News

Mixed Beverage Confusion

Mar 21
2020

There has been a lot of confusion lately on selling alcoholic beverages to guests while all dining rooms are shut down. We understand the frustration many restaurant owners feel and have created this guide that will hopefully explain the TABC rules.

Mixed Beverage (MB) License Holders

Texas restaurants with a Mixed Beverage (MB) permit can now deliver alcoholic beverages with the following conditions:

  • You must have a valid Mixed Beverage (MB) permit.
  • Note: a Food and Beverage (FB) certificate is not required.
  • The alcohol must be ordered along with food prepared at the restaurant. 
  • The alcoholic beverages must be in the original, manufacturer-sealed container.
  • All distilled spirits served in a manufacturer-sealed container that is 375 milliliters or less.

You cannot sell for curbside, to-go, nor deliver the following;

  • Pre-mixed cocktails
  • Growlers or crowlers

Restaurants can mix, seal, sell, and deliver their own non-alcoholic mixed drinks (such as margarita mix, tonic, limes, fruit juices, etc...). Several restaurants are selling mixed drink kits, where you include a bottle or two of mix and sealed bottle of alcohol. 

Wine and Beer Retailer's Permit (BG) or a Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE) 

There is a category of restaurants that hold a Wine and Beer Retailer's Permit (BG) or a Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE) and they may sell the following for curbside, to-go, or delivery:

  • Wine or beer
  • Growlers or crowlers
  • Wine or beer-based mixed alcoholic beverages. These items must be in sealed containers (the beverage may be mixed and sealed by the restaurant) and must be permitted for sale under that business' license or permit. (These include the drive-through margarita places, etc.)

Note: If the BG also has a brewpub (BP), you cannot deliver but can do curbside and to-go

What is different from BEFORE?

The 86th Session saw the passage of an alcohol delivery bill – but the main difference now is:

  • Restaurants can deliver to the parking lot or curbside (before, it had to be delivered to another non-licensed address)
  • Restaurants can deliver with only a Mixed Beverage permit – previously, they needed to have a Mixed Beverage permit and a Food/Beverage Certificate. The Food/Beverage Certificate is being temporarily waived.
  • These rules on to-go or curbside only remain in effect during Texas' Disaster Declaration. 

FAQ

  • Q: So can I sell mixed margaritas with tequila in them by the gallon, quart, or styrofoam cup if I tape the lid down? 
  • A: No, sorry. Read this entire page again.
     
  • Q: Can we sell alcohol to-go on Sunday? 
  • A: If restaurants could sell alcohol to consumers dining in the restaurant on Sunday, then those authorized for alcohol to-go or deliveries can also do so on Sundays. The point of waiver was to ensure restaurants can continue conducting most of their services despite being unable to provide dine-in service.

Questions? 

TABC has guidance on their website, but if you have additional questions, we recommend calling your local TABC inspector or contact HQ using one of these options

Additional Reading

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