Alcoholic Beverage Control Guidelines as of April 1

Because guidelines for the sale of alcoholic beverages have changed frequently in response to COVID-19, I am sharing the FAQs released by the Alcoholic Beverage Administration on Tuesday. 

As of Tuesday, restaurants and bars that serve food are being allowed to sell cocktails by the drink in sealable containers (to-go cups) for carry-out along with meals. This allowance is in addition to drinks in original packaging, which was already allowed. 

The big takeaway from this FAQ is that drinks cannot be consumed on premises. That means not in bars, not in restaurants, not on any licensed premises.

Golf courses have been given the privilege to sell for consumption on the golf course itself. Consumption is not allowed on the patio — only on the course and only while social distancing is practiced. It is up to public behavior to ensure that this privilege continues.

Please keep in mind that this is a fluid situation, and new rules may be released at any time. I will endeavor to keep licensees and the public up to date.

Lisa R. Dunbar 
City of Maysville ABC Administrator

For the full text of the ABC FAQs, read below:

ABC Letterhead


Frequently Asked Questions

Many questions have arisen related to the Governor’s Closure Order and the Cabinet’s Order related to alcohol sales with food delivery and carry-out. This document outlines those questions and provides guidance from the agency. Revised March 31, 2020.

  1.  Does the order allow for sale of alcohol through both delivery and carryout?  The order allows the licensee to provide alcohol in its unopened and sealed original container through home delivery, curbside service, or carry-out.
  2. Are bars and restaurants able to utilize services for delivery such as Uber Eats, Grub Hub, Door Dash, etc.? Yes
  3. What is a “closed and sealed original container”? This means the original unopened packaging of the beverage; exactly what you could buy off a package retailer’s shelf.
  4. Can we buy tamper resistant bottles, put margaritas in them, and then seal them? Yes
  5. Can we purchase sealable containers, fill them with a cocktail,  seal  them and  sell  them that way? Yes
  6. 6. Does this order apply to bars? If the bar sells food, then yes. The order requires that the home delivery, curbside service, or carry-out of the alcohol is only allowed with the sale of food.
  7. Does the Governor’s order closing bars and restaurants to on-premises consumption apply to private clubs? Yes
  8. Can a private club with an NQ3 retail drink license sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption? A private club can only allow members to enter the premises and must exclude the general public. For this reason, a private club holding an NQ3 license may only sell alcoholic beverages to club members for off-premises consumption through carry-out, curbside service, drive-thru, or delivery. A private club cannot sell alcoholic beverages to the general public.
  9. Can a golf course licensee serve beverages to golfers for on-site consumption? Golf courses must close clubhouses and restaurants to on-premises.  However, golfers may consume alcoholic beverages on the golf course while adhering to guidance related to social distancing.
  10. Can a country club that has a restaurant and liquor license also sell alcohol and food by carry-out, curbside service or home delivery under this order? Yes
  11. Do microbreweries, package retailers or others who have been allowed to deliver to consumers now have to deliver food in order to continue those deliveries? Businesses previously licensed to deliver alcohol are not precluded from continuing to do so.
  12. Are tastings and samplings at distilleries permitted? All on-site consumption is prohibited.
  13. Can a venue buy food and alcohol from a restaurant or caterer and then deliver or provide for carry- out under this order? No.
  14. Can a caterer who is licensed to sell by the drink sell food and alcohol by carry-out or delivery under this order? Yes
  15. If a customer is waiting on a carry-out order, can the restaurant serve the patron a beer or other alcoholic beverage while they wait? All on-premises consumption is prohibited.
  16. How much alcohol is considered incidental to the purchase of a meal? A serving of alcoholic beverages that a person would normally order when eating a meal at a restaurant. Since a person would not order a 1.75L bottle of distilled spirits with a meal, it is not proper to sell such a bottle for off-premises consumption. The amount delivered or carried-out must be reasonable. For example, a couple pizzas and a case of beer, would be reasonable. A couple pizzas and a case of wine, would not.
  17. Is a sell by the drink liquor license different from a Caterer’s license or a Sunday retail drink license? Can establishments with those types of licenses sell alcohol under the new Order to sell packaged liquor?” There are several different types of “drink” licenses that permit alcoholic beverage sales on the licensed premises (QD,  NQ1, NQ2, NQ3, NQ4, LR, and more). A caterer’s license is a different type of license but it also authorizes retail drink sales. Licensed caterers can sell alcoholic beverages under the Order. A Sunday drink license is a supplemental license and only authorizes drink sales on Sunday. If the holder of a drink license also holds a Sunday drink license, the holder can sell alcoholic beverages under the Order on Sunday at times permitted by local ordinance.
  18. With everything going on with the restaurants, can we sell unopened bottles of wine with food purchases? Yes.
  19. If we were to sell a bottle of wine to a customer, and the customer did not finish it while waiting for their meal, would the law still be the same? As in, we would cork the wine, put it in a bag, staple the bag shut with a receipt on the outside of the bag. This question presumes on-premises consumption, which is no longer permitted. However, the licensee may sell an unopened bottle of wine with a meal by home delivery, curbside service or carry-out.
  20. Are businesses permitted to sell growlers of beer? Beer growlers are permitted under 804 KAR 11:040, but such sales require a NQ retail malt beverage package license. Nothing in the Order changes the law related to growlers.
  21. Can a hotel provide alcohol to a guest for in-room consumption? Yes.
  22. If a business is temporarily closing due to COVID-19, are they required to notify the Department of such closure and suspend their license? Businesses are not required to suspend their license or notify the Department of closure or reopening due to COVID-19.
  23. Are businesses permitted to make or bottle hand sanitizer? The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) is providing guidance about distilleries producing hand-sanitizer. The KDA contact person is Colleen Thomas, Director of Member and Public Affairs. Her email is