Updated at: 08-06-2023 - By: John Lau

If you’ve ever found yourself in Washington with a sudden craving for an adult beverage, you might be wondering: How late can I buy alcohol? In this blog post, we will discuss the ins and outs of alcohol purchase hours in Washington, including state laws and local ordinances that govern when beer, wine, and spirits can be sold at various establishments.

Washington State Laws On Alcohol Sales

How Late Can You Buy Alcohol In Washington

Washington State has laws regulating alcohol sales, including minimum age requirements and operating hours for retail establishments.

Minimum Age For Buying Alcohol

In Washington State, the minimum age for buying alcohol is firmly set at 21 years old. This strict regulation seeks to curb underage drinking and prevent its associated dangers such as addiction, drunk driving accidents, and long-term health issues.

The enforcement of this law extends not only to bars, restaurants, and liquor stores but also off-premises sellers responsible for selling beer, wine, and spirits. In some jurisdictions within Washington State, there are even requirements that a manager or supervisor be present during alcohol sales transactions.

Notably, delivery personnel involved in distributing alcohol are mandated to make reasonable efforts in verifying the age of their customers before handing over any purchases.

Operating Hours For Alcohol Sales

Operating hours for alcohol sales in Washington vary depending on the type of establishment and whether it is a weekday or weekend. For instance, bars and restaurants can sell alcoholic beverages from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM any day of the week.

Retail establishments, such as liquor stores and package stores, have different hours for selling beer, wine, and spirits. These stores generally operate between 9:00 AM and 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday but close earlier at 9 PM in some locations.

Additionally, retail alcohol sales are prohibited on Sundays in certain areas. It’s important to keep these varying operating hours in mind when planning events or outings involving alcohol consumption — especially if you’re residing within one of the eleven counties that enforce specific restrictions on alcohol sales hours.

Hours For Buying Alcohol In Washington

How Late Can You Buy Alcohol In Washington-2

In Washington, the permitted hours for buying alcohol vary depending on the type of establishment and the day of the week.

Permitted Hours For Beer, Wine, And Liquor

In Washington, the allowed hours for purchasing alcohol are subject to state laws and local ordinances, which dictate the times during which beer, wine, and liquor can be bought. The following table outlines the permitted hours for each category of alcohol, ensuring that consumers and establishments adhere to regulations while addressing the concerns of alcoholism.


Category of Alcohol Permitted Hours (Monday – Saturday) Permitted Hours (Sunday)
Beer 6 a.m. – 2 a.m. the following day (on and off-premise retailers) 6 a.m. – 2 a.m. the following day (on and off-premise retailers)
Wine 24 hours (off-premise retailers, exceptions may apply) 24 hours (off-premise retailers, exceptions may apply)
Liquor 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (liquor stores) 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (liquor stores)

It is crucial to note that local ordinances may prevail over state law, with some stores typically operating between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. for alcohol sales.

Exceptions For Certain Types Of Establishments

There are exceptions to Washington State’s alcohol sales regulations for certain types of establishments. Here are some important things to note:

  1. Class A or Class B license holders cannot sell wine or liquor (including cider) from 9 p.m.
  2. Despite the above restriction, wineries can offer tastings and sell their products until 11 p.m., though any sales must take place in a designated tasting room separate from other areas of the building.
  3. Certain hotels with liquor licenses may be able to sell alcohol around the clock if they have a restaurant on site that serves food at all hours.
  4. Theater venues may allow alcohol sales during performances. even if they would normally fall outside permitted operating hours.
  5. Private clubs, such as fraternities and country clubs, may have more lenient restrictions on when they can serve alcohol to members.

It is important to note that these exceptions are specific and do not apply across the board. Any establishment looking to serve alcohol outside of normal operating hours should consult Washington State’s liquor license restrictions before doing so.


In conclusion, while Washington State has relatively liberal laws regarding the purchase of alcohol there are still some restrictions in place. It is important to note that these restrictions vary depending on whether you’re purchasing beer, wine or spirits and where you’re buying from.

Generally speaking, beer and wine can be purchased around the clock during most days of the week. If you want liquor or spirits though, you’ll need to make sure you get to a store before they close at 7 p.m.