Georgians Soon May Be Able To Buy Beer, Wine Online For Curbside Pickup

Georgia's Department of Revenue has proposed a regulation that would allow stores to sell beer and wine online for curbside pickup.
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It’s not quite Instacart, but you soon may be able to grab beer and wine on the way home without having to get out of your car.

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Georgia’s Department of Revenue proposed a regulation that would allow stores to sell beer and wine online for curbside pickup. The regulation excludes stores that sell liquor. The DOR has been working on it for nearly a year, since local retailers began asking for it.

“You’ve probably heard of some of the retailers that are now offering that curbside pickup,” said Lynne Riley, the department’s commissioner. “And that really was the genesis.”

Riley said people would have to register with stores before making online purchases. She also said it would be up to stores to create a system to track those sales.

Kraig Torres owns Hop City, a beer and wine retailer. He said he supports better ways to distribute alcohol but sees the benefit for mainly grocery and chain stores that have existing online interfaces.

“Let’s say you were throwing a party and you wanted to buy 10 cases of, you know, Budweiser,” said Torres, who caters to the craft side of beer and wine. “That’s super easy. It’s always in stock. It’s easy to bring out to a curb. That makes sense.”

Torres said he would start an online presence if the regulation passes and thinks it’s a step in the right direction. He’s talking about what he calls the “Amazon effect” — people wanting everything delivered to their door.

Riley said it’s possible some cities might have laws against curbside pickup for alcohol that would supersede the proposed regulation.

The department released the proposal for public comment Tuesday. It will hold a public hearing at its headquarters in Atlanta on Nov. 17.