Wisconsin beer laws have come a long way. What are Wisconsin’s beer laws and what should you know about them? Where and when can you buy beer in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, you can buy beer at bars, restaurants, and retailers any day of the week. Shops can sell beer in cans and bottles from 6 a.m. to midnight every day. On-premise consumption locations are open Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. They sell beer on tap, in cans and bottles.
Continue reading for a comprehensive look at Wisconsin’s beer laws, as well as where you can buy it and when.
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Is Wisconsin a dry state?
A dry state does not permit (or greatly prohibits) the sale of alcohol. There are no dry states in the United States but some of them contain counties that prohibit to some degree the sale of alcohol.
Wisconsin is not a dry state. It does not contain any dry counties, but these counties are permitted to hold referendums to enforce stricter laws. Beer is available in Wisconsin at most retail locations and bars and restaurants for on- or off-premise consumption.
Some localities in Wisconsin have further restrictions in place for alcohol sales, so be sure to check local sales times or availability within those areas.
Does Wisconsin have any dry counties?
You can buy beer in any county in Wisconsin, and a few different types of locations.
Wisconsin does not have any dry counties, but counties are allowed to make changes to alcohol sales laws at the local level.
Some counties have their own further restrictions for alcohol sales times.
When can you buy beer in Wisconsin?
You can buy beer in Wisconsin at most hours of the day.
In Wisconsin, retailers can sell packaged beer Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight. Restaurants and bars can sell beer Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The following information pertains specifically to state laws; some Wisconsin counties may have stricter laws and regulations regarding beer sales.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin permits the sale of beer on Sundays at bars, restaurants, and retail locations.
On Sundays in Wisconsin, retail locations can sell packaged beer from 6 a.m. to midnight. Bars and restaurants can sell beer on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
There are no closing time restrictions for bars on New Year’s Eve.
When do bars close in Wisconsin?
When should you expect the bars to close in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, bars are required to close at 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
State law does not allow counties to further restrict hours of operations for bars, but it does permit municipalities to prohibit the issuance of a liquor license.
Where can you buy beer in Wisconsin?
Where exactly can you buy beer in Wisconsin, and when?
There are several places to buy beer in Wisconsin, including:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
Continue reading for more information on buying beer from these locations.
Bars and restaurants
Bars and restaurants in Wisconsin sell beer Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
These locations sell beer on draft and in cans and bottles. Bars and restaurants can also sell beer to go.
Gas stations in Wisconsin are permitted to sell beer. They can sell beer from 6 a.m. to midnight any day of the week, including Sundays.
Gas stations offer beer in small quantities of cans and bottles, including tall 24 or 19.2 oz. cans
In Wisconsin, grocery stores can sell beer from 6 a.m. to midnight any day of the week.
These locations sell beer in cans and bottles in 6- or 12-packs of 12oz. containers.
Package and liquor stores
In Wisconsin, liquor stores are permitted to sell beer. They’re open from 6 a.m. to midnight every day of the week. However, liquor sales are only permitted until 9 p.m. and therefore most of them close at that time.
Liquor stores sell beer in cans and bottles in 6-packs, 12-packs, and cases.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms in Wisconsin are open at the same times as bars and restaurants; Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday
These locations sell beer on draft and to-go in bottles and cans. They also fill growlers.
Can you get beer delivered in Wisconsin?
Beer delivery almost made its way into Wisconsin under a new bill in 2021, but the law fell short and does not permit alcohol delivery in Wisconsin.
You can not get beer delivered in Wisconsin. Restaurants and bars are permitted to sell beer to-go.
The bill that would permit the delivery of alcohol was not passed but Wisconsin does permit to-go beer and curbside pickup.
What is the minimum drinking age in Wisconsin?
The minimum drinking age in the United States is 21 years old. Some states allow minors to have a beer with parents or an of-age legal guardian. Wisconsin is one of those states.
The minimum drinking age in Wisconsin is 21.
Anyone selling, pouring, or serving alcohol must be at least 18 years or older.
Can minors drink beer in Wisconsin with parents?
Wisconsin permits minors to drink a beer with parents, a legal guardian, or a spouse that is 21 years old or older.
The law applies to those under 18, as there is no specific age requirement for drinking a beer with parents in Wisconsin.
Drinking laws in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s drinking laws are pretty straightforward with only a few localities enforcing stricter rules than those found at the state level.
You can buy beer in any county in Wisconsin. Bars, restaurants, and retailers all sell beer any day of the week and the legal drinking age is 21.
Statewide laws make it easy to buy beer and counties are allowed to hold referendums if they wish to enact stricter laws.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Wisconsin?
You can buy and refill growlers in Wisconsin.
Growlers are available pre-packaged and for refills in Wisconsin. Breweries with taprooms that sell beer directly to the public are allowed to sell growlers and refill them. Bars are also permitted to sell growlers to-go.
Open containers are not permitted in Wisconsin.
It is illegal for someone to possess an open container of alcohol in Wisconsin while driving or as a passenger of a vehicle. Open containers can be kept in a vehicle in a compartment that passengers or driver do not normally occupy, such as the trunk.
No one in the vehicle can have an open can or bottle of alcohol in their immediate possession.
Driving under the influence is illegal in Wisconsin.
A driver’s blood alcohol content may not exceed 0.08% without penalty.
Under 21 years old
There is a zero-tolerance law for drinking and driving under the age of 21 in Wisconsin.
First-time offenders of this law are punishable with up to $1,100 in fines and a six-month license suspension.
21 years and older
Drivers 21 years and older may not operate a vehicle with a BAC higher than 0.08% without penalty.
First-time offenders of this law can result in up to $300 in fines and up to nine months of a suspended license.