The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of 12-Pack Sales at Distributors

by Kate Monzo on Mar 20, 2015 in Beer


Remember back in December when the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board made 6-pack beer delivery legal in Pennsylvania? The PLCB has done it again. On March 6, it issued a legal advisory that allows brewers to sell “original containers” as long as they contain at least 128 ounces. In other words, you can now buy a 12-pack at a distributor.

Prior to this decision, distributors were only able to sell beer by the case or keg. If customers wanted to buy beer in smaller quantities, they would have to go to a grocery or convenience store that had the proper licensing and setup to sell such quantities of beer. The PLCB redefined the term “original container.” Instead of it meaning the container that holds the beer, it can now be interpreted as the cardboard box that holds the container that holds the beer, as long as it is the original packaging. This means distributors cannot just throw two six-packs together or break apart current cases. 12-packs must arrive prepackaged direct from the brewery.*

While it might seem like the best news in the world to many of us, there have been mixed opinions. According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Wilkins and ranking minority party member of the House Liquor Control Committee said that the PLCB’s decision is “a step in the right direction to provide consumer convenience.” It’s beneficial to consumers because it gives them more options in their beer choices, and it supports our beloved Pennsylvania breweries.

On the other hand, the Brewers of Pennsylvania, a craft brewing trade association said the “PLCB’s decision serves up a competitive disadvantage that can be destructive to small businesses.” The disadvantage the Brewers of Pennsylvania mention is the ability to produce 15- or 18-packs, which would also be legal for distributors to sell. Many microbreweries are not equipped to manufacture cases of that size and would be at a disadvantage compared to the macro breweries that have the resources to produce such packaging. Bar owners were also unhappy with the PLCB’s decision. If you want to take a 12-pack home from a PA bar, you have to pay a per-bottle drink tax. This makes it significantly cheaper to buy from a distributor.

Because it has to be the original packaging and not just 12 bottles put in a box together, the only delay that is keeping distributors from selling 12-packs immediately is waiting for them to receive shipments from breweries. With that being said, you can expect to start seeing 12-packs at your local distributors soon!

What do you think about the PLCB opinion? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

*Note: The PLCB announced yesterday (March 19) that distributors will, in fact, be able to break apart cases that contain two 12-packs and sell each individually. Cases that contain 24 loose bottles will still need to be sold as a single case. Repackaging millions of cases of beer “would, in the Board’s opinion, be a wasteful and pointless exercise,” said Faith S. Diehl, chief LCB counsel.
 
Photo via Flickr

 


Tags: Beer
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
The History of The Boulevardier Cocktail - and How You Can Make it at Home

The History of The Boulevardier Cocktail - and How You Can Make it at Home

In this history segment, we take a closer look at a classic cocktail: The Boulevardier....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 2, 2020
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the unexpected sunshine of a crisp day in fall, Philadelphia is full of great places to drin...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2019
PA Voter Project Seeks to Pay Unemployed Restaurant Workers to Work Election Polls

PA Voter Project Seeks to Pay Unemployed Restaurant Workers to Work Election Polls

Power the Polls PA is looking for unemployed restaurant workers to work the polls and will pay for their time....read more ›

by Drink Philly Sep 16, 2020
SPONSORED
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
You Can Now Get Cocktails To-Go in Center City Philadelphia

You Can Now Get Cocktails To-Go in Center City Philadelphia

Restaurants throughout the Center City limits are offering pre-made cocktails in special take out containers...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jul 18, 2020
Cocktails to Go in Bars & Restaurants Legalized in PA During Lockdown: Here's Where to Get Them in Philadelphia

Cocktails to Go in Bars & Restaurants Legalized in PA During Lockdown: Here's Where to Get Them in Philadelphia

Bars & restaurants in PA can now sell cocktails-to-go. Here's where to find them in Philadelphia...read more ›

by Drink Philly May 21, 2020
Relief for the Bar, Restaurant, & Hospitality Industry in Philadelphia

Relief for the Bar, Restaurant, & Hospitality Industry in Philadelphia

Right now the hospitality industry is—to put it lightly—struggling. We created a resource directory for an...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 20, 2020
Where to Find Beer, Wine, & Liquor To Go in Philadelphia During the Pandemic

Where to Find Beer, Wine, & Liquor To Go in Philadelphia During the Pandemic

Bars and restaurants are officially closed (and offering take-out and delivery only), so your favorite bartend...read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2020
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 26, 2018
Suits & Sazeracs Returns for Second Year to Benefit Career Wardrobe, February 24

Suits & Sazeracs Returns for Second Year to Benefit Career Wardrobe, February 24

At this NOLA-style event benefiting Career Wardrobe, you'll be able to sample unique Sazerac-inspired cocktail...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 20, 2020
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close