There is a myriad of different laws amongst the 50 states regarding alcohol sales times and other regulations surrounding beer, wine, and liquor. What are Virginia’s beer laws and what should you know about them?
In Virginia, you can buy bottles, cans, kegs, and draft beer from retail locations, bars, and restaurants every day of the week. Retailers can sell beer from Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight or until 2 a.m. with a mixed beverage license. Alcohol delivery is available and casinos can sell beer later than anyone.
Continue reading for a comprehensive guide to Virginia’s beer laws and specific details on where and when to buy beer.
Is Virginia a dry state?
A ‘dry’ state is one where alcohol sales are illegal or largely prohibited throughout the state. There are no dry states though, and the sale of alcohol is permitted in all states.
Virginia is not a dry state, but nine counties in Virginia are dry in that sale of distilled spirits is illegal. Virginia cities are not subject to county laws as they are independent of state law and all Virginia cities are wet.
Interestingly, the sale of distilled spirits in those nine counties is illegal only in retail form, and the law doesn’t include beer!
Does Virginia have any dry counties?
Although Virginia is not a dry state, it has nine dry counties.
Virginia’s nine dry counties include:
These nine counties are totally dry and the sale of alcohol is illegal. An additional 31 counties in Virginia are dry in some areas.
When can you buy beer in Virginia?
Virginia’s alcohol sales times are straight to the point and easy to follow.
Virginia permits alcohol sales for on-and off-premise locations Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight. On-premises locations like bars and restaurants can stay open until 2 a.m. with a mixed beverage license.
Standard law does not permit locations to sell beer after midnight without the proper license.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Virginia?
Some states don’t allow the sale of beer or other types of alcohol on Sundays. It wasn’t until July 2012 that Sunday sales were made legal in Virginia.
In Virginia, you can buy beer on Sunday from on-premise establishments from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. in mixed beverage localities, or from 6:00 a.m. until midnight in other localities. Off-premise locations may sell beer on Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Monday through Saturday, beer can be purchased from 6 a.m. to midnight.
When do bars close in Virginia?
When is closing time for bars in Virginia?
Bars in Virginia are open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday with a mixed beverage license, or 6 a.m. to midnight any day of the week without the license.
Only bars and other on-premise locations with a mixed beverage license can stay open until 2 a.m.
Where can you buy beer in Virginia?
Do retailers like gas stations and grocery stores sell beer in Virginia?
There are several places you can buy beer in Virginia, including:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Breweries and taprooms
The following list provides specific details for each beer seller in Virginia, including hours of sale and quantity and size of purchasable beer.
Take note: on-premise locations like bars, restaurants, and breweries require a mixed beverage license to stay open from midnight to 2 a.m. Although many of these locations have the license, the standard law is that they’re required to close at midnight.
Bars and restaurants
Bars and restaurants in Virginia are allowed to sell beer from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday. These locations are permitted to have a happy hour.
These locations offer beer on tap and in cans or bottles. Beer can be sold to-go from on-premise locations through July 2022 with the chance for the law to be extended.
Gas stations in Virginia can sell packaged beer from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday.
These locations can sell beer in bottles or cans as well as low ABV wine, but not liquor. They cannot sell alcohol on Christmas.
Similar to gas stations, grocery stores in Virginia can sell beer Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Grocery stores can sell beer in cans or bottles. They cannot sell alcohol on Christmas.
Breweries and taprooms
In Virginia, breweries and taprooms are allowed to sell beer from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday.
These locations can sell beer on draft and in cans or bottles, and can also rent out kegs and fill growlers. Breweries in Virginia can deliver up to two cases of beer per month directly to your home.
Can you get beer delivered in Virginia?
Beer delivery is available in Virginia.
You can get beer delivered from restaurants and breweries Monday through Friday in Virginia. Retail locations offer same-day delivery if you’re in a 5-mile radius. Orders placed from these locations may take 2-3 days for delivery if they’re palace on Friday.
For a full list of delivery options from retailers in Virginia, click here.
What is the minimum drinking age in Virginia?
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Some states, including Virginia, make exceptions to that rule for 18-20-year-olds during dinner with parents or for religious purposes.
The minimum drinking age in Virginia is 21. However, minors are permitted to have a drink with their parents or a spouse of legal drinking on private, non-alcohol-selling premises.
Minors are not allowed to purchase alcohol or consume it for any reason outside of a private residence with a parent or 21-year-old spouse.
Can minors drink beer in Virginia with parents?
Minors can drink beer in Virginia with their parents.
In Virginia, minors are permitted to drink a beer with their parents on a private, residential premise.
This is only an exception and the legal drinking age in Virginia is 21 years old.
Drinking laws in Virginia
Virginia’s alcohol laws are easy to follow. There are only a handful of dry counties, but the laws throughout the state are straightforward.
Beer is generally legal in Virginia. Outside of the nine dry counties, beer can be sold in various locations during most times of the week.
A new Virginia House Bill will allow casinos with mixed beverage licenses to sell alcohol later than bars and restaurants.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Virginia?
Are growlers permitted in Virginia? Where can you buy them?
In Virginia, you can buy growlers at breweries in original packaging or get your own filled. The limit is 128 ounces for refills and it must be resealable.
Growlers cannot be filled at grocery stores or gas stations.
Instead of a direct open container law, Virginia has a law in place to prevent actual drinking and driving. This law assumes the driver consumed alcohol if certain things are proven.
It will be assumed that the driver consumed alcohol if:
- There is an open container in the passenger area of the motor vehicle
- Any alcoholic has been removed from the open container
- The driver shows signs associated with consuming alcohol
Anyone who violates this law is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $250. The law does not apply to passengers.
Drinking and driving is illegal in Virginia.
Your blood alcohol content may not exceed 0.08% without penalty. You can still be charged with a DUI if your BAC does not exceed 0.08%.
Under 21 years old
Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving under the age of 21.
Conviction of drinking or driving under 21 years old in Virginia will result in:
- One-year license suspension
- Minimum fine of $500 or 50 hours of community service
21 years and older
For drivers 21 years and older convicted of driving under the influence, first offense punishments include:
- Minimum $250 fine
- One-year license suspension.
Second offense punishments include:
- Minimum $500 fine
- Three-year license suspension
- Possible jail time of up to one year.