Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Alcohol laws are strictly imposed in Wisconsin and other states in the US to regulate buying, selling, drinking, and serving alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, and liquor.
If you are new to the state or planning to visit America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin’s window hours for alcohol sales can be confusing, especially since they have certain classifications.
So, what time can you buy alcohol in Wisconsin? Read on to find out.
What Time Can You Legally Buy Alcohol In Wisconsin?
You can legally buy alcohol in Wisconsin as early as 6:00 AM and as late as 2:00 AM.
However, the window hours for alcohol sales depend on the classification as mandated by the state.
There are four classifications of licensed alcohol sellers in Wisconsin:
- Wholesalers – People other than manufacturers who sell alcohol at wholesale
- Example: Distributors
- Class A Retailers – Retailers who sell alcohol in original packages and containers
- Example: Liquor stores or Grocery stores with liquor sections
- Class B Retailers – Retailers who sell alcohol by the glass, not in original packages or tamper-evident seal, and for consumption on their premises
- Example: Restaurants, taverns, and beer bars
- Class C Retailers– Retailers of wine by the glass or opened original containers on their premises.
- Example: Restaurants
You can buy alcohol from Class A, B, and C retailers as early as 6:00 AM (given that they are open). However, you have to wait until 8:00 AM to buy alcohol from wholesalers in Wisconsin.
In addition, the municipal governing body can impose more restrictive limits on alcohol sales.
When Can You Buy Alcohol In Wisconsin?
For wholesalers, the opening hours start at 8:00 AM. On the other hand, for Classes A, B, and C, the opening hours start at 6:00 AM.
For wholesalers, no premises can sell alcohol between 5:00 PM- 8:00 AM.
No premises should sell intoxicating liquor for Class A retailers from 9:00 PM until 6:00 AM. While for Class B, and C, no premises can sell between 2:00 AM – 6:00 AM but with additional limitations:
- No premises should sell intoxicating liquor between 9:00 PM to 8:00 AM for Class B.
- For Class B and C, no premises are allowed to sell 12:00 MN to 6:00 AM for fermented malt beverages and carry out liquor in original packaging.
- For temporary Class B license holders, no person should serve wine after 9:00 PM on the premises.
- In addition, on January 1, Class B retailers are not required to close.
On Saturdays, you can buy alcohol in Wisconsin as early as 6:00 AM until 2:30 AM in Class A, B, and C retailers.
However, it will be best to remember that carry-out liquors and fermented malted beverages can only be sold until midnight.
In addition, wholesalers can extend their alcohol sales until 9:00 PM.
On Sundays, you can buy alcohol in Wisconsin as early as 6:00 AM until 2:30 AM in Class B and C retailers.
For Wholesalers, the sale can be extended until 9:00 PM.
For Class B and C, the sale can be extended until 3:30 AM on Sundays when daylight saving begins. However, it does not apply to Class B issued to a winery.
What Is The Earliest Time You Can Buy Alcohol In Wisconsin?
The earliest time you can buy alcohol in Wisconsin is 6:00 AM, but that only applies to Class A, B, and C retailers and with limitations.
“We not only have a lot of bars in Wisconsin compared to the rest of the nation but more places that sell alcohol,”– Maureen Busalacchi, Director of the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project
The earliest time you can buy alcohol in wholesalers is 8:00 AM.
Why Can’t You Buy Alcohol After 9 PM In Wisconsin?
You cannot buy alcohol after 9:00 PM in Wisconsin because the state law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages in Class A and intoxicating liquor in Class B retailers.
The state does not allow the sale of liquor after 9:00 PM, depending on the classification and type of alcohol sold at the store.
Where Can You Buy Beer After 9 PM In Wisconsin?
You can buy beer after 9:00 PM in Class B retailers like restaurants, taverns, and beer bars.
Since the Class B retailers sell alcohol with tamper-evident seals or by the glass, you can buy beer after 9:00 PM.
However, selling fermented malt beverages in their original packaging is allowed until midnight only.
Can you drink at 18 with a parent in Wisconsin?
Yes, you can drink at 18 with a parent in Wisconsin .
Based on the Updated 2021−2022 Wis. Stats 125.07.1 and 2, an underage person can drink alcoholic beverages if accompanied by their parents who have attained the legal drinking age.
What is bar time in Wisconsin?
The bar time in Wisconsin starts at 6:00 AM and ends at 2:00 AM on weekdays. However, the bar is open until 2:30 AM on weekends.
Can you drink at midnight on your 21st birthday in Wisconsin?
Yes, you can drink at midnight on your 21st birthday in Wisconsin if you are accompanied by a parent or a guardian who has attained the legal drinking age.
You can buy alcohol in Wisconsin as early as 6:00 AM on Class A, B, and C premises, but you must wait until 8:00 AM for Wholesalers to be allowed to sell alcohol.
When the clock strikes 5:00 PM, wholesalers cannot sell alcohol. For Class A retailers, the last call is at 9:00 PM, but for Class B and C, they can sell until 2:00 AM but with limitations.
Wisconsin takes alcohol sales law seriously as it strictly imposes window hours of alcohol sales. However, the municipalities can impose more restrictive limits, and that’s their call .
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