A new interpretation of existing state law recently gave bars and restaurants expanded power to sell carry-out alcoholic beverages.
Retailers with Class B beer licenses can sell to-go alcohol packaged in originally sealed containers. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this excluded growlers of beer.
In late March, the state implemented its “safer at home” order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This order prevented dine-in bar and restaurant service but allowed the sale of carry-out food and beverages.
Following that order, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, which oversees alcohol licensing,
released new guidance to retailers
, allowing the sale of beer growlers for off-site consumption under existing law.
Why this matters
Alcohol consumption can cause at least seven types of cancer. Policies that discourage excessive drinking are an important part of cancer prevention.
The easing of alcohol sales restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to an overall increase in alcohol consumption rates. Researchers have found that people who drink more alcohol during a crisis tend to maintain that level of alcohol consumption once the crisis has ended.