Alcohol sales have seen dramatic changes over the last year, with considerable fluctuations in on- and off-premise purchase trends. Businesses in every state, including Missouri, have to adjust to these changes. Along with weekly velocity changes, new policies have affected how they buy, sell, distribute, and even tax alcohol sales in Missouri. Read on to find out exactly how alcohol sales in Missouri have changed and what you can expect from new laws regarding alcohol sales in the state.
How has COVID-19 affected alcohol sales in Missouri?
At the beginning of the pandemic, state governments placed restrictions on in-person bars and restaurants to slow the spread of COVID-19. The downside is that these measures impacted on-premise alcohol sales in Missouri. Fortunately, there are fewer limitations that exist today. However, the industry did discover that many of the pandemic provisions created to boost Missouri alcohol sales are both practical and popular. As a result, there has been a push to make certain provisions permanent.
In May, the Missouri State Senate passed SB 126, making many of its COVID-19 provisions more permanent. In the House, lawmakers praised the bill as a way to help small businesses and the tourism sector. The bill expands the availability of alcohol in Missouri and makes it easier for businesses to get back on their feet through alcohol sales in Missouri. Here are some major highlights from the bill.
Missouri alcohol sales on Sunday
The Missouri State Senate updated many provisions regarding alcohol sales on Sunday. Let’s break those down.
- Sunday liquor hours by the drink: The legislation does away with restrictions relating to Sundays, and alcohol sales can occur at the same times as other days of the week.
- Sunday liquor sales for off-premise consumption: Under the new law, off-premise alcohol sales can occur between the hours of 6 a.m. on Sunday through 1:30 a.m. on Monday. There are similar provisions for wine, brandy and malt liquor.
- Sunday by-the-drink licenses in convention trade areas: Liquor can now be sold on Sundays at 6 a.m. for consumption at convention trade areas in Kansas City, North Kansas City, Jackson County, St. Louis County, and St. Louis.
Liquor permits to non-profit organizations
Religious, civic, fraternal, or other non-profit organizations can begin to sell liquor at 6 a.m. at events.
To-Go Drinks are officially a part of Missouri liquor laws
One of the most popular provisions that came about due to COVID-19 was the introduction of to-go drinks in Missouri. The Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) relaxed its previous rules to help out businesses that had to reduce their indoor capacities and saw a decrease in on-premise sales. SB 126 makes to-go drinks permanent. Here are a few rules that go along with this provision:
- To-go drinks must be sold with food
- Drinks must be in a sealed container that discourages drinking and driving
- Customers must order a meal prepared on the same premises
- Receipts must be dated
- No more than two drinks per meal sold
- Sealed container must be labeled: “THIS BEVERAGE CONTAINS ALCOHOL”
Missouri Alcohol Sales FAQ
Can you buy alcohol on Sunday in Missouri?
Yes. Missouri liquor law states that Sunday hours for on- and off-premise purchases are from 6 – 1:30 a.m.
What time do bars close in Missouri?
Bars are required to close at 1:30 a.m.
What time can I buy alcohol in Missouri?
Alcohol sales in Missouri vary based on where you are purchasing alcohol. If you are purchasing liquor off-premise at a grocery or liquor store, the times are 6 – 1:30 a.m. The closing time at on-premise bars and restaurants and bars is 1:30 a.m. Sunday hours for on- and off-premise purchases is from 6 – 1:30 a.m.
Can a passenger drink alcohol in Missouri?
There is no open container law in Missouri. The law allows passengers in a vehicle who are 21 years and older to possess open containers of alcoholic beverages. Drivers are forbidden from being drunk while driving.
How early can you buy alcohol in St. Louis?
You can buy alcohol as early as 6 am in St. Louis, Missouri.
What is the legal drinking age in Missouri?
In Missouri, it is against state law to consume, purchase, or possess alcohol if younger than 21. The legal drinking age in Missouri is 21.
What are the liquor laws for other states?
We have a rundown of liquor laws for Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Georgia, California, and more. Just check out our U.S. Alcohol Policies Guide for the full report on all the COVID-19 updates in each state.