FRANKFORT, Ky. — With the click of a button, the first online, direct-to-consumer bourbon purchase in Kentucky was placed Monday from the state capitol annex, moments after House Bill 415 went into effect.

What You Need To Know

  • First online, direct-to-consumer bourbon purchase place in Ky. 

  • Kentucky distilleries, winers, breweries can sell on their own websites, fill their own orders

  • Kentucky has agreements with nine states for liquor, many more for beer and wine

Direct-to-consumer means Kentucky distilleries, wineries, and breweries that wish to sell their product can now do so on their own websites and fill their own orders instead of going through wholesalers or distributors.

And that’s a two-way street, as State Rep. Adam Koenig (R, District 69), who placed the first order, explained. Kentucky has agreements with nine states: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, in addition to Washington, D.C., for liquor, and many more for beer and wine.

Leaders from The Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA) and Angel’s Envy, which went online the moment it was legal to do so, assure parents multiple security layers are preventing underage shoppers from buying and receiving the alcohol.

"[Distillers are] working with a system that will check your license to make sure it is legitimate, it’s not a fake ID, and that you are able to buy," said KDA President Eric Gregory.

"We have age gates on the website," said Angel's Envy Brand Home Manager Dee Ford. "Also, UPS has spent a lot of time and technology to make sure that a package only gets to someone that is over 21."

Gregory said the USPS is currently not authorized to ship alcohol, leaving private carriers for producers.

"I know UPS has some other stuff that they're moving around right now that's important," Koenig joked, as the bill's ratification came on the same day UPS and FedEx delivered long-awaited coronavirus vaccine doses to hospitals around the country. "But I think they're gonna have some space for other liquids to travel around."

As the virus continues to ravage the hospitality industry, Gregory hoped the bill would give smaller alcohol producers a leg up.

"This will be a solution – mostly for our craft distillers who have been struggling to get by, because they count so much on tourism to be part of their bottle sales and their tastings," he said.