Archaic Laws and Eight-Foot Walls

Pennsylvania’s Prohibition-era liquor laws did nothing but provide headaches for two entrepreneurs, demonstrating yet again the absurdity of our state liquor code.

Stymied by a bureaucracy’s byzantine legal code, Knechel and Tracy attempted to acquire distilling and brewing licenses, but were repeatedly denied over the course of six months. The explanation? A simple “you don’t meet the current code” was given by the PLCB countless times, but both men persisted and continued to push for answers.

Knechel and Tracy were finally given a definitive answer: Pennsylvania law dictated that the PLCB could not issue two licenses to the same address. So to comply with the code, the men built an eight-foot wall, separating the property into two addresses.

This example of government inefficiency should not surprise those familiar with the PLCB. The antiquated system stunts the growth of local entrepreneurial projects, prevents innovation and denies choice, convenience and competitive pricing to those who demand it.

Pennsylvania needs a liquor system and code that works for both taxpayers and entrepreneurs, so we can finally leave the the relics of Prohibition behind.