New Jersey has some odd beer laws, including many county-run alcohol sales regulations. What are New Jersey’s beer laws and when can you buy beer in New Jersey? What else should we know about the Garden State’s beer laws?
Read on for an in-depth and complete guide to New Jersey’s beer laws and when you can buy beer from each type of location.
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Is New Jersey a dry state?
A dry state is one where the sale of alcohol is prohibited or greatly restricted. There are no dry states in the United States.
New Jersey is not a dry state. Some counties and towns in New Jersey are dry. Local ordinances have permission to vote on alcohol sales and whether or not to enforce stricter laws regarding them.
Although the state allows locations like bars to be open until 2 a.m., some counties in New Jersey may choose to have them close earlier.
Does New Jersey have any dry counties?
New Jersey does not have any dry counties. It does, however, have 30 dry municipalities.
New Jersey has no dry counties but it does have 30 dry municipalities where the retail sale of alcohol is illegal. These dry towns cannot forbid the consumption, transportation, or possession of alcohol.
Some dry towns permit alcohol sales if it’s produced on site. Ocean City, New Jersey, a popular vacation destination, has been dry since it was founded in 1879.
When can you buy beer in New Jersey?
New Jersey has some funky beer laws. When can you buy beer in this state?
You can buy beer in New Jersey from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. any day of the week at bars and restaurants. Some municipalities limit hours by ordinance or referendum, oftentimes including strict Sunday sales laws. Retail licenses can sell beer at any time the municipality has permitted the sale of it, but never outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
In Atlantic City, New Jersey, there are no closing times – alcohol can be purchased in casinos and bars 24 hours a day.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in New Jersey?
Beer can be purchased on Sundays in New Jersey.
On Sundays in New Jersey, beer can be purchased from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. if there are no municipal laws against Sunday sales during those times. Beer can be bought from retailers, bars, and restaurants on Sundays.
Sunday sales times vary in some towns – some might not permit them at all and some may limit the hours.
When do bars close in New Jersey?
Bars in New Jersey often close at the discretion of the ordinance in which they reside.
Most cities in New Jersey require bars to close at 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday. Municipalities reserve the right to enforce stricter laws regarding closing times for bars.
Bars in Atlantic City can remain open all hours of the day, including Sunday.
Where can you buy beer in New Jersey?
New Jersey permits the sale of beer in a handful of different establishments across the state.
In New Jersey, you can buy beer at:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
We’ve provided specific details for when to buy beer at each of these locations. Take note that these locations often dictate hours of operation and beer sales based on the municipality they reside.
Bars and restaurants
In New Jersey, you can buy beer in bars and restaurants from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. any day, but some municipalities can enforce stricter hours of operation. Not every bar or restaurant will be open until 2 a.m.
Bars and restaurants in New Jersey can sell beer on draft and in cans or bottles.
B.Y.O.B. is common practice in non-licensed New Jersey restaurants, allowing customers to bring their own beer in some municipalities.
Gas stations in New Jersey can technically sell beer, but only two locations per chain can have a license at once.
Fewer gas stations in New Jersey sell beer than ones that do. Only two licenses are permitted per chain. For example, only two Sonocos in New Jersey will sell beer among the total number of Sonoco gas stations in the state.
Gas stations that do sell beer can sell it any time they’re permitted to by the municipality, usually until 10 p.m. They can sell beer in cans or bottles.
Grocery stores in New Jersey operate in the same way as gas stations, as they are only permitted two licenses per the total number of stores under the same name. For example, only two ACME Supermarkets will sell beer out of all the ACME Supermarkets in the state of New Jersey.
These grocery stores can sell beer from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and can sell it in cans and bottles.
Package and liquor stores
New Jersey package and liquor stores can sell beer from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Depending on the municipality, these locations can close earlier but can not open earlier.
These locations sell beer in cans and bottles in any quantity and are usually the largest place to find beer in New Jersey. They are permitted to offer growler fills.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries in New Jersey are permitted to sell alcohol from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. but the hours of operation are dependent on the town it resides.
These locations can sell beer on draft and in cans or bottles. They can also fill and sell growlers.
Can you get beer delivered in New Jersey?
Beer delivery in New Jersey is a new idea as of 2020, but it’s allowed.
You can get beer delivered in New Jersey by licensed establishments. The licensee assumes all responsibility for the delivery and must ensure the beer is delivered to someone of the legal drinking age. Beer can only be delivered in A.B.C. licensed vehicles.
Companies like Minibar and Drizly offer third-party delivery in New Jersey.
What is the minimum drinking age in New Jersey?
Some states allow minors to have a beer with their parents during dinner or for religious purposes. Is New Jersey one of those states?
The minimum drinking age in New Jersey is 21.
There are exceptions to this rule for minors at home with parents or during religious events.
Can minors drink beer in Texas with parents?
New Jersey has an exception that lets minors legally drink alcohol.
New Jersey does allow minors ages 18-20 to drink at home with parents or for religious purposes.
Minors cannot purchase or consume alcohol in public or without parental guidance inside of their home.
Drinking laws in New Jersey
New Jersey has odd drinking laws that are up in the air for a lot of municipalities. It lets the local ordinances decide when to open and close up shop.
In general, New Jersey beer sales laws are strict and it can sometimes be hard to find a place with a large variety of beer. Outside of breweries, bars, and restaurants, package stores like Joe Canal’s are your best hope for finding a wide selection.
New Jersey is one of the few states that allows bar owners or employees to give out a free drink as long as it’s not advertised.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in New Jersey?
Growlers are one of the best ways to try new beer in New Jersey.
You can buy growlers in New Jersey and you can also get them refilled at breweries or select package stores.
Check here for a partial list of retailers in New Jersey with growler fill stations.
It’s illegal to have an open container outside of an on-premise location in New Jersey.
New Jersey law prohibits any open containers in vehicles, public buildings, or on the street. Exceptions to this law include:
- The container is stored in the trunk of a vehicle
- The person is a passenger in a limousine or public bus
- They’re in a mobile home or a camper.
A first offense of New Jersey’s open-container law will result in a $200 fine.
It is illegal to drink and drive in New Jersey.
Your blood alcohol content may not exceed 0.08% without penalty.
Under 21 years old
New Jersey has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving under the age of 21.
If you’re under 21 and register a BAC of 0.01% to 0.079%, you can expect the following punishments:
- Suspended license for up to 90 days
- Up to 30 days of mandatory community service
- Required attendance at the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center
21 years and older
A first-time violation of this law for drivers 21 years and older will result in the following:
- Up to a $400 fine
- 30 days of jail time
- Required Ignition Interlock System installation before regaining driver’s license
- Three months with the IIS
- A minimum of six hours a day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
- An annual automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years.
Summary of New Jersey’s beer and alcohol laws
In New Jersey, you can buy beer in cans, bottles, and on draft from bars, breweries, and restaurants from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday. You can buy beer in cans and bottles and get growlers filled at retail locations from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. any day. Counties can vote to enforce stricter sales. Alcohol delivery is available.