Connecticut Beer Laws in 2022 (Sunday Sales, Delivery, & Where To Buy)

If you’re planning to visit Connecticut, you probably want to know their beer laws. Knowing where and when you can get a beer can make a great visit even better.

In Connecticut, beer can be sold at liquor stores Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Bars can be open from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Keep reading to learn the basic details of Connecticut beer laws, including the hours you can buy beer (and on which days), whether or not you can get alcohol delivered, and the ramifications of drinking outside the law.

Is Connecticut a dry state?

Since the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933, the prohibition of alcohol has been up to the states.

Connecticut is not a dry state. Today, there are no U.S. States that prohibit alcohol or are considered a dry state.

You may find it interesting to know that Connecticut was one of only two states that did not ratify the Amendment that prohibited alcohol in the first place.

Does Connecticut have any dry counties?

Despite never being a dry state, Connecticut has had dry towns up until fairly recently.

There are currently no dry counties in Connecticut.

The last dry town was Bridgewater, which was dry until 2014. Bridgewater now allows the sale of alcohol in restaurants.

When can you buy beer in Connecticut?

While individual towns may set more restrictive hours, the state has specific time ranges when the sale of alcohol is legal. Usually, there are two main sets of restrictions. One is for on-premise sales, the other is for off-premise.

On-premise sales are those where the alcohol is intended to be consumed on-premise. This typically refers to bars and restaurants but can refer to other premises. On-premise sales in Connecticut are allowed as follows:

  • Monday-Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • Saturday – 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
  • Sunday – 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

On-premise sales are not allowed on Christmas Day unless the retailer also sells food. In that case, regular hourly restrictions apply. On New Year’s Day, the cutoff point is extended to 3:00 a.m.

Off-premise sales are those where the alcohol is intended to be consumed elsewhere. Liquor and grocery stores fit this category. In Connecticut, off-premise sales are legal:

  • Monday-Saturday – 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

These sales are illegal on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Can you buy beer on Sunday in Connecticut?

While the state of Connecticut allows the sale of alcohol on Sundays, it also allows towns to set further restrictions. Because of this, you may be able to buy beer on Sunday in certain towns but not others.

Public health guidelines might further restrict sale hours throughout the week. These can change rapidly based on case numbers and CDC recommendations. Be sure to stay updated with the current restrictions.

When do bars close in Connecticut?

Since bars fall under the on-premise category they have certain hours they are allowed to operate. Just like with Sunday sales, individual towns can decide to impose more hour restrictions. 

The latest a bar can stay open is 1:00 a.m. on Monday through Friday or 2:00 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday.

Additionally, public health guidelines can restrict hours. At the time of writing, the only restriction that might apply to bars is a midnight curfew for dining rooms.

Where can you buy beer in Connecticut?

Each business that sells alcohol must have a permit to do so.

Each come with their own permissions and restrictions. The different permits are for:

  • Bars and restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Package and liquor stores
  • Breweries and taprooms

Keep reading for more information about the permits and restrictions for each of these businesses.

Bars and restaurants

Bar and restaurants must be approved for an on-premises permit in order to sell alcohol.

As on-premise sellers, bars and restaurants in Connecticut may sell alcohol as follows:

  • Monday-Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Sunday – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Both bars and restaurants can sell draft, bottled, and various liquors and spirits for on-site consumption. They can also sell draft beer for off-site consumption as growlers. This is limited to 4 liters per person per day.

Restaurants may now sell alcohol as part of a delivery or curbside pickup order. The alcohol must be sealed unless purchasing a growler. The order is also required to include food.

Gas stations

Gas stations are off-premise sellers.

Gas stations in Connecticut can sell alcohol between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, sales are restricted to 10:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. The gas station will likely be open beyond these hours.

All alcohol must be sealed. Beer is the only type of alcohol sold. Growlers are not available for sale.

Grocery stores

Grocery stores follow off-premise sale restrictions.

No matter the hours the grocery store is open, they can only sell beer during these hours:

  • Monday-Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Sunday – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

They may only sell beer and only in sealed containers.

Package and liquor stores

Package stores are another off-premise seller.

They may sell beer, wine, and liquor during the previously mentioned hours:

  • Monday-Friday – 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
  • Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Sunday – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

You can’t fill a growler at a liquor store. Free samples are legal within regular operating hours.

Breweries and taprooms

Breweries and taprooms can be both off-premise and on-premise sellers. Most of the time, they are purposefully distanced from consumers since Connecticut uses the three-tier system. When selling to consumers as either off or on-premise sales there are a few restrictions.

Breweries that produce all types of alcohol can only sell 1.5 liters to one person with a max of 5 gallons in one two-month period. Beer breweries can sell up to 9 liters per person per day. 

Breweries can fill growlers though there are some restrictions. They can only fill the containers that they provided.

Can you get beer delivered in Connecticut?

The allowance for beer delivery is currently active until 2024 in Connecticut.

You can get beer delivered in Connecticut. This is available with a few different options including grocery deliveries, food delivery, and package stores. If ordering from a restaurant you must also order food.

What is the minimum drinking age in Connecticut?

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21, but some states make limited exceptions for 18-20-year-olds who are at home and under the supervision of a parent.

The minimum age to drink or purchase alcohol is 21 in Connecticut. However, there are some exemptions.

Keep reading for more details about exceptions to the standard drinking age in Connecticut.

Can minors drink beer in Connecticut with parents?

Minors are allowed to drink beer in Connecticut with the consent and supervision of their parents.

Connecticut laws allow for minors to consume alcohol with parental consent in the physical presence of their parent or guardian. The parent assumes all responsibility should the minor cause damage or injury during or after drinking. 

This also applies to spouses when one is under the age of 21. The spouse over 21 must give consent, supervise and assume responsibility for the minor spouse during and after consuming alcohol.

Drinking laws in Connecticut

Many of the drinking laws in Connecticut are fairly standard. There are a few outliers, but not too many. In general, Connecticut cracks down hard on driving under the influence.

Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Connecticut?

It is possible to get a growler or half-growler at a couple of locations as long as conditions are met.

You can buy a growler from a brewery, restaurant, or bar but they may only refill a container that they originally provided. Personal containers will be turned away. 

One further restriction is the max of 4 liters per person per day.

Open container

Connecticut is one of the few states that does not have an open container law.

Drivers over 21 can have open alcohol in the car as long as they are not drinking it. Those under 21 can’t and any alcohol closed or not can result in a 60-day suspension of their license.

As long as the passenger is older than 21 they can even drink in the car. Drinking and driving is still illegal, however.

Driving

Connecticut takes OUIs (Operating Under the Influence) seriously.

Blood alcohol content tests are enforced with a 45-day license suspension and an ignition interlock device (IID) if refused. The first time you refuse the test you get the IID for 1 year, the second gets you 2 years, and 3 the third time.

Even after the test, BAC is not required for conviction. What is considered more important is how impaired the driver was.

Under 21 years old

The standard minimum drinking age in Connecticut is 21 years old. What happens if you’re pulled over drinking and driving underage?

The legal BAC limit for anyone under 21 is 0.02. If you fail the BAC test you will have to pay to have an IID installed. The length of time is determined by the number of offenses:

  • First offense – 1 year
  • Second offense – 2 years
  • Third offense – 3 years

An OUI conviction also comes with plenty more penalties.

The first conviction will get you jail time between 48 hours and 6 months, a fine between $500 and $1,000, and your license suspended for 45 days.

The second will get you jail time between 120 days and 2 years, a fine between $1,000 and $4,000, and a 45-day license suspension.

The third will get you 1 to 3 years in jail, a fine between $2,000 and $8,000, and you will lose your license permanently. However, there is a chance to get your license back after two years.

21 years and older

Once you’re of legal drinking age, the BAC limit goes up and the penalties are slightly reduced.

For anyone over 21, the legal BAC limit is 0.08. If your BAC is above this limit you will be required to install an IID.

  • First offense – 6 months
  • Second offense – 1 year
  • Third offense – 2 years

The rest of the penalties for an OUI are the same whether you are younger or older than 21.

For the first conviction, you can be fined up to $1,000, jailed for 6 months, and have your license suspended for 45 days.

A subsequent conviction can result in up to $4,000 in fines, 2 years jail time, and the same suspension.

A third conviction can get you up to $8,000 in fines, 3 years in jail, and a permanent license suspension.