10 of the best home delivery alcohol services

There will be very few winners economically from this covid-19 catastrophe, which will be especially devastating for the hospitality industry.

That includes beer, wine and spirits producers, for whom pubs, bars and restaurants are crucial sales channels.

Of course, many of these producers are in hospitality themselves, selling drinks and experiences direct-to-consumers in their own taprooms and cellar doors.

Social distancing has already curtailed sales through these avenues, which may temporarily cease to exist in the event of mandated closures like those already in place overseas.

Immediate impact

Dave Padden, founder of Sydney's Akasha Brewing Company, says keg sales have already dropped "dramatically" in recent days.

"If they are ordering at all, most of our venue customers are only buying a little bit of beer, because they expect to be shut down at any time," he says.

"We're now quickly shifting our beer that was already in tank into packaged format, because that's where all the demand is right now.

"People might be at home, but they are still going to drink."

Picking up online

Online retailers are already experiencing a boom in sales as we all try and make the best of the situation by enjoying a drink in the safety and comfort of home.

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Richard Kelsey, founder of craft beer retailer Beer Cartel, says sales are already up 50 per cent this month, compared to March 2019.

"It's pretty significant the change," he says. "We're seeing an increased volume of transactions and also spend per transactions.

"People are stockpiling, that's for sure."

Round the clock success

Mike Bennie of P&V Wine and Liquor Merchants also reports a surge in online sales for his popular bricks and mortar shop in Sydney's inner west.

"We currently have somebody working around the clock almost, to get as much as possible of our range online as we can manage," he says.

"It's been crazy, we have been so busy."

Success in new places

Retail expert Norrelle Goldring suggests the current unusual circumstances are a perfect storm for online alcohol sales.

"Consumers typically increase their spending on 'little luxuries' such as alcohol during an economic downturn, when they are unable to spend on bigger ticket items such as travel," she says.

"We will likely see drink-on-premise volume shift to packaged retail sales as people reduce going to bars, pubs and restaurants."

Small breweries such as Akasha have quickly responded to the new market dynamics by offering sales direct to consumers.

Cheers and collect

Locals can purchase by 'click and collect' from the company's Five Dock brewery, where their order will be sanitised and waiting for them at the brewery gates if they call in advance.

For people who are unwilling or unable to leave the home, Akasha is offering free delivery throughout the Sydney metropolitan area for a minimum spend of $50.

"It doesn't exactly close the gap in sales, but it's better than nothing," says Padden.

"The next few weeks are going to hurt a lot, but we're confident we can ride it out."

Now, more than ever, is the time to support 'the little guy', so look out for your favourite beer, wine and spirits producers by spending up big online.

Check out the gallery up top for a selection of online independent retailers championing local producers.

James Atkinson is creator of the Drinks Adventures podcast and a previous editor of Australian Brews News and drinks industry publication TheShout. A Certified Cicerone® and 2017 winner of the Australian International Beer Awards media prize, James regularly contributes to other publications including Halliday, Good Food, QantasLink Spirit and more.