Can Instacart Deliver Alcohol? (Yes, but not in every state)


Nothing quite beats the convenience of having a delivery service like Instacart bring you your groceries right to your doorstep. But what about alcohol? Can Instacart deliver alcohol?

I decided to check into it and discovered:

Instacart does currently deliver alcohol in 14 states, both from grocery stores, where allowed, but some liquor stores too. Beer, wine, & liquor are available in those areas, but recipients must show ID & cannot be visibly intoxicated. Instacart also cannot leave alcohol unattended; you must be present for delivery.

But there’s a lot more to know about Instacart delivery, alcohol laws, and how they both tie together, so let’s dig in a little deeper.

Instacart is awesome! They can even deliver them in under an hour in certain circumstances.

If you want a glass of wine or some beer with your dinner, will they deliver it with your groceries?

Will they deliver liquor? What states even allow alcohol to be delivered? Does Instacart mark up prices on alcohol?

You have questions. I have the answers!

Just keep reading to find out.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Does Instacart have alcohol?

Yes!

Instacart has alcohol delivery available in 14 states and Washington, D.C. Alcohol is available from more than one-third of their retail partners. What 14 states those are is listed in the next section.

Purchasing alcohol through Instacart is easy.

Simply open the Instacart mobile app or head over to their website at www.instacart.com. Select your city and store, and shop like normal.

When your delivery arrives, be sure to have your ID handy, as you must be 21 years old to purchase alcohol.

Don’t forget to tip your Instacart driver when they deliver your groceries and booze.

They are providing a service, after all. Instacart drivers are not only making your life easier by doing your shopping for you, but they also are sure to pick the best items.

They make sure to get the items with the best expiration dates, that don’t have any damage and are priced the best.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to tip 15-20% like at a restaurant. Just read this recent article where I break down exactly how much to tip, and whether you need to do it in cash or on the app.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What states allow alcohol delivery?

Instacart alcohol delivery is available today in:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.

Source

They are continually rolling out alcohol delivery in more states. So if it’s not available in your state, keep checking. It may be available soon!

If Instacart doesn’t deliver alcohol to you, you might want to consider having alcohol directly shipped to your home.

The majority of states allow for out-of-state to ship alcohol directly to consumers. However, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah specifically prohibit the direct shipment of alcohol to consumers.

Of the states that do allow the shipment of alcohol, only five states allow the shipment of all spirits.

They are:

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire

Eight states allow direct shipment of beer and wine. They are Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Virginia. The rest of the states allow direct shipments of wine only.

Having alcohol directly shipped to you can be a great way to try new and interesting flavors of beer or wine. However, it can get really expensive, as many alcohol delivery services are subscription-based.

You also may not get to pick exactly what you want.

Just as an example, FirstLeaf will send you wine that they pick out for you at about $13.00 per bottle. You fill out a quiz before signing up, and they will send you wine based on those answers.

Each shipment will contain different wines. However, if you find something you like, you may not get it in the next shipment, but you might be able to order it individually from their website.

What are the Instacart alcohol delivery rules?

Instacart’s alcohol policies are pretty straight forward.

First and foremost, understand that alcohol is not available at all retailers in all markets. They cannot fulfill special requests or replacements for alcohol.

You must present your ID upon delivery. When the order is delivered, you must sign for the delivery.

  • No alcohol will be left unattended.
  • No alcohol will be delivered to anyone that is visibly intoxicated.

If you do not present your ID, are not present, or are visibly intoxicated, alcohol will not be delivered. In this case, you will not be charged for the alcohol.

To read their alcohol policies for yourself, just click here. This link takes you straight to Instacart’s Alcohol policies page on their website.

Of course, you should always be responsible regarding your alcohol consumption. Don’t drink and drive and certainly don’t purchase alcohol for minors.

Does Instacart deliver just beer & wine?

If you are asking this question, you may be happy to know that Instacart delivers liquor, too!

Keep in mind that not all grocery stores are legally allowed to sell liquor.

The abolition of prohibition in 1933 left states with the power to regulate alcohol sales. So now there is a confusing hodgepodge of liquor laws across the country.

To read about which states allow the sale of liquor in grocery stores, read this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

If your state doesn’t allow the sale of liquor at grocery stores, take comfort in the fact that Instacart also delivers for some liquor specialty stores.

These stores include BevMo!, Binny’s Beverage Depot, and Total Wine & More.

If you don’t live in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, or Washington, D.C., you’re just going to be out of luck. Even if your state does allow for the sale of liquor in grocery stores.

Those are the only state in which Instacart delivers alcohol.

Does Instacart markup prices on alcohol?

Sometimes, Instacart does charge more than store prices.

According to Instacart, they charge an average of 15% more money on stores that have a markup. This isn’t so bad if you’re purchasing $50 in groceries. This is very bad if you purchase $200 worth of groceries.

However, Instacart partners up with different stores to provide delivery services without a markup.

If you purchase your alcohol from one of the partner stores, you shouldn’t see a price increase.

To read more about what stores Instacart have partnered up with, and their pricing policies read this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

The best way to know whether or not you’ll be charged more at a specific store is by reviewing Instacart’s pricing information page.

According to that page, it’s the retailers themselves that set the prices charged through Instacart.

Don’t let the potentially higher prices steer you away from the app, though. Instacart is a thriving business for many reasons.

Instacart also charges a delivery fee of $7.99 for one-hour delivery or $5.99 for a two-hour or more delivery.

The convenience value alone is enough to make the markups and fees well worth staying home. There’s certainly a line where it’s probably a better idea to go out instead. Still, it all depends on the markup percentage.

If you find that you don’t mind the markup percentage, and use Instacart regularly, you may find that their annual membership fee is a better value. For $149 per year, you can get free two-hour delivery on orders of $35.00 or more.

Pair the annual fee with a partner store and two-hour delivery, and it could be very affordable.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about whether Instacart delivers alcohol?

Instacart offers fantastic convenience. It makes life so much easier when you can have groceries dropped at your door.

It can make life even easier when you can have alcohol delivered to your door.

In this article, we took a look at the ins and outs of Instacart alcohol delivery. We discussed the rules of having Instacart deliver alcohol, and whether they mark up prices on alcohol.

While it’s not available in every state, it may be available in your state soon.

If it’s alcohol delivery is not available in your state, it could simply be because of your local laws and regulations.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.


Photos which require attribution:
Instacart_PwG_anim_02 by 姿穎 呂 and Cold Beer by Northwest Retail are licensed under CC2.0

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades. I worked in 9 stores in 4 states, not counting the hundred-plus stores I've assisted in other ways. I was a Global All-Star, a Gold Pen Winner, and won Top-10 Store (company-wide) 3 times in addition to Best New Store (company-wide).

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