Puritan Beer Laws
by John Lee
Bob - I'm one of your readers from Pennsylvania, you know, the state
that doesn't let us buy like most people. Well, guess what - for the
first time beer distributors can now sell 12-packs here. No big deal to
most folks but we are talking the Keystone state.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.’s Office of Chief Counsel just
issued a legal advisory “informing brewers that they may sell ‘original
containers’ as long as the container contains at least 128 fluid ounces
— for example a 12-pack — to distributors that may be resold ‘as is’ to
For years, beer distributors have been able to sell beer only by the
case or keg, while groceries, bars and convenience stores have gained
the ability to sell six-packs, 12-packs, and individual bottles for
consumption on premises only.
Why can't I buy a 12 pack at a convenience store as is done in almost
every other state in the country?. Does Pennsylvania have a lower
incidence of alcoholism or alcohol-influenced accidents than states
which offer beer and wine in grocery stores? That would be the only
valid reason I can think of for having the entire LCB structure. If that is
not the case, perhaps it should just quietly go away, or be put to a
referendum. Maybe they're worried that if I'm allowed to buy a 12
pack, what is everyone else going to drink.
Hello to Pennsylvania lawmakers- I have a news flash for you-
Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Did you miss getting the memo? It
was all over the news. Yup, speakeasies are long closed
I have a friend who lives in Canada and according to him Ontario's
system of selling beer is as bad (or worse) than ours. He gets beer in
an older store in the downtown area where shoppers make their
selection from a dizzying wall display of more than 300 slighty oversize
beer labels. That's labels, not bottles. Their orders are
dispatched to a windowless warehouse attached to the store. The beer
then pops out of a small hole in the wall and clatters down steel rollers
Did some say puritanical? That antiquated retail system, which
accounts for the bulk of sales in the province, is at the center of the
beer wars in Ontario. We folks in Pennsylvania can empathize.
Let me know when Liquor and Beer can be bought on Sundays at a
grocery store, when I can bring beer into the state legally, and when It
finally gets privatized as it should be and is in most places. I want to
drink beer and wine without the government interfering in how I
Well, Bob, that's my soapbox rant. Even if you don't publish it, I feel
better for having written it.
Thanks for your article John. You're not alone in dealing with archaic
alcohol laws so I'm sure many readers understand your position. Please
keep us updated if any of the laws are finally changed.
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer/drinking/booze just as John did. I select the best and
publish them here. So join in and get writing!
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