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March 03, 2017

The 47 dry towns in the Philadelphia region

In some, you can still quaff a brew and uncork a bottle of wine

There are 47 municipalities in the Philadelphia region considered dry towns. The degree of their dryness varies by municipality, but they all have local laws prohibiting most bars and restaurants from selling beer and/or liquor.

Philadelphia itself is wet, as is Montgomery County,  the only suburban county lacking even one dry town.

Elsewhere, dry towns are more common than one might realize.

RELATED: In Philly's suburban dry towns, alcohol can be a tough sell

Some dry southeastern Pennsylvania municipalities have exemptions that grant golf courses, performing arts centers and college-operated inns, among other businesses, the ability to sell alcohol.

In New Jersey, the term "dry" is used to delineate a town which bans the sale of hard liquor in bars or restaurants open to the public. But “moist towns” in New Jersey may have a package liquor store, micro-breweries, wineries, and drinking available at private country clubs or fraternal organizations.

Here is a list of the dry municipalities in the Philadelphia region:


Bucks County (1)

• Lower Makefield (exempts a golf course and Shady Brook Farm)

Chester County (23)

• East Brandywine

• East coventry

• East Goshen

• East Nantmeal (exempts two golf courses)

• East Nottingham (allows retail sales of liquor)

• Elk

• Elverson

• Franklin (including a ban on malt beverage distributors)

• Highland (allows retail sales of beer)

• London Grove (allows retail sales of liquor)

• Londonderry (including a ban on state liquor stores)

• Lower Oxford (including bans on malt beverage distributors and state liquor stores)

• New London

• Thornbury (allows retail sales of beer)

• Upper Oxford (includes ban on state liquor stores)

• West Brandywine

• West Fallowfield

• West Grove 

• West Marlborough (allows retail beer sales)

• West Nantmeal (exempts a golf course)

• West Pikeland (allows retail liquor sales)

• Westtown

Delaware County (12)

• Aldan

• Bethel

• Brookhaven (allows retail liquor sales)

• Colwyn

• Lansdowne (exempts a future performing arts center)

• Marple

• Parkside

• Rutledge

• Sharon Hill (includes bans on malt beverage distributors and state liquor stores)

• Swarthmore (exempts property owned by Swarthmore College)

• Upland

• Yeadon (allows retail beer sales)


Burlington County (3)

• Delanco

• Pemberton

• Riverton

Camden County (4)

• Audubon Park

• Collingswood (a microbrewery and some restaurants sell bottles of local wine, and all restaurants permit BYOB)

• Haddonfield (a nanobrewery is coming in the fall and some restaurants sell bottles of local wine)

• Haddon Heights (several restaurants sell bottles of local wine)

Gloucester County (4)

• Elk Township (a liquor license was approved, but failed to sell, but packaged beer and wine are available.)

• Pitman (a license was approved last November, but has not yet been put out to bid; two microbreweries are in operation)

• Wenonah

• South Harrison


Cape May County (3)

• Ocean City (even BYOBs are forbidden)

• Cape May Point

• Wildwood Crest

Ocean County (2)

• Island Heights

• Mantoloking