June 14, 2016
ISSUE | PA. LIQUOR SALES We deserve cheaper prices, more choices As a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (like Gov. Wolf), I find it almost humorous that the General Assembly passed legislation to allow four bottles of wine to be sold in certain licensed stores, restaurants, and hotels in the commonwealth and that the governor signed it ("Law signed loosening Pa. wine sale restrictions," Thursday). The governor says this is an opening of the door to privatization of our archaic State Store system and brings convenience to our citizens.
June 10, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - For the first time since before Prohibition, Pennsylvanians will be able to buy wine at grocery stores. Barely a day after it sped through the House and unexpectedly landed on his desk, Gov. Wolf on Wednesday signed a law to let hundreds of restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores sell wine. The bill takes effect in 60 days, though it might take months for consumers to see the impact. Besides granting by-the-bottle wine licenses for stores that already sell beer, the measure takes steps to loosen the state's oft-criticized control of the alcohol market.
May 27, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - As the question of whether gas stations should be allowed to sell six-packs of beer waits before the state's highest court, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has approved more locations for customers to both fill up and stock up. By unanimous vote, the LCB on Wednesday added sites in Luzerne, Washington, Huntingdon, Columbia and Allegheny counties to the list of those that can sell gas and beer - a contentious issue in a state...
December 14, 2015
So far, 66 vintners and shippers - from Connecticut, Florida, Washington state, and mostly from California's Napa and Sonoma Valleys - have signed up for the Pennsylvania state liquor monopoly's Direct Wine Sales program, which allows consumers to order online cases of wines they might not find in the State Store catalog. Two Christmases ago, the state rolled out the program as a sort of compromise in the long struggle between Harrisburg supporters of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and its central purchasing, sales, and labor relationships and those who would rather buy from private vendors, now that online and smartphone orders can put all vintages in reach.
October 7, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - In a practice it says might become more routine, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on Monday unveiled an online lottery system to sell hard-to-get wines and spirits. Call it a booze lottery. Under the system, when the LCB gets limited quantities of speciality bottles, individuals and businesses will have a window to register online for the right to buy them. The first drawing will be for bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery's "experimental collection" - 12 bottles of 100-proof French oak barrel-aged bourbon, and 12 bottles of French oak barrel head-aged bourbon, the LCB said.
March 13, 2015
YIPPEE! Pennsylvania beer drinkers can finally buy 12-packs at distributors, thanks to a ruling last week from our pals at the Liquor Control Board. Well, yes . . . but before you start celebrating, there are good reasons to be worried. * Unelected bureaucrats are rewriting the rules. The LCB calls its 12-pack opinion an "interpretation" of the existing law. But that's just lawyerspeak for "we finally found a way to make this happen. " For the past 80 years, Pennsylvania has been living under a fairly iron set of bizarre rules.
February 10, 2015 |
Pennsylvania's behemoth beverage ministry adopted a stiffer ban on gifts to employees last week. Echoing a praiseworthy policy decreed by the new governor, the Liquor Control Board thereby inadvertently drew attention to the fact that it did not forbid all gifts to employees until last week. That's not an academic matter: Top officials at the agency, which moves some $2 billion worth of wine and liquor a year, have been caught helping themselves to goodies and favors in about as grotesque a manner as you might suspect, right down to a personalized bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue.
November 29, 2014 |
Sobriety checkpoints popped up throughout Pennsylvania the day before Thanksgiving to crack down on impaired drivers during the holiday, one of the biggest travel periods of the year. During last year's Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays, 1,072 of the crashes in the state involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Thirty-five people died. West Chester is working to make sure servers and sellers of alcohol know their responsibilities under the law during the holidays and throughout the year.
August 29, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - After several high-profile ethics violations by top staffers, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has revised its code of conduct for employees and implemented a new code for firms doing business with the agency. For employees, the revised code goes into effect next month. It explicitly prohibits them from accepting anything of value, under any circumstances, from vendors doing business or seeking to do business with the agency. "There are no exceptions to this prohibition," the revised code states in bold and italic letters.
July 30, 2014 |
VISIT THE South Street Beer Garden or the Oval and try to find an empty seat. These temporary pop-up taverns already feel so established, it's hard to recall that, by winter, the spaces will revert back to the wind-whipped tundra we race to escape. Summer has transformed these spots. And, if the crowds are any indication, we can't get enough of them. Not many Philly bars offer colorful hammocks like those at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's beer garden, plopped on a lot at 1438 South St. Or lawn blankets and pillows, like those on the Oval on the Parkway, supporting the Fairmount Park Conservancy.