There is a myriad of laws surrounding alcohol sales in the United States and it seems as if each state has its own rules and regulations on the subject. What are Minnesota’s beer and alcohol laws?
In Minnesota, you can buy beer on tap and in cans and bottles at bars and restaurants. These locations are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and on Sunday with a permit. Liquor stores sell beer in cans and bottles Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday with a Sunday sale permit.
Continue reading for a comprehensive look at Minnesota’s beer laws, as well as when and where you can buy beer in Minnesota.
Is Minnesota a dry state?
An area that does not permit or greatly restricts the sale of alcohol is considered “dry.” There are no dry states.
Minnesota is not a dry state. Minnesota counties reserve the right to enforce stricter alcohol sales and consumption laws than those in place at the state level. Bars and restaurants are allowed to serve beer in any county, but no gas stations or grocery stores in the state can sell beer greater than 3.2% ABV.
Minnesota does not allow Sunday alcohol sales without a Sunday sale permit.
Does Minnesota have any dry counties?
Minnesota is a wet state. Does it have any dry counties, though?
Minnesota does not have any dry counties. However, alcohol is not allowed to be sold on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.
Although there are no dry counties in Minnesota, some smaller ordinances enforce stricter alcohol sales laws.
When can you buy beer in Minnesota?
Minnesota has a handful of restrictions on when and where to buy beer.
In Minnesota, you can buy beer at bars and restaurants Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. only if the establishment has a Sunday sale permit. Retailers sell beer Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
There are no off-premise sales allowed on Thanksgiving and after 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and through Christmas Day.
Minnesota state alcohol laws
Minnesota’s alcohol laws are essentially the same across the board for liquor, wine, and beer with a few exceptions.
In Minnesota, all locations that sell liquor and wine can also sell beer if they purchase the corresponding permit. There are no state-run liquor stores. Gas stations and grocery stores are only allowed to sell beer of 3.2% ABV or less.
Restaurants in Minnesota with a wine license can serve wine up to 24% alcohol.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Minnesota?
Sunday sales times for alcohol in Minnesota are somewhat different than weekday times.
In Minnesota, you can buy beer on Sundays. Restaurants and bars, by default, are not allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays unless they have a Sunday sale permit. In that case, these locations can sell beer from 8 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday. Liquor stores in Minnesota sell beer from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Liquor stores in Minnesota are closed on Thanksgiving and after 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and through Christmas Day.
When do bars close in Minnesota?
What time should you expect the bars in Minnesota to close?
In Minnesota, the bars are open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. They are closed or can not sell alcohol on Sundays unless they purchase a Sunday sale permit. If they purchase a permit, they are allowed to open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Bars that are connected to restaurants can open on Sunday but can’t sell beer or alcohol with the Sunday permit.
Where can you buy beer in Minnesota?
Minnesota is very structured regarding where you can buy beer. Some types of retailers are restricted to selling beer of 3.2% ABV or lower.
There are still several places to buy beer in Minnesota, including:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
Note: Sunday alcohol sales at on-premise locations in Minnesota are forbidden without the purchase of a Sunday sales permit. Some establishments do not possess the permit and therefore cannot sell alcohol on Sundays.
Bars and restaurants
Bars and restaurants sell beer in Minnesota from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. With a Sunday sales permit, they can sell beer from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sundays.
Bars and restaurants sell beer on tap and in singular cans or bottles. These locations can sell beer and wine to go in their original packaging. In this case, beer cannot exceed 72 ounces and wine cannot exceed 750 milliliters per order.
Gas stations in Minnesota are only allowed to sell 3.2% or lower ABV beer. These locations can sell beer from open to close and hours vary between the establishment, although most are open 24/7.
Gas stations may sell these low ABV beers in cans or bottles.
Grocery stores in Minnesota can sell beer if it’s 3.2% or lower. They can sell beer from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Sundays unless they purchase a Sunday sale permit, in which case they can sell beer during the same times.
Grocery stores don’t sell wine or liquor. They only sell beer with a maximum of 3.2% ABV in cans or bottles.
Liquor stores in Minnesota are the only place where you can buy beer for off-premise consumption above 3.2% ABV. They are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. They can only open on Sundays if they have a Sunday sales permit, in which case they’re legally allowed to open between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Liquor stores in Minnesota sell beer in cans or bottles by the case or in smaller quantities like 6-packs or single 24 oz. cans.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms in Minnesota can open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, but most close by 11 p.m. Sunday sales are permitted without a permit.
These locations can sell beer on draft, in growlers, and in cans and bottles.
Can you get beer delivered in Minnesota?
Despite Minnesota’s relatively strict alcohol laws, beer delivery is available.
You can get beer and other alcohol delivered in Minnesota by liquor stores. There is no law saying otherwise, but all liquor stores must abide by general laws regarding the distribution, importation, and delivery of alcohol when delivering to the customer.
What is the minimum drinking age in Minnesota?
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Some states make exceptions to this rule under very specific circumstances, including Minnesota.
The legal drinking age in Minnesota is 21 years old.
You must be 18 years old or older to sell or serve alcohol in Minnesota. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy or attempt to buy beer in Minnesota.
Under Minnesota law, a person is not considered 21 years old until 8 a.m. on their birthday and cannot purchase or consume alcohol until then.
Can minors drink beer in Minnesota with their parents?
Minnesota allows minors to drink beer with their parents.
In Minnesota, minors are permitted to drink beer or other alcoholic beverages with their parent or legal guardian if:
- the parent or guardian allows it,
- the parent is aware that the minor is drinking alcohol, and
- it’s occurring in a private residence.
Drinking laws in Minnesota
Minnesota’s drinking laws are lagging behind those of the other 49 states.
Minnesota is the only state in the United States that still restricts the sale of beer in grocery stores and gas stations to 3.2% or less ABV beers.
Although the 3.2% ABV beer law seems outdated, Minnesota is progressive in that it does not have any dry counties and it lets such localities hold referendums to further restrict alcohol sales. Additionally, it allows alcohol delivery, whereas other states do not.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Minnesota?
Growlers are a great way to try beers from a location without sitting down at their brewery or taproom or to try more beers from a brewery you’re fond of.
You can buy growlers in Minnesota from breweries. These breweries are permitted to fill up to 64 oz. growler containers.
This wasn’t the case until earlier May 2022 when the “Free the Growler” bill was passed in May.
Open containers are illegal in Minnesota.
In Minnesota, it is illegal for a person to possess an open container of alcohol while driving or walking. This includes all types of alcohol, including 3.2% ABV beers.
Driving under the influence is illegal in Minnesota.
The blood-alcohol content limit while driving is 0.08%.
Under 21 years old
It is illegal for anyone underage to drink and drive in the state of Minnesota.
Anyone convicted of drinking and driving under the age of 21 is guilty of a misdemeanor. The offender will lose their license for 30 days for a first offense.
21 years and older
The BAC limit for those 21 years old and older is 0.08%. Drivers can be arrested for driving while impaired at lower levels.
First-time offenders will receive potential jail time and a minimum 30-day license suspension. First-time offenders arrested at twice the legal limit (0.16% BAC) will be required to use an ignition interlock system.