Ever notice that some of the tiniest communities in New Jersey seem to have the most bars?

It's not an illusion.

Data for the top 25 municipalities with the most liquor licenses per square mile, statewide, shows that the biggest towns do not necessarily have the most businesses legally permitted to serve alcohol.

Booziest spots: NJ towns with the most bars per square mile

New Jersey has some wacky liquor license laws — this list is proof.

Here's the top 25 towns with the most licenses per square mile, based on state data.

The number of licenses per town are capped based on population — in most cases.

Since 1948, new retail consumption and distribution licenses can only be issued by a municipality if its population in the last federal census exceeds "certain limits."

With limited exceptions, for every 3,000 residents, a town can issue one consumption license.

It can also issue one distribution license for every 7,500 residents.

NJ towns with most bars, liquor stores (Canva)
(Canva)
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One big exception — towns that were “grandfathered” in with more licenses, under previous laws allowed to continue.

In January, Gov. Phil Murphy called for overhauling the current system and expanding the number of liquor licenses for restaurants statewide.

But for now, those are the "booziest towns" in NJ.

As for where to find some of the state's best brews...

NJ breweries with top-rated beer

The reviews are in — see which NJ breweries have the most beers with a great rating on BeerAdvocate.

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