Free Our Beer!

With the debate over Pennsylvania’s liquor laws heating up, new legislation would finally allow consumers to purchase six-packs of beer at their favorite local grocery store or distributor. Introduced by Sen. John Rafferty, the proposed legislation would be a welcomed relief to beer-drinkers across the Commonwealth who are currently inconvenienced by Pennsylvania’s archaic and counter-intuitive liquor laws. This legislation would also provide more business to grocery and convenience stores across the state. The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) and the Pennsylvania Convenience Store Council (PCSC) have both endorsed Rafferty’s reforms.

Rafferty‘s legislation would also require a 100% ID proofing policy for all alcohol vendors to eliminate any concern over underage purchases. As Rafferty noted at a rally today in the Capitol Rotunda, Wegman’s supermarkets have been selling beer at their “Market Cafes” since May of 2008, with over 760,000 transactions and not a single violation of LCB policies, largely in part to their own 100% proofing policy. A one-time vendor licensing conversion fee of $25,000 and annual fee of $2,500 would go directly back to alcohol enforcment and compliance.

Furthermore, 75% of Wegman’s beer sales were from local Pennsylvania breweries, supporting small businesses right here in our own backyard.

Click here for our recent Policy Brief on the impact of private liquor.