Buying online alcohol is becoming common these days and the laws regarding the online purchase vary in each state. There are special rules and regulations for buying alcohol online in each of the states in the US. In this article, we will talk about the legality of buying alcohol online in California. Most of the federal laws on the manufacture and sale of alcohol in brick and mortar stores apply to online liquor stores also. Some of these are discussed below.
In all states of the US, the legal age to buy alcohol is 21 years. This law applies to online stores also. You need to be at least 21 years of age to legally buy wine, beer, or alcohol from an online liquor store. All the breweries, distilleries, and wineries that sell their products online should be licensed by state agencies. In addition, all the online liquor stores have to take measures for verifying the age of their customers.
These are some restrictions for shipping alcohol in California. You cannot mail alcohol in the United States because according to federal law, the United States Postal Service cannot carry any type of liquor. The postal service will confiscate the package if they suspect alcohol in it. When you purchase alcohol from an online store, most often the online store will have their own delivery system, or else they might deliver through private carriers such as FedEx and UPS. However, these private carriers have to report alcohol-shipping information to the state agency.
Who Can Sell Alcohol?
In California, only a Type-21 off-sale licensee can sell distilled spirits to the consumers. However, distillers can allow their customers to taste the products in the distillery, but the distiller is not allowed to sell a bottle to a customer. The regulations of beer are a bit more relaxed in California. The brewers are allowed to offer tastings and also sell beer to their customers. However, the brewer should only sell its beer. For selling the beer of other brewers, a retail license is needed.
In the case of wine, any off-sale retailer can sell wine directly to the customers. A winery is also allowed to sell online and at the winery. An online retail sale of wine without a brick and mortar store is also allowed in the state of California.