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Pa lawmakers to Sheetz: No Beer for You!

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. One step forward, two steps back:

    Changes brewing for state's beer laws
    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    HARRISBURG -- Changes to beer distribution laws are brewing in the state Legislature.

    Lawmakers began this morning by tapping the minds of distributors, retailers and tavern owners during a public hearing before the Senate Law and Justice Committee and House Liquor Control Committee.

    "We're looking at legislation to see what we can do to accommodate consumers ... and close any loopholes," in the awarding of licenses to sell beer, said Senate Law and Justice Chairman John Rafferty, R-Montgomery.

    The effort was sparked by an Altoona Sheetz convenience store that began selling beer last month under a license allows delis to sell six-packs and 12-packs.

    The Malt Beverage Distributors Association sued the Liquor Control Board for awarding the Sheetz license and won, but the convenience store is continuing to sell beer while the case is under appeal. Commonwealth Court had ruled that Sheetz doesn't qualify for the license because it doesn't allow alcohol to be consumed on premises.

    That rationale is incomprehensible, R. Michael Cortez, Sheetz's vice president and counsel, told lawmakers this morning.

    "We think a license grants a privilege, rather than creates an obligation, to sell beer for on-premises consumption," he said. "We have a license to sell tobacco products to adults, but we do not make our customers smoke in the store."

    Opponents of beer sales in convenience stores testified that beer distributors, which are open limited hours and sell only by the case, are better able to prevent sales to minors.

    Mr. Cortez, though, said those opponents -- largely distributors and tavern owners -- are motivated mainly by their desire to protect their own businesses from competition.

    In any case, beer distribution laws need a closer look because more convenience stores are likely to follow Sheetz's lead and apply for malt beverage licenses, Mr. Rafferty said.

    "Stores are trying to offer more and more convenience for customers. A lot of them have little snack bars for their customers," he said.

    Under current law, those snack bars could qualify them for beer licenses available to delis, lawmakers said.

    "We're going to take a look at it and tighten it up," said state Rep. Robert Donatucci, D-Philadelphia.
  2. boots

    boots New Member

    About time the Keystone State caught up with the other states.
  3. BigRed

    BigRed Active Member

    I love me some Sheetz... great made-to-order food. I go out of my way to get a sub sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich or cheeseburger every time I'm up in Virginia or North Carolina.
    I don't understand what the big deal is about selling beer in convenience stores in PA. I've literally only set foot in the state once - last year for a Penn State hoops game in State College.
    Can someone explain the rationale behind Pa's strange beer/liquor laws??
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    I wish they had Sheetz out here in the Midwest.
  5. boots

    boots New Member

    The PA law is that it is illegal to sell an alcoholic beverage without a license. A deli in many places can get that liscense provided they also serve food.
    Grocery stores for years have been trying to change it so they can also serve brews but Pa. is a funny state. They don't call it the Quaker State for nothing. It's often been said that outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, there is an uncharted area that resembles a scene from Deliverance.
  6. MartinEnigmatica

    MartinEnigmatica Active Member

    Pennsylvania is about 50 years behind the times in a lot of ways. PA still had the blue laws back in the day, when many other cities had gotten rid of them, or at least allowed sports on Sunday.
  7. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Quakers aren't Deliverance folks, Boots. Don't confuse us with the Amish or the Mennonites.

    We're a buncha crazy pacifists, not the anti-booze brigade.
  8. boots

    boots New Member

    I know the difference. Now squeal like a pig.
  9. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    It's obvious from your previous post that you don't, Boots.
  10. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Yupper, me and Maw are sitting on the front stoop here between them two evil empires. I got mah banjo, and the neighbors workin' on the '55 Chevy in the front yard across the state.

    Now, you revenooers don't be coming in here with your high-falutin' Sunday beer, y'hear? I still has me some pumpkin balls for my rifle that'll tear the hide right off'n you.
  11. boots

    boots New Member

    Chickie, I was making fun. Shot will attest that I know PA a helluva lot better than most.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Damn, now I'm hungry for an MTO sandwich.
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