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You can now get draft beer delivered to your doorstep

July 10,2019
You can now get your hands on draft beer at home without having to tap a keg in the middle of your living room - a regulatory change means that from Tuesday, restaurants are permitted to sell beer straight from the tap with delivery food orders.

Until this week, the law permitted restaurants to deliver alcohol products along with cooked dishes, but only if they came in a bottle or a can. Draft beer packed in a restaurant was not permitted for delivery because the law classified that as producing an alcohol product, and your average restaurant doesn’t have the required license.

The rule was rephrased to allow the delivery of draft beer from Tuesday, pushed by “national interest on alcohol delivery due to the rapid growth of delivery apps,” according to the National Tax Service (NTS) and the Finance Ministry.

The Finance Ministry and NTS explained in a joint statement that a lot of restaurants were already selling draft beer in plastic bottles with delivery orders and a lot of business owners were confused about whether the practice was illegal or not.

“Requests for reform continuously came - through an ombudsman from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, petitions and media reports,” said the statement. “Consequently, [we] decided to reconsider the original interpretation of the clause.”

The original clause states that businesses without a government license cannot sell fabricated alcohol products outside their restaurant, referring to mixing ready-made products or repackaging them in other bottles. Tuesday’s reform adds another clause - that bottling draft beer in a restaurant at a customer’s request does not count as “fabricating” an alcohol product.

However, the statement added that the assumption was that bottled draft beer would be for immediate consumption and would be in unlabeled bottles so that customers do not think it was produced by the restaurant.

It also made it clear that the new regulations only apply if restaurants bottle draft beer when an order is made. Bottling and storing draft beer in advance is still prohibited.

“For small business owners, the recent measure will eliminate their confusion over the practice’s legality,” the statement said.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]


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