Spirt of Philadelphia First Friday 2017 Leaderboard

Pennsylvania Grocery Stores Can Now Sell Wine

by Jessie Donofrio on Jun 14, 2016 in Culture

Pennsylvania government has been letting a little bit loose, lately and it’s benefiting drinkers. Governor Wolf approved legislation which will allow hundreds of grocery stores and thousands of restaurants and hotels to sell wine. This marks the first time since Prohibition that grocers can sell wine, making this bill a historic one.

Governor Wolf noted, “My goal is to modernize the sale of liquor and beer in Pennsylvania and this reform package finally brings Pennsylvania’s wine and spirits system into the 21st century.” Some of the modernization includes extended hours allowing the PLCB stores to open on Sundays and on state holidays. The bill also allows the state stores to offer coupons and loyalty programs and also will permit the stores to competitively price their products and offer more sales. Gas stations can also sell 6 packs of beer & malt liquor, and casinos can sell alcohol around the clock during operating hours. Direct shipments of wine to homes will also take effect, which means you can finally join that wine of the month club your friend from Jersey has been bragging about.

But keep in mind this is state run, so you may want to temper your expectations. The bill goes into effect in 60 days, but you may not see any changes until November or beyond. One of the regulations include a purchasing limit of four bottles of wine at a time, and only about a handful of gas stations are currently permitted to sell beer, none of which are in the Philadelphia area.

Nonetheless, the bill is exciting for PA residents and lawmakers alike. Senator Chuck McIlhinney remarked, “The reforms included in this bill are measures that consumers have requested for years, and I appreciate the fact that we were able to reach a compromise that responds to the most pressing concerns we hear from community residents.” To us alcohol truly is a pressing concern. The bill managed to pass with bipartisan support, symbolizing that no matter what political party you side with, alcohol is something that can unite us all.

The bill will provide convenience for residents which the current system is definitely lacking. Is PA truly becoming more relaxed on their liquor laws though? We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.

Photo via Flickr user stevendepolo 

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