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Thread: Pennsylvania Liquor Laws

  1. #1
    Douglas Williams
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Raleigh, NC

    Pennsylvania Liquor Laws

    My wife and I went up to Philadelphia to run in the Broad Street Run last weekend. Apparently, Eagles fans are all from out of town because everyone we met was really nice. But I digress, and no, I didn't win but I did place a respectable 7726. Actually the big surprise was my inability to buy beer at a reasonable price. Here in Raleigh, I can buy a six-pack of Bell's Two-Hearted Ale or Stone IPA for $11 at the grocery store. In PA, my choice was buy take-out from a restaurant at restaurant prices or a beverage store, which did have a great selection, but at restaurant prices. I bought two 12oz Arrogant Bastards and two 12oz Stone IPA(not the Ruination) for a total of $20. That's just four beers for just under the retail price of two six-packs anywhere else.

    Two questions:
    How do you folks in PA put up with this policy that has you paying 200% of retail for your barley(or hop) therapy, and;

    How are the liquor laws in other states? Are there any unusual rules in your area?

    I'll go first. NC has dry counties, mostly in the western part of the state. The rest, though, beer and wine is available at grocery stores, wine/beer stores and convenience stores. The hard stuff can only be purchased from state-run ABC(Alcoholic Beverage Control) stores. How is it in your neck of the woods?
    Sent from a Galaxy, far, far away

  2. #2
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    South Carolina
    Its always been that way in Pa. I was born and raised there. when I moved south I was shocked to see beer and wine sold in Grocery stores. Pennyslvania is a Commonwealth if that gives you a clue.
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  3. #3
    Bill the Cat geisterfahrer's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Rochester Hills, Michigan
    Here in Michigan, you can get package beer, wine, and liquor darned near anywhere. Liquor stores (party stores, here), grocery stores, and gas-station mini-marts all carry full lines of booze at comparable prices to each other. There used to be a no-alcohol-until-noon-on-Sunday restriction, but I don't know if that even exists any more. No dry counties or townships here that I know of. I'm just guessing at this, but I think the liberal liquor laws here may hark back to the fact that Michigan was the primary source of illegally imported Canadian hooch during Prohibition

    When I lived in Minnesota, the groceries could sell only 3% beer . If you wanted real beer or wine or liquor, you had to go to the State Store.
    Kevin W.
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  4. #4
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    NY is really weird. Beer in grocery and convenience stores, but wine is in private owned liquor stores. In fact if you have a liquor/wine store and you own a beer store next door, law requires that you must not have any inside doors connecting them, even as an owner you have to walk outside to enter the other space.

    They are trying to get wine sold in grocery stores, the producers like the change, but the liquor store owners , obviously oppose.

  5. #5
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    SW Ohio
    At a national in PA back in the 90's we stopped at a pizzera. The table next to us was enjoying wine, beer, hard liquor, you name it. We ordered a couple of beers and the waitress said they didn't serve drinks. You had to bring you own in. Weird.
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  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Reno, NV


    Hah! Here in Nevada, liquor stores, drug stores, markets all compete. 6 packs of microbrew $6.99 heading into $7.99 lately. If the store is 24/7, then so are liquor/beer/wine sales.

  7. #7
    Washington State...

    Beer/wine is in grocery stores...
    The State runs sales of Hard Liquor.

    Therefore the agency that provides it will also bust you for it's "use".

    After leaving NY I felt this is kinda weird.

  8. #8
    John. jstrube's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Atwater, CA
    One nice thing about California... Between the hours of 6AM & 2AM, you can buy beer, wine & liquor at many types of stores, all over... Just depends on what the proprietor signed up for with their license.

  9. #9
    Here in NJ you can only buy alcoholic beverages in liquor stores and restaurants. If a restaurant doesn't sell it, you can BYOB.

    Folks live in VA and they can buy wine and beer in the grocery but the hard stuff only at ABC.

    When I lived in Colorado you could get wine and beer in the grocery and hard at the liquor store. On Sundays though the liquor stores were closed and you could only by 3.2 beer at the grocery store. It was wierd. 3.2 beer refers to the alcohol content.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kgadley01 View Post
    Pennyslvania is a Commonwealth if that gives you a clue.
    Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth. Pennsylvania is a State which calls itself a Commonwealth. Blue laws are archaic - there should be a law against them!

  11. #11
    blah blah blah squiffynimrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Regina SK Canada
    Will the PA laws affect the pricing and availability of beer/wine/spirits sold at the 2011 National Rally?
    No pithy comments available at this time.
    Please check back later.

  12. #12
    Ex-Camping guy sherpamayberry's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Earth, USA, Virginia, Alexandria
    Quote Originally Posted by kgadley01 View Post
    Pennyslvania is a Commonwealth if that gives you a clue.
    VA also considers itself a commonwealth. But, that really holds no relevance (from wiki):

    Four of the constituent states of the United States officially designate themselves Commonwealths: Kentucky,[1] Massachusetts,[2] Pennsylvania,[3] and Virginia.[4] This designation, which has no constitutional impact, emphasizes that they have a "government based on the common consent of the people"[5] as opposed to one legitimized through their earlier Royal Colony status that was derived from the King of Great Britain. The word commonwealth in this context refers to the common "wealth" or welfare of the public[6] and is an older term for "republic" (cf. the 17th century Commonwealth of England).

    Quote Originally Posted by Belquar View Post
    Folks live in VA and they can buy wine and beer in the grocery but the hard stuff only at ABC.
    That is my experience in VA.

    Last summer, I supported a rally near Pittsburgh. I was surprised I couldn't buy beer at Walmart. Had to find some beer store to buy beer.

    My question is what's the purpose? Is it to discourage drinking? Why do I have to go to an ABC store if I want anything hard in VA?

    Personally, I think such restrictions are archaic.

    In WV, I ran into a situation where I tried to buy beer on a holiday (Memorial day or something like). Cashier wasn't sure if I could buy because the "before noon on Sunday" may have applied to holidays too. After about 10 minutes waiting in line while she tried to contact her supervisor, I was able to complete my beer transaction.
    Camping guy

  13. #13
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    PA is one of the last states to totally control alcohol under the guise of "protecting the public from themselves". The real reason is money.

    The state liquor system employs hundreds of underemployables, paying them totally unreasonable salaries and benefits. Their union kicks back mega bucks to the politicians to ensure that their jobs and monopoly would be safe.

    The beer situation is even worse. The state charters "Beer Distributors" to sell and distribute beer in case or keg lots to either the public or bars. Bars are forbidden to sell more that 144 ounces to an individual, thus protecting the Distributor's monopoly. Again, the distributors kick tons of money back to the pols to ensure their monopoly.

    No matter how the public howls about this situation, the pols will not vote it out fearing loss of campaign dollars.

  14. #14
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Quote Originally Posted by squiffynimrod View Post
    Will the PA laws affect the pricing and availability of beer/wine/spirits sold at the 2011 National Rally?
    Yup, bring your own. The other weird part of PA law is there are beverage stores that sell beer, but you have to buy an entire case! NO 6 pack sales. To buy a 6 pack you have to go to a package store, which is a bar or restaurant that sells beer. There you can purchase a 6. In fact some restaurants do NOT serve, but as mentioned are licensed for consumption, and are package stores?? So you can't order a beer from the waitress, but can go to the cooler pick up a 6, and pay for it at the register, then take it back to the table and consume it with the meal???

    That said, there is the Bull Frog brewery in Williamsport that serves food and beverage and sells Growlers for take out of there very fine brews, and a place, I believe in Watson that is a restaurant that has a good selection of 6 and 12's for reasonable prices. And rt 44 N of Bloomsburg is a nice ride for sure.

  15. #15
    High & Dry statdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    In the Endless Mountains

    Pennsylvania is conservative

    Plenty of beer available in Bloomsburg and very close to the Rally site.

    Campus Beer Distributor
    3 N Iron St Bloomsburg, PA 17815

    Beverage Station‎
    645 Locust Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815

    Bloom Party Center‎
    1233 Columbia Boulevard, Bloomsburg, PA 17815

    One of my favorite stops is Russells just staggering distance to the rally site and the gutters are wide and clean just in case. Most likely Russells will be packed by expensive beer drinking BMW riders who are on fluid restriction.

    The Liquor Control Board requires grocery stores selling beer to have an area of at least 400 square feet partitioned off, with seating for at least 30 people who can be served prepared food and check out at a separate counter. This new law is being protested by Beer Distributors who are losing sales. And concerned public that cashiers under the age of 18 maybe working the counter.

    Pa also allows Sunday sales since 2002 at their liquor stores. They also allow wine tasting at the vineyards so customers can make a informed choice.

    As democratic majority the state is it is still very conservative. And you shouldn't be drinking beer you should be out riding.
    If one cannot command attention by one's admirable qualities one can at least be a nuisance

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