July 04, 2020

Iowa Legalizes Restaurant Liquor Sales

Timothy Birdnow

In potables and pourables. Iowa is the first state in the country to permanently allow restaurants to sell packaged liquor.

From Iowa Capital Dispatch:

Iowa has officially legalized the sale of to-go cocktails, making the COVID-19 fad a permanent fixture in the state.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 2540into law on Monday, legalizing the sale of sealed alcohol for consumption "off-premises.” In the past, drinks sold by bars and restaurants had to be consumed on-site.

While other states have implemented temporary measures allowing for the sale of to-go cocktails, Iowa is the first one to make it a permanent fixture, said Jessica Dunker, president of the Iowa Restaurant Association.

The new law will help Iowa restaurants and bars as more consumers order their meals to-go during the pandemic.

Good for them! I have a restaurant just three houses away from mine and I would love to be able to buy a bottle of booze from them if I wanted. Can't do it here in Missouri. Or if you are celebrating and go out to eat and want a bottle of this or that to take home for a nightcap. Yeah; it costs more but the convenience is worth it some times. I never did understand why the law wouldn't allow that anyway.liquor laws have been stuck in the immediate post-prohibition era for a long time.


Hat tip: Ginny Birdnow

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:25 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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1 Here in the Land of Paul Bunyan, you can order a bottle of wine with your meal and if you don't finish it, they'll re-cork it and you can take it home with you. I'm not sure, now -- this may be on a restaurant-by-restaurant basis, but obviously the state allows it. We've done this a few times in an Olive Garden Restaurant. Of course, this is fairly expensive because a bottle of wine costs 2X, sometimes 3X in a restaurant what the same bottle would cost you in a liquor store.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at July 04, 2020 04:59 PM (Syz8b)

2 Some restaurants here in St. Louis allow that too. But you couldn't just go and buy a bottle to take before.

Speaking of such things, I drank some Coors beer last night and had a bottle of Yellowtail Sauvignon Blanc. Cheap liquors there and I can really feel it today.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at July 05, 2020 07:32 AM (Jg2j0)

3 True, Tim; here, the wine has to accompany a meal.

Coors? You'll have me questioning your taste, Laddie! Was that regular or diet Coors? No matter. Ugh! Our beer of choice for store-bought is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. If I'm in a bar (oh, for the days of yore; may they return soon) I very much like a local product called Surley Furious. It won't work for us at home because most of the beer gets drink half a bottle at a time by Martha. It's easy to put a stopper in a bottle; but Furious is available only in cans.

Yellowtail isn't bad, although Sauvignon Blanc is pretty weak, at least to the taste of old dudes and dudettes like my wife and me; we'd opt for Chardonnay every time. To tell the truth, Yellowtail's probably a tad higher on the quality scale (I think it definitely is on the price scale) than the stuff we're drinking regularly -- alternating between Charles Shaw and Double Dog Dare. The Dog's a bit more convenient, as the store we get that in has a deliver-to-your-car option, while Trader Joe's does not.

When Martha got home from church last evening we sat on the couch for a "picnic" with some chips and Guy Fieri Salsa Verde, her with some Chard and me with some Cab. A wonderful time was had by all, except perhaps Bijou, who was frustrated that we wouldn't give him any.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at July 05, 2020 09:07 AM (Syz8b)

4 Re-reading your article, I see you've gotten very close to the crux of the matter, Tim: it's the liquor lobby who pretty much controls the distribution -- or non-distribution, if you will -- of their product. If they can limit the distribution of booze to the "booze shops," you can see who benefits. Here in Minnesota, you can't buy wine or "hard stuff" in supermarkets or convenience stores, or even get decent beer -- unlike, say, California. The best beer you can get in a supermarket here is Heineken, which to my taste is one step up from Michelob. The laws have to do with the alcohol content, mostly.

But we ARE taking baby steps. A few months ago they got rid of one Blue Law and allowed liquor stores to open on Sunday, which probably created an uproar in neighboring Wisconsin, who lost a lot of booze sales as a result. Many of our liquor stores said they wouldn't open because they didn't want to hire the extra staff, or hike the pay of their regular staff. I can't say how well that worked out. I imagine it turned out to be a teapot in a tempest, because if you're not in the habit of going to the liquor store on Sundays, you're probably not going to start going there all of a sudden.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at July 05, 2020 02:06 PM (Syz8b)

5 Every once in a while I like to drink a cheap American beer to get back to my roots. Coors is better than Buttwiper, er, Budweiser. Not a whole lot. Since it was the Fourth I wanted to remember the "good old day" of my youth when I would go on a float trip or camping and drink voluminous amounts of cheap American swill. It goes with hot dogs, which I also consumed.

Sierra Nevada is an excellent brew. I have to say you have great taste in beer, Dana! 

Yellow Tail isn't bad. I am an ABC guy, meaning I don't like Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon. I generally do Sauvignon Blanc or some other white (like Riesling or an America white like Traminette) and I'm a Pinot man for red, although I do enjoy Syrah and even occasionally Malbec (which Cathy won't touch.)

I've never had Charles Shaw but know it's got a good reputation as a decent cheap wine. Never, ever tasted Double Dog Dare, but they really should have tried harder with the name; makes me think of that stinky wet-dog smell.

I am not surprised Bijou wasn't happy he was not included. I would be if I were him, too!

I didn't remember Minnesota was an ABC Liquor system. That stinks!  For a place full of Methodists and Baptists, Missouri is pretty loose with the liquor. You can buy just about anything in the grocery store, including corn liquor. We don't really have liquor stores anymore here, except for specialty items. You can buy everything at a Quick Trip if you are a mind. (In fact, that's why I had Coors and Yellowtail in the first place; bought them at QT.)

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at July 06, 2020 07:17 AM (uU0YU)

6 Pinot's good, but I hesitate to buy it "blind," because too often you get a wimpy one. I also don't buy Merlot because it impresses me as always wimpy. Now, if I want a gutsier red, give me an old vine Zinfandel (but they are definitely pricier) or an Egri Bikaver -- real kick-ass but not very subtle. There's always Burgundy but it has a sweet undertaste (or whatever) that I don't care for.

I'm not wild about whites. The German ones aren't as dry, to my taste. And other than Chard, they're too wimpy for my taste. I guess I'd be cast aside by true wine drinkers.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at July 06, 2020 11:32 AM (Syz8b)

7 Yeah; often Pinot is wimpy. You have to know your brand before buying, for sure!

You DO like 'em strong. Ox Blood. Zin. Good stuff, but a bit sturdier than I like. I prefer elegance to power,but that's just me. As they always say, there are Bordelais and Burdunians, and my name is a corruption of Burgundy, so I guess that's why I love the Pinot.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at July 06, 2020 11:52 AM (uU0YU)

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