What Time Do They Stop Selling Beer In Texas?
Inquiring minds want to know. Texas Alcohol Laws pose a really interesting question. For instance, can you buy beer on Sunday in Texas?
Whether you grew up in Texas or you just moved, you might have stopped by the liquor store on a Sunday just to find that it’s closed. More recently, you might have seen people buying beer at the grocery store on a Sunday and been even more confused. What are the Texas beer laws, anyway? What times can you buy beer and liquor in Texas?
The current alcohol laws in Texas limit selling beer, wine, or liquor before 10 am on a Sunday morning. Here's a trick, buy everything you need for Sunday on Saturday night. Anyway, this limit is in place from midnight until noon and is applicable at all locations where alcohol is sold. Liquor stores are closed all day on Sunday.
These new laws are an update from the “blue laws,” a set of regulations enacted directly after Prohibition. They were voted in by concerned Texans after selling and serving alcohol became legal again. Now, almost one hundred years later, the Texan government finally loosened the Sunday restrictions.
What Hours Can You Buy Beer in the State of Texas?
If you are trying to buy from a liquor store, you can buy as long as the store is open! Obvious, right?
Here are the opening hours available for liquor sales to Texas proprietors in accordance with the alcoholic beverage code and liquor laws.
- From 10 am to 12 am on a Sunday
- 7 am to 12 am every other day of the week
These laws are relatively new. They were enacted right before fall 2021. Sunday sales were completely illegal in Texas. Here are the legal hours of alcohol sales in Texas:
- Monday: 7 am to 12 am
- Tuesday: 7 am to 12 am
- Wednesday: 7 am to 12 am
- Thursday: 7 am to 12 am
- Friday: 7 am to 12 am
- Saturday: 7 am to 12 am
- Sunday: 10 am to 12 am (liquor stores closed)
The new Texas law, also known as House Bill 1518, was signed into law by Greg Abbot in the fall of 2020. It makes the sale of alcohol before noon on a Sunday legal and loosens the requirements for liquor stores to sell later in the evenings. This law makes it easier for the owners of liquor stores and anyone trying to buy liquor outside the regular hours.
Underneath this bill, however, liquor stores must remain closed on Sundays. Liquor still cannot be sold outside certain retailers (unless in conjunction with food) or before noon on Sundays. There are some exceptions, including hotel bars, but liquor is mostly pretty limited on Sundays.
It is easier to buy beer because of this law. Holidays, however, are a different story. Liquor stores must be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, but any open grocery store is allowed to sell alcohol on these holidays.
The Texas legislature has limited the opening of liquor stores, but not the hours of a regular grocery store.
What Permits or Licenses Are Required?
So, what are the Texas alcohol laws? To buy beer in Texas, you only need to be over 21 years old and have a legal identification proving this. Retailers generally have an “under 40” policy. If you look under 40, they have to ask for your ID.
Liquor stores, however, are required to ask for ID at all times and can be fined if they fail to ask. Selling liquor to minors is a huge offense and will undoubtedly land a liquor store owner or cashier in jail. The store could lose the permits required to sell the liquor and go bankrupt.
There are multiple different types of permits for selling liquor in Texas, and they vary depending on the kind of retailer. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has over thirty permits, ranging from producing alcoholic beverages to retail to distributing, to temporary events and caterers’ licenses.
Each license is for a different reason, but the most common permit (used for liquor stores) is the package store permit. This permit includes hard liquors (most permits only allow wine, beer, or a combination of the two) and allows transportation to and from other liquor stores.
What Other Locations Can You Buy Beer/Wine/Liquor?
Of course, you can buy beer, wine, and liquor at any liquor store in Texas. Multiple other retailers sell at least some kind of alcohol. The type that’s hardest to get a hold of is straight liquor. Essentially, you can’t find whiskey, vodka, or any other kind of liquor at any place other than a liquor store.
However, many other places sell beer and wine. You can buy beer and wine at many Texas grocery stores, including H-E-B, the classic Texas grocery store. While the laws still apply, you don’t have to go to a liquor store to find the beer and wine you need!
Alcohol in the grocery store is especially lovely if you need alcohol on a Sunday. Even though the liquor stores are closed, you can still find something to drink as long as it’s the afternoon. Convenience stores and gas stations also have a selection of beers. It is usually pretty limited, however.
Another place to find beer, wine, and liquor is at your local brewery or winery. Of course, you can go and drink some cocktails or beer while you’re visiting. However, many breweries, wineries, and even distilleries offer take-home spirits for your parties. If you’re into craft brews, this is a great option.
If you’re out of local options, it’s now legal to buy beer and wine online in Texas! However, mailing restrictions apply, and few places offer in-person pickup. The same selling and open hours laws apply as well. While it’s an improvement, the online liquor business will probably see some growth soon.
Whether you go to a liquor store, gas station, or grocery store, knowing when to buy beer in Texas is helpful. If you’re planning a weekend party and want to bring alcohol, you might want to plan to purchase your alcohol before Sunday starts! Either way, enjoy your alcohol safely and drink up!