How dumb are your state/province's liquor laws? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 12-05-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
Oct 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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This thread was inspired by some discussion about regional differences in alcohol rules, and it got me curious about some of the more absurd/outdated liquor laws that may be out there.

I think my jurisdiction (Ontario, Canada) has got to be one of the worst.

To start with, only the provincial government is allowed to sell bottled spirits. The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) has a monopoly on selling all distilled spirits.

We also have a chain called the Beer Store that sells beer. However, it's owned jointly by AB Inbev and Molson Coors, so they only carry their own brands. Ironically, if you want craft beer, The Beer Store is the last place you should look. The LCBO has better beer selection than the Beer Store. However, the LCBO doesn't sell anything bigger than 6-packs. If you want a case, you have to go to the Beer Store.

If you want to buy beer or spirits anywhere else ... you're out of luck. Some grocery stores are allowed to sell wine, but that's it. The idea of running to the corner store to pick up a 6-pack of Coors is alien to Ontarians. It's not allowed. If you want beer, your only options are the LCBO or the Beer Store. If you want rum, vodka, or any other spirits, your only option is the LCBO.

That said, they are open on Sundays, and the drinking age here is 19.

Across the border, in Quebec, the drinking age is 18, and they do sell beer in corner stores. Heck, they even sell beer in Costco.

Finally, the taxes here in Ontario are brutal. A case of 24 "domestic" beer will run you between $35-$45, plus bottle deposit ($0.10/bottle). Also, our bars are not allowed to have "Happy Hours" where drinks are discounted (because that encourages binge drinking, donchaknow). Around here, "Happy Hour" means 10-cent wings. We even have minimum pricing for alcohol. The Beer Store is legally prohibited from selling a case of 24 bottles of beer for less than $29.35. And restaurants/bars are not allowed to sell beer for less than they paid for it (no loss-leading allowed on alcohol). Meaning, "buck-a-beer" is technically illegal in Ontario.

Thank goodness I make my own!

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Old 12-05-2012, 06:55 PM   #2
Sep 2008
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My state has some dumb laws pertaining to homebrew. You are limited to 200 gallons and you can't sell it to friends and family.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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Jan 2012
Birmingham, AL
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Please. I live in Alabama. All alcoholic beverages are controlled by the state alcohol control board. Private businesses can sell beer/wine, but only under crazy stringent laws. Blue laws abound (dry counties, wet counties that don't allow Sunday sales, etc).

Also, homebrewing is illegal.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
Apr 2012
Richland, WA
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Washington state just this last year finally allowed sales of liquor in grocery stores over x amount of square footage. Before that it was only for sale in state run liquor stores. The bill that allowed it was hugely contested for some reason with the idea that it would increase DUIs and that Sunday sales would do the same...uhh anyone who wants to drink liquor on Sunday just buys more on Saturday

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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Apr 2011
Winston-Salem, NC
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In North Carolina, all distilled spirits are sold through the ABC store. Beer is capped at 15% ABV, most(all?) counties have no sales of beer/wine before noon on Sunday. ABC is closed Sundays. Some counties are still completely dry. Some have a wet city within a dry county.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
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Ohio is a lil weird on HB laws. It's not litterally illegal,just illegal if you try to sell,trade it without a license. Got that from AHA site.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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Oct 2009
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In Tennessee, any beer over 6.5% ABV must be sold in liquor stores and beer below 6.5% can be sold anywhere. However, if you own a liquor store beer below 6.5% cannot be unless you have a completely separate retail space for said items. This results in many liquor stores that only have high gravity beer that gets treated as a red headed step child (low turnover, staff doesn't give a damn, etc).

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #8
Jan 2011
Sierra, Nevada
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NJ is decent. 10pm liquor store closings. Though some places shut down at 9pm. Grocery stores sell liquor. Tons of beer fests.

Florida is pretty legit. You can buy beer til like 2am at gas stations even.

Homebrewing is legal in both states. And you have some pretty good beer options. None of that abv% restriction crap.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #9
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Nov 2009
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Can't sell wine or liquor or wine at grocery. That is all!!

You asked.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:24 PM   #10
Apr 2011
louisville, KY
Posts: 287
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Louisville KY is pretty good. Only beer in grocery stores, but we do have 4 am closing times and can buy liquor on Sundays. The rest if the state isn't as great.

I do remember visiting Toronto in college. Rolled in the first day at 9 pm, couldn't get beer anywhere except a bar. Guys at the gas station thought we were nuts for even asking about it.

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