Friday, January 18, 2013

PA Alcohol Privatization

Pennsylvania has some of the strangest alcohol related laws in the country.  Many places have wet and dry counties, or no sales on Sunday or before noon, or rules for who can sell what (e.g. grocery stores some places can sell 3.2 beer only, other places beer only, others beer and wine, and some can sell anything).  In many states hard liquor is only available in liquor stores, which may be state run.

In PA, wine and liquor are sold in state run "Wine and Spirits" stores operated by the liquor control board, and beer is sold by beer stores in cases (only).  Some "restaurants" are allowed to sell up to 2 six packs worth of beer.  Restaurant liquor licenses are so expensive and hard to get that PA has many restaurants which are BYOB (this is actually quite popular, but very strange to people not from here).  The LCB operates far too few wine and spirits shops in the state (600).

Something that simplifies things, and improves access would be great.  It could even include privatization.  That said, whatever ends up getting passed will just be another layer of complexity and will likely mean higher prices (particularly for spirits).

Oh, as for the other end of the anti-privatization...As much as it can be a bit of a pain in the ass, I'm pretty sure that people who want to get drunk don't have any problems doing so with the current situation.


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