Industry Updates From SLA Regarding COVID-19 Virus

March 17th, 2020 • by Jennifer Meyers
Jennifer Meyers

Jennifer Meyers

During the thirteen years Jen has been immersed in the craft beer industry, one thing has remained the same: her love for the craft beer. Her goal is and has been to put NYS craft beer on the map and help bring awareness to the NYS Craft beer industry. With all the various roles Jen has played in the industry, including head-brewer, she has a unique understanding of the craft beer world and is honored to help promote the amazing craft beer produced in this awesome state!

Restrictions for Licensees in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak (Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, at 8:00PM (until Further Notice)

Pursuant to the Governor’s order, effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8:00PM, all licensed on-premises establishments (e.g. restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs, arenas, catering establishments, etc.) must cease on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages and/or food.  Additionally, all licensed manufacturers with on-premises privileges must also cease on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages and/or food; however, a licensed manufacturer may continue all manufacturing operations. This restriction shall continue until April 15, 2020 but may be extended or reduced depending upon the circumstances.  

To aid in prevention of the spread of the coronavirus and assist businesses impacted by the current state of emergency, the Governor has ordered the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to promulgate guidance on new off-premises privileges for licensed businesses with on-premises privileges.

The State Liquor Authority offers the following guidance:

Any on-premises licensee and any manufacturing licensee with on-premises retail privileges may sell for off-premises consumption any alcoholic beverages that it is able to sell for on premises consumption under the law.   

  • For example, a tavern wine licensee may sell beer, wine, cider, mead, and wine product, but not liquor, and a farm winery may sell any New York State labeled wine, beer, cider, mead, or liquor, but not non-New York State products unless it has an on-premises license as well.  

Alcoholic beverages sold for off-premises consumption pursuant to this guidance may be sold in any closed and sealed original container of any size.  Provided that:

  • The sale of each container shall be accompanied by the purchase of food;
  •   Sales should be consistent with municipal open container ordinances.

Alcoholic beverages sold for off-premises consumption pursuant to this guidance may be sold for takeout from the licensed premises or may be delivered to the customer’s residence.  

Deliveries shall be made in a vehicle permitted by the Authority (e.g., a third-party delivery service), or a vehicle-owned and -operated, or hired and operated by the licensee or its employee.  A copy of the permit or license must be present in the vehicle. 

Alcoholic beverages sold for off-premises consumption pursuant to this guidance may only be sold during the on-premises hours of operation of the county in which the premises is located or, if different, the hours of operation set forth in the licensee’s method of operation with the Authority.

Any licensed business found to be operating in violation of the Governor’s order restricting on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages shall face a monetary penalty (retail maximum of $10,000/manufacturer maximum of $100,000), and/or suspension, cancellation, or revocation of its license.

Governor’s Mandate to Cease On-Premise Sales (Effective March 16th, 8pm)

Effective March 16th at 8pm, NYS breweries/brewpubs/taprooms must temporarily cease sales of alcohol for on-premise consumption. The sale of beer to-go is permitted. The NYSBA is working with the SLA to temporarily permit curbside pick-up and at-home delivery of alcohol during these dire times. Providing either service is currently ILLEGAL in NYS. 

Governor’s Mandate to Reduce Capacity by 50%  (Effective March 13th, 5PM)

All venues in the state seating 500 people or less will need to reduce capacity by 50 percent — including restaurants, bars, breweries & taprooms. Example: Your taproom’s mass capacity is 150, only 75 people can be on-premise simultaneously.  

Governor’s Mass Gathering Regulations (Effective March 13th, 5PM)

Events with 500 or more individuals in attendance to be canceled or postponed.

Any Gathering under 500 individuals in attendance will be required to cut capacity by 50 percent.