridge, MA and want to adopt a “green” approach, consider using DrinkIn. Deliveries are made via bicycle with carts. Their hours are limited (predominantly evenings on weekdays, a longer schedule on Saturdays, and afternoon only on Sundays), but they propose that they can deliver faster on bike in heavy traffic than by car. And you can feel good about the minimal environmental impact.

What About the Law?

In Massachusetts, businesses must have a license to sell alcohol in order to deliver it, and they must have the delivery vehicle permitted. Customers must sign the receipt stating they can legally purchase alcohol. Quoted in the Boston Globe’s article, Drizly founder, Nicholas Rellas, said, “It’s an unknown kind of legal area. We’re working within the system, within the laws.” The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission declined to comment on the topic for the article.

Until other laws are passed and provided that vendors work within the confines of existing laws, it looks like home delivery of alcohol will expand with other areas copying the model and turning it into a viable business.