Governor Wolf Reminds Pa. Beer Customers of Improved Convenience Now in Effect
January 17, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today reminded beer consumers in Pennsylvania that Act 166 of 2016 is now in effect, allowing for even greater customer convenience for purchasing beer from distributors.
“Pennsylvanians waited decades to bring their beer and wine systems into the 21st century,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I’m proud to have worked with Republicans and Democrats to significantly modernize our liquor laws for the first time since Prohibition and ensure that the commonwealth is more inviting for customers and businesses. These reforms build on Act 39 and Act 85, which revolutionized consumer convenience in Pennsylvania’s liquor system by expanding hours for Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores, right locating state facilities, allowing direct-delivery of wine to Pennsylvanians, and making wine available at grocery stores.”
The new customer conveniences allow for distributors to sell beer in any amount, including six packs, growlers and even single bottles or cans. Act 166 was the second significant liquor reform measure passed last year. Act 39, signed in June and in effect starting in August, significantly overhauled the sale of wine and beer, while also creating increased economic opportunity for Pennsylvania distillers, breweries and wineries.
Changes now in effect under Act 166 include:
- Allowing distributors and importing distributors to sell malt or brewed beverages in any amount to a unlicensed customer for off-premises consumption. The sales do not be in the manufacturer’s original configuration and can be sold in refillable growlers that can be resealed.
- Allowing retail licensees to start selling on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. instead of 11:00 a.m., and removing the requirement that a licensee must offer a meal beginning at 9:00 a.m.
- Allowing a person licensed by another state to apply for a “malt or brewed beverage shipper license,” which allows the direct shipment of 192 fl. oz. of beer to be delivered to a customer per month; however, only 96 fl. oz. of a specific brand of beer may be shipped per year to an adult resident.
- Allowing beer and liquor to be sold (in shatterproof containers) before, during and after professional and amateur athletic events and consumed outside the club seating and restaurant area, as can be done at performing arts events or other entertainment events.
- Clarifies that a brewery does not need a brewery pub license to sell the products of other licensed breweries, limited wineries, limited distilleries and distilleries.
Act 39 included these reforms, among others:
- Removed Sunday and holiday restrictions for Fine Wine & Good Spirits store hours;
- Enabled Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores to sell Pennsylvania Lottery tickets
- Allowed grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and hotels (anyone with a restaurant license) to apply for a permit to sell up to four bottles of wine to go;
- Granted the PLCB common retail marketing abilities including pricing flexibility, a customer relations management program and couponing opportunities.
- Allowed for direct shipments of wine to people’s homes;
- Authorized the PLCB to auction restaurant liquor licenses that have expired since 2000, in order to accommodate increased market demand for licenses; and
- Made permanent gas stations’ ability to obtain liquor licenses to sell beer (and wine) to go.
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