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How to deliver beer in Bristol, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville during the Corona closure



How to deliver beer in Bristol, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville during the Corona closure

Mar 25, 2020

UPDATED: April 10, 2020

One has to ask: Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Bristol, Chattanooga and Knoxville have all adopted the Nashville model for beer delivery.

Bristol became the latest city to authorize delivery, curbside and takeout sales of beer at its April 7 City Council meeting. On-premise, breweries and on-off beer permit holders can deliver inside the Bristol City limits after first informing Lt. Walter Brown, City Beer Board Secretary, and waiting on his confirmation.

Keep in mind that the state-wide delivery order only applies to restaurants, limited service restaurants, and wine-only restaurants. The city delivery laws allow breweries, and hotels and other businesses that do not hold ABC restaurant licenses to deliver beer within city limits.

There also is no food-service requirement with beer delivery, and no restrictions on quantities.

Consistent with the Nashville model, only employees of Bristol beer permit holder can deliver -- meaning no third-party services like UberEats, Post Mates, or DoorDash. Delivery personnel must be 21 years of age or older. The City can revoke permission to deliver beer at any time, if the Bristol Police Department finds evidence they sold beer to a minor or an intoxicated person.

Knoxville adopted the Nashville beer delivery model by emergency ordinance. Attached is a copy of the ordinance

Chattanooga joined the list of cities allowing beer delivery on March 27, 2020. Mayor Andy Burke entered an executive order that essentially adopts the Nashville process. The process is explained in the order (Executive Order 2020-05.pdf).

Memphis was the second city to authorize delivery and to-go beer sales by restaurants. All businesses holding an on-premise beer permit can sell sealed containers of beer to-go, including curbside, drive-through and delivery. It looks like delivery is limited to employees. The motion is attached here. (Memphis Beer Delivery Motion 4845-1834-5144 v1.pdf)

In a spot of good news for carryout, Memphis city officials are bagging downtown meters to allow temporary parking for curbside delivery and takeout.


The Metropolitan Beer Permit Board of Nashville has enacted an emergency regulation allowing restaurants, hotels and most breweries to apply for a new beer permit to deliver and sell beer curbside and to-go.

Establishments with Tennessee ABC restaurant, limited service restaurant and wine-only licenses have greater privileges under Executive Order, as we explain here.

Nashville beer delivery is the only option for hotels, caterers, premier-type tourist resorts, convention centers and other ABC special license types, as well as beer-only, on-premise permit holders, such as beer bars and breweries that do not hold ABC liquor licenses.

As of posting, we have filed delivery applications for 65 restaurants, hotels and breweries.

Here’s how to exercise delivery privileges in Nashville:

1. Give notice. Before selling to go, curbside or delivering, the Regulation requires notification to the Metro Beer Board via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and providing the following information:

Name of the Permittee

Physical Address of the Permittee

E-mail Address

Phone Number

On or On/Off Premise Beer Permit Number

There is no application fee. The staff will issue a 30-day temporary “on/off” permit that allows the restaurant, hotel or brewery to immediately begin to-go, curbside and delivery of beer. Attached is a copy of the draft Regulation, which was adopted. 

You can start delivering as soon as the beer board responds. Response has been quite brisk, during business hours. The beer board will also e-mail you a new temporary on-off permit, which you should post.

2. Employees only. The emergency Regulation requires that deliveries be made by employees. No delivery of beer by UberEats or other third-party delivery services.

3. Universal carding. The Reg requires mandatory carding by the employee making the delivery, curbside or to-go sale.

4. Drive thru windows. The Reg also authorizes sale of beer at drive-thru and delivery windows.

We find ourselves humming the Talking Heads completely cryptic single:

Once in a Lifetime

Same as it ever was

Letting the days go by

Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

Stay tuned for more updates.

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