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Gov. Brown signs ‘drinks to go,’ other special session bills; OLCC adopts new rules

liquor bar cocktails
KTVZ file

(Update: Gov. Brown signs bills; statement from Distilled Spirits Council)

Drinks to go must be paired with prepared food deliveries

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Gov. Kate Brown late Wednesday signed into law Senate Bill 1801, allowing many Oregon bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic “drinks to go.” The Oregon Liquor Control Commission adopted the rules for the new offering the day after the bill's passage.

Gov. Brown has signed all four bills stemming from the one-day special session on Monday, an aide confirmed.

The OLCC held a special commission meeting Tuesday to enact temporary rules that align with the drinks-to-go legislation the Legislature approved during Monday's special session as part of a package of COVID-19 economic relief measures.

Under the new law, OLCC licensees with full on-premises sales licenses (F-COM) will be allowed to sell and deliver mixed alcohol drinks or individual servings of wine in sealed containers, for off-premises consumption.

At its special meeting, the commission approved temporary rules that define the requirements of alcohol in drink-to-go containers, the boundaries for drink-to-go deliveries, and the public safety obligations for OLCC licensees.

“This is a major win for industry, and by no means a cure-all, but a positive step in the right direction,” said OLCC Commissioner Kiauna Floyd. 

Floyd, who is herself an OLCC licensed operator, praised the Legislature for reconvening in another special session and taking up SB 1801. “The great work done here is immensely appreciated by an (hospitality) industry that employs over 170,000 Oregonians.”

The temporary rules allow F-COM licensees to sell mixed alcohol “drinks-to-go” with limited to specific amounts of distilled spirits or wine, or single servings of wine.

Licensees are not required to use a specific type of size of container for the to-go drink; however, it must be securely sealed before it leaves the bar or restaurant where the drink is made.

Alcohol “to-go-drinks” also are required to be paired with food items cooked or prepared by the same licensed establishment selling the drinks.

Consumers may use Third Party Platforms (TPP), such as food delivery ordering apps, to order alcohol drinks-to-go as long as the order meets the food pairing requirement.

Licensees that deliver alcohol drinks-to-go and TTPs that contract with F-Com licensees to deliver alcohol drinks-to-go are responsible for verifying the age of the person receiving the alcohol drink delivery and must not complete the delivery if the person receiving the order is inebriated, the OLCC said Wednesday.

The OLCC has created guidance for licensees about alcohol “drinks-to-go," which can be found on the OLCC website under the Alcohol Licensing section at:

From the outset of the pandemic, OLCC Chairman Paul Rosenbaum and all members of the commission made clear that they would do all that they could, within their authority and consistent with public health emergency restrictions, to assist economically challenged licensees.  

Although the OLCC has a mandate to regulate the sale and service of alcoholic beverages, the Commission is also charged with supporting local economic development. “We recognize that a Drinks-to-Go Program, while warranted and particularly critical at this time, is not enough to preserve income streams that sustain small businesses,” said Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum pledged that the commission would continue to look for ways to provide financial regulatory relief to licensees, including working with the Governor and legislature to consider waiving license fees the OLCC allowed licensees to defer paying.

“Oregon’s local small businesses play a significant role in supporting the social and economic fabric of both our rural and urban communities,” said Rosenbaum.  “The Commission must do everything in its power to preserve and protect this industry so that, because believe me if we don’t, after the pandemic has run its course, these small businesses won’t be around to continue to serve our communities.”

News release from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States:

Restaurants and Bars in Oregon Allowed to Serve Cocktails To-Go

Governor Kate Brown signs measure in support of Oregon’s hospitality businesses

SALEM – Late last night, Governor Kate Brown signed SB 1801, a bill to allow Oregon’s restaurants and bars to sell cocktails to-go. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has already approved regulations to implement the bill, making cocktails to-go effective immediately.

“Restaurants and bars in Oregon now have a vital revenue source through cocktails to-go despite the uncertainty of the pandemic,” said Adam Smith, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations. “This measure will give hospitality businesses a fighting chance of survival as they continue to struggle under the harsh economic impacts of COVID-19. We applaud Governor Kate Brown for signing this measure and supporting Oregon business owners and their employees.”


Currently, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Iowa and Ohio have both made cocktails to-go permanent, and other states, including Arizona, Missouri, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and the District of Columbia, are considering doing the same.

The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.


The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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