Many e-commerce giants like Amazon backed Big Basket and Zomato are getting permission from state governments of India to deliver alcohol to the consumers at home. The update came almost after a month when the government of many states allowed alcohol home delivery in India amidst restrictions imposed due to lockdowns.
Though before placing an order, check out if you have a liquor license in your area as many states are following the token system while others are not allowing alcohol sale at all. In some states, alcohol home delivery is taking place through WhatsApp chat or a phone call following certain protocols laid by the government. In every case, we would recommend you to opt for alcohol home delivery after reviewing state licence terms and through contactless home delivery options.
Who regulates alcohol home delivery in India?
Liquors or alcohols are subject to states decisions and their business is regulated by the Excise department in every state of India. In some of the states, retail selling of alcohol is done through shops owned by the government to avoid the selling of bad quality alcohol. In others, the government supplies alcohol in bulk and retail is restricted to few private companies having a mandatory license.
Amidst lockdowns during COVID-19, many states have allowed home delivery of alcohol through online platforms and apps. Although these apps were trying to get permission to sell alcohol online for many years, state governments have decided to give legal permissions to them owing to social distancing norms. One of the many reasons govern by states for alcohol home delivery in India was to avoid long queues in front of shops and to fulfil the high demand for liquor among Indians.
FAQs and Rules applied for alcohol home delivery in India
- With regards to high demand and alcohol prices, state governments like Odisha maintain a list of sellers online and have issued a maximum retail price for different alcohol brands. This will indeed prevent overcharging by private companies. Home delivery charges are also fixed by the government to restrict over buying and consumer’s demand exploitation.
- Every delivery person who is involved in alcohol home delivery in India has to carry an identity card with them that contains their personal and professional detail. The details carried need to be sent to the government also. Besides, the delivery person has to validate their consumer’s age which can be done through any government issued identity card.
- Unlike food that needs to be prepared in real-time and requires a deep integration of delivery platforms with restaurants, alcohol delivery requires no such integration process and can be sold by online companies individually. However, they have to comply with government rules to ensure that alcohol ordered by a consumer is delivered appropriately without deteriorating its quality or brand. Thus, you can rely on the government-approved online apps and websites completely before ordering a bottle of joy in India.
- On 1st June 2021, the Delhi government has issued a new excise rule which states that alcohol cannot be delivered to any institutions, offices or hostel. The online companies having a liquor license can sell liquor at consumers residential address only if ordered through online portals or via mobile apps.
Online apps and websites for alcohol home delivery in India
Qtoken is an official website launched by the Delhi government. The website offers buyers an opportunity to buy their preferred alcohol after getting a purchase token. At present, around 160 shops have been allowed across Delhi to sell liquor and the Qtoken app gives 50 tokens per hour to the consumers. The website offering token requires buyers to fill in some basic information such as address and name along with the store they seek to go to. The buyer is then required to choose their preferred items and apply for an e-token to purchase. The token has a time frame in which the buyer can go and receive their placed order from the alcohol shop physically.
Living Liquidz is yet another online app for alcohol home delivery in India. At present, the app is delivering alcohol in many of the Maharashtra cities such as Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar. The app can be easily downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The Living Liqudz app not just offer local liquids but also international brands through the same delivery channel. They also provide users with interesting knowledge about alcohol through Whiskeypedia and Wine FAQs. Some of the services offered by them include bartender booking and bar accessories for the home. From the Living Liquidz app, you can buy alcohol like whiskeys which are classified as Irish, Tennessee, Scotch, Rye, Bourbon, etc.
HipBar is perhaps one of the first legal alcohol home delivery service provider in India that was launched in the year 2015. The app currently operates in major cities such as Kolkata and Cuttack and is still under process to collate with other liquor shops in the cities. In the HipBar app, you will find the list of liquor shops available in the area from where you place an order. You need to pick your favourite brand from the available shop after which the app arranges for home delivery. Some of the premium brands from where you can select include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Black Dog, Captain Morgan, Ketel One Vodka, and many more. To download the app, you can visit Apple App Store or Google Play.
Zomato is one of the popular food delivery apps and has recently started alcohol home delivery in India. Some of the states in which Zomato offers online alcohol home delivery includes West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. The firm is looking forward to expand to more states in India and cash on the arising demand for online alcohol home delivery in India. In this online app, you will find a separate tab which is named Wine Shops in those cities where it operates. The alcohol is delivered within 60 minutes. To place an order, you need to fulfil a one-time verification process that ascertains the legal age to buy alcohol.
This Android app is for people residing in Kerala. The app is operated by Kerala State Beverages Corporation named BEVCO. The app manages overcrowding at alcohol shops. To buy one, consumers have to fill in some basic information like pin code, mobile number and name. The app then provides an e-token with a QR code in the consumer’s mobile number. The e-token contains necessary information such as time slot, district name, and QR code that needs to be scanned by the liquor shops having a permit to sell alcohol. Through the BevQ app, you can buy liquor only once in four days as per state rules. Moreover, people staying in the red zone during coronavirus will not be able to purchase or book liquor online using the app. Interestingly, after the app was launched in Google Play, over 1 lakh people downloaded the app within the first hour.
This alcohol home delivery system operates through call, WhatsApp, and Yellow.chat messenger. BeerBox is a service offered by aBeer that specialises in serving beer and wine to Mumbaikars. Just click on the beverage option on their home page and enter necessary information such as your name and address. The wine and beer vendor will provide you with numerous international and national brands options available in their beer and wine store. Usually, BeerBox delivers the liquor on the same day.
Just like Zomato, Swiggy is another popular food delivery app that has recently started alcohol home delivery in India. The company holds necessary permits from the state government where Swiggy is allowed to deliver liquor. The food aggregator announced its entry into the liquor market more recently after it got its first licence in West Bengal. When you open the app, you will find a separate section named ‘Wine Shops’ for those cities in which an alcohol delivery option is available. The app provides its partner shops with access from which they share the real-time availability of alcohol in their shops. To order alcohol from Swiggy, you need to have a valid ID proof just like any other online apps delivering liquor.
Amazon, Big Basket
Backed by Amazon, Big Basket is a home delivery app that specialises in delivering grocery and domestic retails. More recently amidst COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, the company considered alcohol home delivery in India and started with West Bengal. So far, the firm has not confirmed alcohol delivery in other states. So, just check if your app provides you with an option to buy liquor the next time you place an order for your groceries through the Big Basket app.