New liquor delivery service will bring snacks, cigarettes, too

Thomas Towles at his business, Hops2Go, a beer delivery service for beer, wine and liquor in Lexington.
Thomas Towles at his business, Hops2Go, a beer delivery service for beer, wine and liquor in Lexington.

Have a thirst for adult beverages but don’t want to leave the couch?

If you live in Lexington, Hops 2 Go has you covered. The business uses route mapping software to plot deliveries from its two refrigerated trucks across Fayette County.

Customers can choose from a selection of beer, wine, liquor and snacks such as chips and a cheese platter. The business opened in May at 211 Rosemont Garden — between the University of Kentucky campus and Southland Drive in a former auto parts store — and also sells to walk-in customers, to whom it offers a 10 percent discount. Initially a beer delivery service, it added wine and liquor in late June.

It also offers tobacco products.

Unlike many liquor stores, Hops 2 Go has an in-store chalkboard listing its offerings and prices, and an attendant will pick up products from the warehouse and the beer/wine fridge for walk-in customers. Customers for both on-site and delivery are required to produce valid identification proving they are 21 or older.

Thomas Towles is president of Hops 2 Go, which he said is funded by a silent partner with ties to the area horse industry. Towles is the brother of former University of Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles.

The company has a cordial relationship with local law enforcement and alcoholic beverage enforcement regulators, he said.

Sergeant Marcus Sell of the Lexington police said that the Alcoholic Beverage Control unit has no problems with what Hops 2 Go does: Delivering beer has long been legal, and new laws went into effect on June 29 that allow the delivery of liquor, wine and malt beverages as well.

Other Lexington vendors have submitted inquiries about liquor delivery, Sell said.

Although the company marks up prices for its products, delivery is free and tipping is not required. Discounts are also available: 20 percent off Monday-Friday for “Hoppy Hour” from 5-7 p.m., and 15 percent off for military and first responders.

Customer trends are not yet evident because the concept of delivery liquor is so new for Lexingtonians, Towles said. In other areas of the country, liquor delivery service in taken for granted. Kentucky’s more restrictive laws still prohibit grocery stores from selling wine, although drug stores can sell wine and liquor.

“Anybody who drinks is who we’re trying to target,” Towles said.

Towles, 27, who attended Transylvania and Northern Kentucky universities, lives in Winchester with his wife Lauren, who does social media for Hops 2 Go, and their young daughter Fallon.

Demand is expected to get stronger when UK begins its fall semester, but the company’s billboard advertising and word of mouth has already taken hold: On Monday morning shortly after 10 a.m., Towles picked up the phone for a potential customer who wanted a big bottle of liquor delivered.

Towles had to ask the customer to call back at 5 p.m. for a cocktail hour delivery.

Cheryl Truman: 859-231-3202, @CherylTruman

Hops 2 Go, 211 Rosemont Garden, 859-888-2337.

Hours: Sun.: noon to 11 p.m.; Mon.-Tues.: 5-11 p.m. ;Wed.: 5 p.m.-midnight; Thurs.-Fri.: 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sat.: noon - 1 a.m.