Many places have government imposed alcohol monopolies and private retailers of alcoholic beverages are forbidden.
As alcohol, especially (red) wine, has a central place in Jewish practice and as such regulations therefore would prevent Jewish practice1, one may be tempted to say that dina d'malchusa dina ("the law of the land is the law") does not apply.
I have observed2 orthodox kehillos (congregations) that have their own alcohol stores, thus circumventing the governmental restrictions.
But here is the catch: Besides the multitude of alcoholic drinks that do not require certification, many of the monopolies do in fact carry impressive lines of kosher products with easy ways to find them. Examples:
British Columbia: 21 products; 21000 Jews
Manitoba: 23 products; 13000 Jews
Ontario: 77 products; 212000 Jews
Pennsylvania: 135 products; 293000 Jews
Quebec: 78 products; 95000 Jews
Sweden: 16 products, 20000 Jews
Even areas with very few Jews have at least something to offer:
The Faroe Islands: at least3 1 product; no known Jews
Finland: 7 products, 1500 Jews
Norway: 3 products; 1700 Jews
Novo Scotia: 2 products; 3700 Jews
I have lived in Sweden, Minnesota, and Quebec a total of 10 years, but never heard of any religious exemptions there.
In a place that does not grant religious exemption, what hetter (halachic permission) is there to sell restricted alcohol?
If there is no such hetter, is it then permitted for an observant Jew4 to buy from such outlets?
1. Well, at least according to those that do not accept grape juice as an allowable substitute.
2. To avoid legal and halachic implications, I will not be more specific.
3. No kosher label or keyword to search for.
4. This is not a request for a p'sak (ruling), as I do not drink alcohol.