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Before You Bring Alcohol into This State, You Need to Know This Law


Here at Wide Open Eats, we’re not afraid to present you with the most important historical facts. We’d like to think that sharing our country’s past with you is, well, just necessary. That’s why we roll up our sleeves and teach you about Wild Turkey’s Kentucky roots and how Coors, the Banquet Beer, got its name. You know, the important stuff. That said, we came across a law recently that we felt we should probably share. The question that begs an answer, though, is did you know about this antiquated Iowa liquor law?

If you don’t really feel like reading today, here’s the gist of it. You can’t bring booze into Iowa. Confused? Yes, we were, too, and this is what we learned.

It’s not all alcohol, though. Beer and wine are disallowed from being brought into the state. The Iowan beer scene is starting to get big, and that’s a good thing. You can bring liquor in, but only in certain quantities.

If it’s liquor you’ve purchased in from the good ol’ U.S.A., you can bring one liter into the state. Bringing home some of the good stuff from your trip to Mexico? You’d be allowed to bring four liters of that back to Iowa.

Though the law is antiquated, Iowans are expected to follow it. Yes, it’s hard to enforce; local police even say that proper enforcement would require too many resources.

Recently, though, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division did issue a bulletin about this law. They want people to know that, although hard to enforce, a law is a law. The reason they decided to do this, according to KWWL, is because there was an increase in questions asked pertaining to this unique law. Having lived all across our great nation, we’re now wondering how many laws like this we’ve inadvertently broken. We plead the fifth…

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