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Old 08-13-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
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Default I am more pissed than ever at Pennsylvania liquor laws

So I went to N.C. to visit my dad for the past week and I had the pleasure of shopping for beer at the supermarket. (In PA, You can only buy liquor at state-run package stores or at specially licensed bars. )

The had a wonderful selection. I bought Stone Ruination, Dead Guy and Mothership Wit and the New Belgian Summer Ale. They had 20 or 30 beers that I have seen discussed at length on this site but have little chance to try because in stupid PA I can only buy them by the case or by paying 3 times the price for a six pack.

Example: In NC I paid $8 for a six of Dead Guy, in PA the same six costs me $22!

I also bought a couple cases of wine. Another example of usurious PA laws: In PA I paid $13.99 for a particular bottle, in NC I found the same exact bottle for $4.99!

I knew it was a pita to shop in PA AND I knew I was paying extra for the hassle, but I didn't realize how absolutely ridiculously PA is gouging their residents.

Not only that, but because it is a pita for the producers to do business in PA, there is an absolutely abysmal selection available.

The government has no business being in business. There is way too much evidence of it's inability to do it efficiently.

Screw PA liquor laws.

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Old 08-13-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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One benefit is that it has created a pretty big beer-geek culture in Philly. Hard to find beers are really sought out and cherished, as I am sure you know.

Go to Total Wine in Claymont, DE, just 20 mins down the road. Or even better, go to State Line Liquors in MD. They both blow the pants off anything you can find in Philly. You can mix and match your own six packs at each place. And for liquor, go to Canals in Jersey. I totally agree with your post, but I haven't purchased anything alcoholic in PA in ages.


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Old 08-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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The laws are positively draconian - and I'm thankful I can hop across the line into MD and hit my favorite bottle shop in 25 minutes.

Truthfully, I haven't bought any commercial beer by the case in PA in probably 3 months. The selection is quite good, though.

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Old 08-13-2009, 08:53 PM   #4
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Both of your responses perfectly illustrate the total blindness of the policy (and politicians) of PA. They think "yeah, we'll do it this way and just rake in huge tax benefits." while subscribing to the belief that people will buy their booze no matter how much they are charged.

Meanwhile half of the state's liquor sales are going to neighboring states. Idiots.

The way I purchase is I have my bil buy wine for me in Jersey. And I don't buy beer except when I am out of state.

(There is a beer place with great selection in Wayne but they are a case place. I never want to buy a case of anything. Period. Usually I want to try one or two to see if I want to clone it.)

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Old 08-13-2009, 09:04 PM   #5
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I was going to suggest like Harkin suggested and just hop the line to DE. I lived in PA most of my life and I used to buy by the case. But that was pre-homebrewing. Now I have my own beer by the case (or keg) and would only want to sample commercial beer by the single or sixer. I agree with you about PA's liquor laws... pretty ridiculous. Better than Utah, I guess.

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Old 08-13-2009, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Meanwhile half of the state's liquor sales are going to neighboring states. Idiots.
I'm not sure that's true. PA is a big state, and a beer drinker (craft or otherwise) in the center of the state doesn't have the means to cross statelines and buy more conveniently. As far as wine and spirits go, it is a similar arrangement in VA where liquor stores are run by the state - and I rarely heard any objections about that arrangement.

The laws are loosening somewhat, particularly with the recent victories Wegman's won in the Commonwealth to sell 12 packs of regional beers, but they have some serious ground to make up.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:42 PM   #7
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Those states are so small, what's the problem with crossing a couple to stock up?

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Old 08-14-2009, 12:01 AM   #8
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I know how you feel, it's even worse in Sweden.

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Old 08-14-2009, 12:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
I'm not sure that's true. PA is a big state, and a beer drinker (craft or otherwise) in the center of the state doesn't have the means to cross statelines and buy more conveniently. As far as wine and spirits go, it is a similar arrangement in VA where liquor stores are run by the state - and I rarely heard any objections about that arrangement.

The laws are loosening somewhat, particularly with the recent victories Wegman's won in the Commonwealth to sell 12 packs of regional beers, but they have some serious ground to make up.
Someone in central PA may be screwed, but I'd guess at least two-thirds of the states population live within less than an hour from another state (between Philly, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie etc...). I grew up in Baltimore, and lived in Florida for several years, but one of the things I love about So Cal is 24-hour grocery stores with beer, wine and liquor.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:37 AM   #10
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I grew up in PA, but I haven't spent a ton of time there since I was 18. However, I still visit the family sometimes, and each visit makes me more aware of the awful laws. During my last visit, just a few weeks ago, I felt positively handicapped! I wanted to share some good beer with a few close relatives, so I went to a fairly big distributor to check out the selection. I bought a case of Mike's Hard (something) for the ladies and found a 12-pack sampler of Troeg's. I was informed at checkout that I had to buy two of the 12-packs since they couldn't sell anything less than cases. I gladly picked up the other 12, knowing that they'd probably be good beers. The bill came to over $70!!! WTF!?!? Later in the week, my Dad and I stopped by a pizza joint to grab a six-pack, and the best we could muster was Beck's Dark. It cost something like $12!!! I really wanted to try some of the up-and-coming locally brewed micros, but the Troeg's sampler was all I found, and the prices were so prohibitive that I was afraid to even shop around. What a shame.

On a positive note, Troeg's Dreamweaver Wheat was heavenly. I've heard that they can be inconsistent, but I must've gotten an exceptional batch. It was a VERY tasty Bavarian style hefeweizen, unlike any other domestically brewed wheat beer that I've ever had.

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