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California ABC gives bars, wineries green light to sell alcohol to-go

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Posted at 10:25 AM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 13:25:49-04

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is allowing bars, wineries, distilleries and breweries that do not have their own kitchens to sell drinks to-go, the department announced Saturday.

ABC officials say these businesses can sell alcoholic beverages to-go as long as they are partnering with meal providers and their drinks are "in a sealed container and in conjunction with a meal."

On March 19, the ABC released guidelines for on-sale licensees selling and delivering drinks in to-go containers along with meals.

Since then, the ABC says it has received several requests to extend the guidance to on-sale licensees which do not have a kitchen, such as many bars, wineries, distilleries and breweries.

“We know businesses have suffered as they continue fighting to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith. “We have heard directly from these businesses that the notices of regulatory relief can give them a boost and help bring more people back to work.”

The department is also allowing virtual wine tasting to help the state's 6,300 wineries, free delivery of alcohol to customers and extended alcoholic beverage delivery hours, among other guidelines.