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BLOG: Want Wine? Ship it to Your House Under New Liquor Reform Bill.

By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary

June 14, 2016

There’s been a lot of talk about wine in grocery stores and beer at gas stations since Governor Wolf signed the most significant liquor reform bill since Prohibition.

These are huge reforms and wins for consumers and will make purchasing wine and beer much more convenient for Pennsylvanians. But what you may not know is that the law also provides for any Pennsylvania resident to ship wine from anywhere in the world to their home.

This puts the consumer first and breaks down barriers to getting wine from a variety of new sources. Consumers can direct ship up to 36 cases containing at most 9 liters of wine each per calendar year.

Here’s how the Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported the change:

“For the state’s most devoted wine lovers, a much bigger deal is the adoption of direct-to-consumer shipping from winemakers nationwide – putting Pennsylvania in line with 43 other states that give residents access to wine clubs from obscure West Coast wineries.”

Jeremy Benson, executive director of Free the Grapes!, a California group that has been advocating for direct shipping nationally since 1998, welcomed the shift in Pennsylvania.

“It’s a populous state. It is a state with a lot of wine lovers in it, and it is the last of the large states that has continued to effectively bar winery direct shipping,” he said. “For all those reasons, it is a very, very important win for consumers.””

It’s true: this is a big win for consumers, especially wine lovers.

But, wait! There are even more changes that benefit consumers and Pennsylvania businesses outside grocery stores. Here’s a few other changes you should like:

  • Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits stores can now offer coupons and customer loyalty programs, including buy-one-get-one and seasonal promotions;
  • Bars and breweries can now operate a “mug club” which could mean big discounts on beer for members;
  • Pennsylvania-based breweries, wineries and distilleries can sell each other’s products for consumption; and
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries can now more easily offer tastings and sell products at farmers markets and other food and beverage fairs.
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