Frequently Asked Questions

Is it generally against federal and state law for beverage alcohol brands to sell directly to consumers, but Thirstie helps make it possible to buy on a brand’s website? How do you achieve this while complying with alcohol industry regulatory requirements?

Thirstie works within the laws of the three-tier system by giving consumers, who visit online Brand websites, the ability to purchase their desired products online from duly licensed retailers participating on the Thirstie platform. While the entire e-commerce experience is powered by Thirstie, our platform is supported by a robust network of licensed beverage alcohol retailers that are available for fulfilment needs across the country. In compliance with applicable federal and state beverage alcohol laws, these retailers independently determine pricing and product availability. Thirstie also integrates with a participating retailer’s common carrier account instead of using its own, so that the retailer controls, and is responsible for, the delivery of beverage alcohol products it sells to online consumers.

Thirstie works with the retailer to route orders using a proprietary retail selection algorithm void of human bias. Thirstie’s retailer network provides multiple retailers within each market -- most other platforms allow retailers to have exclusive coverage in at least some markets.

All beverage alcohol brands that Thirstie e-commerce enables have to include clear messaging that alcohol purchases are consummated and fulfilled by licensed retailers and that the brand is not a party to any part of the transaction. In essence, the brand website is operated by Thirstie, an independent company, and that any orders involving the sale of alcohol will be consummated and fulfilled by a licensed liquor retailer on the Thirstie network.

To date, Thirstie has shared its model with multiple beverage alcohol regulators and advisors and pursues continued cooperation with both to ensure that the Thirstie model is always at the forefront of beverage alcohol compliance.

Laws about alcohol sales differ by state. What measures are you taking to make sure that you are compliant in all states you operate in?

The Thirstie team has years of experience in understanding beverage alcohol law, and regularly consults with leaders in legal and regulatory affairs; many of whom serve on our board. The regulatory diligence process we go through is rigorous by design -- it is not only what our customers demand, but our industry requires. We understand precisely what is permitted state to state and county to county and have built our platform to reflect these legal complexities. As a result, our solution will not permit a customer to complete a transaction that is impermissible in their marketplace.

Regulations can be quite different state to state. Our platform was designed to adjust to these different requirements state by state, in a highly compliant manner.

How do you ensure that the liquor retailers you work with are also within regulation?

Thirstie is an open platform, a platform that legally any retailer can join. However, retailers have a set of criteria they must meet, including the demonstration of full compliance with federal and state laws, before being admitted to the Thirstie platform.

How is Thirstie’s solution different from other third party e-commerce websites?

Thirstie is an open platform available to all retailers. However, these retailers must meet a certain e-commerce performance criteria, including demonstration of current compliance with federal, state, and local laws, before being admitted to the Thirstie platform.

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