March 9, 2015
YOU KNOW all those lawyer jokes? Forget 'em. Starting today, Pennsylvania beer drinkers can buy a 12-pack at a beer distributor, thanks to a loophole in state liquor code discovered by a sharp-eyed lawyer. Elsewhere in America - in New Jersey, for example - purchasing a 12-pack is no big deal. But since the end of Prohibition, Pennsylvania, distributors have been forbidden to sell anything less than a case of 24 12-ounce bottles or a "single container" (namely, a keg) holding 128 ounces.
January 30, 2015
IT'S NICE to be recognized. And it's even nicer to recognize what you've already got. If this first month of 2015 is any indication, this will shape up to be the year of the flattering mention, with national publications blaring their editorial trumpets in favor of fair Philadelphia. The New York Times stuck us at No. 3 on its list of "52 Places to Go in 2015. " We beat out a bunch of stateside and worldwide destinations, edged only by Milan, Italy, and Cuba - not that it's a competition.
July 18, 2014
WANT TO open a bar in Pennsylvania and avoid the standard six-figure price tag for a liquor license? The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, through its extraordinarily lenient interpretation of the state liquor code, lets you do it for as little as $500. All it takes is a one-page application with none of the lengthy red tape and criminal background checks applicants normally face. The discount license is an unforeseen product of a 2012 liquor code amendment crafted by the Legislature to make it easier for licensees to cater one-day private events.
March 24, 2014
Former Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board CEO Joseph Conti made $156,000 annually until his retirement last year, followed by months of "emergency" service at $80 an hour, for a job that did not exist before or since. In that sense, he may have earned the title "Super CEO," which was engraved on a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue presented to him by an executive with the alcohol giant Diageo, ethics officials found. "He seemed very appreciative," the executive recounted. No wonder: The premium Scotch whisky retails for about $170 - or, at LCB prices, $230.
June 9, 2013
Bringing the fresh taste and eco-friendliness of wines on draft to Pennsylvania has been a doggedly thirsty quest for Terry Berch McNally from London Grill and William Reed of Johnny Brenda's. They recruited Reed's local state rep, Michael O'Brien, to help change state laws last summer to allow it. But nothing happens quickly in Pennsylvania when it comes to wine. Though in-state wines have been allowed on draft for some time, it took until Feb. 1 for the PLCB to finally permit out-of-state wine keg sales.
May 20, 2013
Every so often, Pennsylvania gets a steep Chairman's Selection discount on a California red that might not be compelling enough to merit a list price approaching $48 - but is totally worth jumping on for $19.99. The 2010 Sonnette from Bell Wine Cellars in Yountville, marked down more than 50 percent, is jump-worthy, for sure. Debuted with a Saturday tasting in the PLCB booth at this weekend's Rittenhouse Row Festival, and on sale in stores Monday, Sonnette (French for "little bell")
January 27, 2013
It's sorry for not puttin' a foot in your mouth Subway is apologizing that its "Footlong" sandwiches fell short of expectations. The world's largest fast-food chain faced widespread criticism last week after a man posted a photo online showing a "Footlong" next to a tape measure that showed the sandwich to be just 11 inches. Subway said Friday that it's redoubling efforts to "ensure consistency and correct length" in all its sandwiches. In a statement Friday, Subway expressed "regret" for "any instance where we did not fully deliver on our promise to our customers.
December 1, 2012
No PLCB games The 5,000 employees of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board don't play with fake money ("Monopoly money," Tuesday). Last year they generated more than $500 million in profits and taxes for the state. This is real money used to fund programs that impact public school students, seniors in nursing homes, and our most vulnerable citizens. The Commonwealth Foundation doesn't understand or care that, if the PLCB were dismantled, the revenue loss would result in more deep cuts to vital programs that serve those in need.
March 25, 2012
"W ow" is not my usual first word to describe a Pennsylvania wine store, but the PLCB's new mega-space in Northern Liberties (180 W. Girard Ave.) is vast and shiny enough to prompt it. Of course, Ugh is my next word when the hunt begins for someone (anyone!) to help knowledgeably navigate the 3,300-plus selections. No such luck on a midweek day. So here I am, offering up two hot tips for great bottles to be found in the massive collection of Store #5125. First, there are a few bottles left of Domaine Durand's 2008 Cornas Empreintes.
January 10, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - That Skinnygirl Margarita may soon cost you more. Same goes for your favorite Malbec and Chardonnay, not to mention your choice of vodka, scotch and liqueur. The state Liquor Control Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to approve an increase in prices on more than 450 wines and hard liquor brands. The increases, requested by the vendors of the alcoholic beverages, are usually proposed for either $1 and $2, but go as low as 50 cents and as high as $5. If the board votes in favor of the increase, it would mark the first time in a year and a half that wine and liquor prices have gone up. In that time, the board has rejected requests for hikes, given the bad economy.