Cheers! Can You Buy Alcohol on Labor Day in the US?

Can you buy alcohol on Labor Day? Whether you’ve forgotten to stock your minibar or you just fancy some special cocktails when Labor Day 2023 begins, it can be a pretty confusing issue.

Unlike other public holidays, like Christmas, no hard and fast rules tell you whether your local liquor store will be open. Instead, much of it boils down to where you live.

If you’re wondering, “What is open on Labor Day near me?” and whether liquor stores are one of them, here’s everything you need to know.

Can You Buy Alcohol on Labor Day?

The answer is it depends on where you live. Despite the holiday, Labor Day is the third most popular holiday for beer sales. So, obviously, somewhere must be selling alcohol.

No federal laws prohibit alcohol sales on Labor Day or any public holiday. Like many other things, whether you can buy your favorite spirits is delegated to individual states.

Where Can You Buy Alcohol on Labor Day?

Are you looking for a place where you can get a fruity cocktail?

Whether you can or not usually depends on whether your state controls liquor sales. If so, there’s a high likelihood that liquor stores will close because everything else controlled by the state will also be closed.

However, if it’s a privately owned liquor store or anywhere that sells alcohol, like a bar or a whiskey-tasting venue, they could be open. This is where you defer to local laws.

On the other hand, if no local laws prevent alcohol sales, it’s down to whether the owner wants to work Labor Day or not.

This is why, before going out for some vodka cocktails, it’s a good idea to call ahead the previous Friday/Saturday.

So, which states don’t have any state-controlled liquor laws, meaning that alcohol can be served on Labor Day?

·                Alaska

·                Arizona

·                Arkansas

·                California

·                Colorado

·                Connecticut

·                Kentucky

·                Louisiana

·                Maryland

·                Massachusetts

·                Minnesota

·                Missouri

·                Nebraska

·                Nevada

·                New Jersey

·                New Mexico

·                New York

·                Oklahoma

·                Rhode Island

·                South Carolina

·                South Dakota

·                Tennessee

·                Texas

·                Washington DC

·                Wisconsin

In fact, there are just 17 beverage-controlled states to be aware of. As long as you don’t live in any of those states, you’ve got a good chance of finding an open liquor store come holiday Monday.

Note that these laws don’t necessarily apply to things like dispensaries. So, if you want to pick up some bud or indulge in the best CBD drinks, you may have options.

Your Local State Laws and Labor Day

Every state has the right to take its own approach to holidays like Labor Day, and many do. For this reason, non-beverage-controlled states don’t guarantee that your local liquor store will be open, but it means there’s a chance.

There are even some exceptions to this rule. Take Alabama as an example.

This state is beverage-controlled, with liquor sales restricted to ABC stores. Typically, the only rule is that most counties prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays until noon. But some counties also mandate that alcohol sales are banned.

The one exception on Labor Day 2023 is that two stores are open (in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores). In this case, there are just two open liquor stores in the whole state.

And this is why answering, “Can you buy alcohol on Labor Day?” becomes confusing.

Here are five examples of states with quirks in the rules that can make it harder to figure out whether you can go out for an absinthe cocktail.

1.    Massachusetts

In Massachusetts’ case, sales aren’t state-controlled, so stores can continue to operate. But the state also has odd rules for various holidays that can cause some confusion.

For example, state laws mandate that liquor stores close until noon on Columbus Day but remain closed until 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2.    New York

New York has zero statewide restrictions if you want to head to a distillery or gather supplies for mocktails.

But local areas can and do have restrictions. Without statewide restrictions, municipalities are free to determine their own rules.

3.    Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the 17 states that limit liquor sales to state-operated stores. But beer and wine can be sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.

Despite this, Pennsylvania is one state that allows alcohol sales on Labor Day.

4.    Texas

Texas doesn’t have any state control system for alcohol sales. This means you’re free to go out and buy as much liquor as you want on Labor Day.

But, like Massachusetts, there’s little consistency in the rules. Although Labor Day sales are permitted, Texas bans Christmas and New Year’s liquor sales.

5.    Virginia

Virginia also doesn’t have state-controlled booze. Instead, Virginia is rolling back its rules, allowing you to try popular cocktails even during public holidays.

However, beware that Virginia has strict Labor Day opening hours, with opening hours beginning at noon and ending at 6 p.m. on Labor Day.

Can You Buy Alcohol on Labor Day? Beware the Blue Laws

So, you live in a state that won’t let you buy any form of alcohol., and non-alcoholic beers don’t tickle your tastebuds. What do you do?

The obvious answer would be to purchase your alcohol the day before. But before you’re ready to get cross-faded, Labor Day always falls on a Monday. That means you must be aware of the Blue Laws.

These laws prohibit certain transactions on Sundays or for a portion of every Sunday. Thankfully, most were repealed after the War of Independence, but some remain, including:

·                Montana

·                North Carolina

·                South Carolina

·                Texas

·                West Virginia

These are the only five states that outlaw hard liquor sales with zero exceptions on Sundays. Another ten don’t have statewide laws but allow every county to decide for itself, which is why decoding Tennessee’s laws is so complex.

If you’re about to be hit by these laws, head out on Friday/Saturday or choose an alcohol delivery service.


Alcohol restrictions on Labor Day can quickly ruin your holiday spirit. So, can you buy alcohol on Labor Day? In much of the country, you should be able to find a liquor store, even if it means driving to the next county over. But it’s always wise to do your research and plan ahead.

At Flavor Fix, we’re dedicated to helping you make the most of every flavor. Whether you want to learn about the best THC drinks, cocktail recipes, or weed strain pairings, our guides have you covered, so check us out!

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JJ Smoak

Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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