Pennsylvania has some of the trickiest beer laws in the United States. From beer distributors to recent DUI law changes, it can be difficult to pinpoint this year’s laws and other rules. What exactly are Pennsylvania’s beer laws? When and where can you buy beer in Pennsylvania?
Continue reading for a complete guide to Pennsylvania’s beer laws, including when and where to buy beer and the rules surrounding it.
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Is Pennsylvania a dry state?
A dry state does not allow the sale or consumption of alcohol. There are currently no dry states in the U.S.
Pennsylvania is not a dry state. There are no dry counties in Pennsylvania, but some municipalities have voted to become dry at the local level.
Continue reading for a full list of these municipalities.
Does Pennsylvania have any dry counties?
Although Pennsylvania doesn’t have any dry counties, several municipalities are dry.
Pennsylvania does not have any dry counties. However, as of February 2022, 675 municipalities in Pennsylvania are at least partially dry.
For a complete list of dry municipalities in Pennsylvania, check out this Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board chart.
When can you buy beer in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania is widely known for its restrictions and requirements for selling or buying beer. With these stipulations, when can you buy beer?
Licensed retail locations, including bars and restaurants, can sell beer between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. These places can sell beer on Sunday with a proper permit from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Let’s dig deeper into the specifics around when and where to buy beer in Pennsylvania, including Sunday sales times.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Pennsylvania?
Beer can be purchased on Sundays in Pennsylvania, but each type of location retains certain stipulations.
On Sundays in Pennsylvania, bars, and restaurants can sell beer between 9 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday morning. Beer distributors and breweries can sell beer on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a Sunday Sales Permit. Retailers with eating places or ‘cafes’ may sell beer on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday morning.
Specific locations with the required licenses may open later on Sundays but are not allowed to open earlier.
When do bars close in Pennsylvania?
At what point do the bars in Pennsylvania close for the night?
In Pennsylvania, bars are open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. All alcohol must be removed from tables and bars by 2:30. Bars that are connected to restaurants often close at midnight.
No drink sales are allowed after 2 a.m., but the establishment may stay open later than 2:30 a.m. if it possesses an extended hours food permit.
Where can you buy beer in Pennsylvania?
The main place to buy beer in Pennsylvania is a licensed beer distributor. Other locations to buy beer include:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Breweries and taprooms
Each of these locations requires a specific license to sell beer, and each requires a Sunday Sales permit to sell beer on Sundays.
Continue reading for specific information on buying beer from these places, including times, types, and quantities.
Beer distributors – the main retail location type for beer sales in the state – in Pennsylvania can sell beer Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. These locations can sell beer on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a Sunday Sales Permit.
There is no limit to the amount of alcohol you can purchase per transaction at Pennsylvania beer distributors. Beer distributors in Pennsylvania can sell cans or bottles in cases, 12- or 6-packs, or as singles, as well as singular 19-25oz. cans. They can also sell kegs and fill growlers.
Bars and restaurants
In Pennsylvania, bars and restaurants can sell beer from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, these locations can sell beer between 9 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday morning if they possess a Sunday sales permit.
These locations are only allowed to sell beer for on-premise consumption and don’t provide any type of to-go sales. Bars and restaurants can sell beer on draft as well as single bottles or cans.
Gas stations in Pennsylvania can sell beer from Monday at 2 a.m. until midnight Saturday. These gas stations are permitted to sell beer with a specific license that allows up to two 6-packs per transaction.
Gas stations can sell beer in 12 oz cans or bottles in 6- or 12-packs. They can also sell beer in 19 or 25oz cans, depending on the ABV.
Grocery stores in Pennsylvania are allowed to sell beer under the same restrictions as gas stations with some hour-of-operation contingencies.
Pennsylvania grocery stores can sell beer Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. through an interior connection to the grocery store. Grocery stores in Pennsylvania can sell beer on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. with a Sunday Sales Permit. Most grocery stores, however, are not open until 2 a.m.
Grocery stores have a 192 fl. oz. maximum on beer sales. These stores sell cans and bottles of beer and anything more than the 192 fl. oz. limit requires an additional transaction.
Package and liquor stores
Liquor stores in Pennsylvania are run by the state and can not sell beer.
Pennsylvania liquor stores – Wine and Spirits – cannot sell beer.
These stores are state-run and sell only liquor and wine, and other liquor- or wine-based products.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms in Pennsylvania are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for on-premise consumption. A Sunday Sales Permit is required for off-premise beer sales on Sunday, but not for on-premise.
Pennsylvania breweries and taprooms can sell beer on tap and can also sell beer for off-premise consumption. This often includes 6- or 12-packs, 15-pack varieties, or packaged growlers.
Can you get beer delivered in Pennsylvania?
You can get beer delivered in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania beer delivery is legal and is an option for breweries and restaurants. These locations may sell and deliver beer between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday with a Sunday Sales Permit. You can also get beer through curbside pickup.
These locations can partner with delivery services like GoPuff or they can offer in-house delivery options. However, Drizly.com, the leading delivery service for beer, is currently unavailable in Pennsylvania.
What is the minimum drinking age in Pennsylvania?
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. There are exceptions to this rule in some states, but not in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, the minimum drinking age is 21.
Anyone selling alcohol in Pennsylvania is required to check the I.D. of anyone that they presume is under the age of 35. If the buyer is accompanied by another person and the buyer is thought to be under 35 years old, the seller must check the I.D. of each person in the purchasing party.
Can minors drink beer in Pennsylvania with parents?
In some states, minors can have a beer at dinner with parents or at religious gatherings – not in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, minors are not permitted to drink beer or other alcohol for any reason.
A person under the age of 21 can be arrested and charged for the consumption of alcohol through association, usually at large gatherings like parties where it is deemed impractical to issue individual chemical tests.
Drinking laws in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s drinking laws get right to the point.
In Pennsylvania, beer distributors can sell growlers, open containers are mostly illegal, and the DUI laws and penalties are contingent on age and number of prior offenses.
Pennsylvania’s drinking laws have recently evolved and make things safer for its residents.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania has come a long way with its beer sale laws; the state didn’t allow the sale of 6-packs until 2016.
In Pennsylvania, you can buy growlers. Breweries and taprooms can sell or fill them, and Pennsylvania beer distributors are permitted to do the same.
Click here for a full list of breweries in Pennsylvania.
Open containers are not permitted in Pennsylvania.
Open containers are illegal in Pennsylvania and apply to drivers or passengers in motor vehicles. Penalties for violating Pennsylvania’s open container laws include a summary offense of $300 and/or up to 90 days in jail.
There are a few exceptions to this law, including passengers in taxis, buses, or RVs.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Pennsylvania. Those under the age of 21 have stricter laws than those 21 and older.
BAC may not exceed 0.08% for 21-year-olds or 0.02% for those under 21.
Under 21 years old
Pennsylvania has a zero-tolerance law for underage DUI.
Those under 21 who are convicted of driving under the influence with or greater than a .02 blood alcohol content (BAC) face severe penalties, including a 12- to 18-month license suspension, 48 hours to six months in jail and a $500 to $5,000 fine.
First-time and repeat offenders require the installation of an Ignition Interlock System in their vehicle to help prevent any further driving under the influence.
21 years and older
The drinking and driving laws for those 21 years and older are tier-based and cater to the treatment of first-time offenders.
The legal limit for those 21 and older is 0.08% BAC. There are three levels or tiers to DUI legislation in Pennsylvania:
- General Impairment (.08 to .099% BAC)
- High BAC (.10 to .159% BAC)
- Highest BAC (.16% and higher)
Summary of Pennsylvania’s beer and alcohol laws
In Pennsylvania, you can buy beer in bottles, cans, and kegs from privately owned beer distributors. Retail locations, including bars and restaurants, can sell beer from 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday with a permit. Some locations limit the amount purchasable at a time. Delivery is available.