Every state has different alcohol laws. These laws are designed to protect the general public but can be a little confusing when it comes down to it. If you’re in Alaska anytime soon, you must understand the alcohol laws for 2023.
In Alaska, you can buy beer 7 days a week. Bars, restaurants, breweries, and liquor stores sell beer and liquor every day from 8 a.m to 5 a.m. Most counties enforce shorter hours with most bars closing at 2 a.m. Beer and wine can be delivered but liquor cannot. Growlers are available at licensed retailers and breweries but only for their products.
Alaska’s alcohol laws might not be brow-raisers like other states’ laws, but it’s important to know the details, including where and when to get beer as well as drinking and driving penalties.
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Is Alaska a dry state?
Dry states are areas that prohibit or heavily restrict the sale, possession, or consumption of alcohol. Dry areas also encompass when and where you can buy alcohol. There are no dry states in the United States.
Alaska is not a dry state. State law allows the sale, possession, and consumption of alcohol. Although there are some restrictions, they are not strict enough to make Alaska a dry state.
Alaska allows its smaller localities, including villages, to enforce stricter laws.
Does Alaska have any dry counties?
Alaska lets its counties decide to turn dry. Additionally, smaller localities like Alaskan villages have the right to go dry.
Alaska does not have any dry counties. It does have dry villages, but state law permits the sale of alcohol and no counties have banned it altogether.
Local option communities in Alaska have the right to fully control alcohol sales, and each is wet, dry, or damp (allowing the consumption of alcohol but banning the sale of it).
When can you buy beer in Alaska?
States further restrict the sale of alcohol by only allowing it during certain times and on certain days. In Alaska, and many other states, localities reserve the right to enact stricter alcohol sales rules.
You can buy beer between 8 a.m. and 5 a.m. every day of the week in Alaska. Bars and restaurants can sell beer at the same time as licensed off-premise retailers. Most liquor stores, one of the only places to buy packaged alcohol, close at midnight.
Big cities tend to hold onto the 5 a.m. closing rule, but most smaller communities and counties close their bars around 2 a.m. daily.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Alaska?
Some states completely ban the sale of alcohol on Sundays. There are local communities in Alaska that prohibit alcohol sales and consumption altogether every day.
You can buy beer on Sunday in Alaska. Licensed stores are allowed to open from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. and can sell beer, wine, and liquor.
Just as communities reserve the right to enforce stricter alcohol laws overall, they can restrict Sunday sales times to smaller timeframes or ban Sunday sales.
When do bars close in Alaska?
Closing times for bars in Alaska are regulated at the state level, but local option communities can force them to close sooner.
Bars in Alaska close at 5 a.m. You can order drinks at the bar until closing time. Some localities close bars at 2 a.m.
The closing time in Alaska is one of the most lenient in the country, allowing almost 24-hour access.
Where can you buy beer in Alaska?
Another way states restrict the sale of and access to alcohol is by regulating where alcohol is sold. Sometimes, this is further restricted by allowing only certain types of alcohol to be sold.
The places you can buy beer in Alaska include:
- Bars and restaurants
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
Bars and restaurants
Alaska bars and restaurants can sell beer, wine, and liquor from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. every day of the week. Bars and restaurants can deliver alcohol in Juneau and Anchorage.
These locations cannot fill growlers.
Package and liquor stores
Package and liquor stores in Alaska can sell all types of alcohol from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily. These sales must be in original packaging and must be consumed off-premise. Liquor stores in Alaska are allowed to sell growlers.
Although state law makes these stores close at 5 a.m., most of them close around midnight or sooner.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms in Alasaka are permitted to open from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily. These locations vary individually for hours of operation, and none of them close at 5 a.m.
Most breweries in Alaska and other states remain closed at least one day of the week.
Can you get beer delivered in Alaska?
Recent years have seen an increase in the availability of alcohol delivery in many states. It’s becoming more common than ever, and Alaska is one of those states that has adopted a modernized approach.
Alcohol delivery is legal in Alaska. These laws come with the following rules:
- DoorDash and UberEats cannot deliver alcohol
- Alcohol deliveries are limited in price to twice the amount of the price of food ordered with the delivery
- Liquor cannot be delivered.
Liquor can be bought curbside at liquor stores, bars, distilleries, and other licensed businesses.
What is the minimum drinking age in Alaska?
The minimum drinking age in the United States is the same in every state.
The minimum drinking age in Alaska is 21.
Selling alcohol to a minor or furnishing them with it in any way will result in fines and possibly greater punishment. There are exceptions to this law in Alaska and other states, however.
Can minors drink beer in Alaska with parents?
An exception to the minimum drinking age is drinking with parents. Some states recognize a parent or guardian’s judgment as to when their child may try alcohol.
Minors can drink beer in Alaska if the beer is bought and provided by a parent, guardian, or of-age spouse inside a private residence.
Common exceptions across the country also include religious, medical or educational purposes.
State alcohol laws
Alcohol laws are different in every state. The general differences can be lumped into two types of states: control and license states.
Control states control the wholesaling, distribution, or both of certain types of alcohol–usually liquor. License states allow private retailers to manage the majority while control states manage the structure and licensing.
Alaska is a control state. It controls the wholesaling and distribution of alcohol within the state. Beer is only available at liquor stores in Alaska for off-premise consumption.
Alaska has made recent adjustments to its alcohol laws, including a recent change allowing beer and wine delivery. Liquor still cannot be delivered.
Drinking laws in Alaska
Alaska’s alcohol laws are both strict and lenient; you can go to the bar at 3 a.m. but you can’t buy a case of beer anywhere other than a liquor store.
The drinking laws in Alaska are designed to protect the general public. Alcohol is only available at select places, drinking and driving is a crime, growlers are regulated, and open containers are prohibited in most cases.
These laws are reasonable and in line with other states’ overall alcohol laws.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Alaska?
Growlers are a great opportunity to try beers from a specific brewery, especially if you’re aiming to share with friends. Some states outlaw growlers completely, but Alaska is not one of them.
You can buy growlers in Alaska. The growler must be filled at a licensed store or brewpub. Growlers cannot be filled at bars or restaurants and brewpubs and breweries can only sell growlers of beers they produce.
These growler laws are fairly lenient compared to several other states. Alaska still is strict on its open container laws.
Open containers are containers of alcohol where the seal is completely or partially broken and isn’t formally resealed. Once the seal is broken, it becomes an open container and you must follow the state’s open container laws.
Open containers are illegal in Alaska. It is illegal to have an open container in the passenger compartment of vehicles, including a utility and glove compartment.
The open container laws in Alaska extend to public transportation vehicles like taxis and limousines.
The open container law is one way of discouraging drinking and driving. The legal blood alcohol content is another way to deter reckless consumption of alcohol.
In Alaska, drinking and driving penalties depend on the age of the offender and the number of offenses. The legal BAC limit is 0.08% for all ages, and no one is allowed to drink and drive with a BAC exceeding the legal limit.
Alaska’s drinking laws are on par with other states and are designed to mitigate the number of drunk driving incidents.
Under 21 years old
Those convicted of drinking and driving under the age of 21 are subject to a $500 fine and 20-40 hours of community work service related to education about the prevention of alcohol abuse.
Subsequent penalties increase the severity of punishment. Second-time offenders face a $1,000 fine and serve 40-60 hours of community work service.
21 years and older
Those 21 and over convicted of a first-time DUI offense in Alaska face at least 72 hours in prison and a fine of at least $1,500. Their license will be suspended for at least 90 days.
Second-time offenders that are convicted within 15 years of their first offense face at least 60 days in prison and a $4,000 fine.