Monday, July 14, 2008

What a great opportunity

Pennsylvania could join the movement to rationalize archaic post-Prohibition laws that is apparently sweeping the nation. As this AP story reports, Colorado now allows Sunday sales of booze (and "full-strength" beer, whoopee!), Idaho now allows booze sales on Election Day, Virginia bars are allowed to mix spirits with wine or beer (which should make Steve Beaumont happy), and municipal officials in Wisconsin are now allowed to sell products or services to bars (Huh? Well, there was some poor booger who had to resign because he had a business that -- gasp! -- sold vacuum cleaners to bars and restaurants. Good Lord).

Add to that the many towns across the South that are deciding that being dry is just stupid (mainly because it means that their town won't get an Applebee's, but I'll take what I can get), and you've got a tidal wave of reason sweeping over the booze law establishment in this country.

Wouldn't it be a great time for Pennsylvania to enter the 21st Century? Hell, I'd settle for the 1950s! If even Utah can make their liquor laws more reasonable, aren't you ashamed of Pennsylvania's record? Now is the time. Form a committee in the legislature, get some citizens on there for a change, and get reasonable booze laws in the Commonwealth. We deserve it, because our situation is only becoming worse by comparison.


Anonymous said...

The only way this is going to happen is:

(1) A grass-roots, citizen-initiated ballot initiative (referendum), which to me it is not clear can happen in PA (I am relatively new PA resident)


(2) Businesses that have a chance to make $$ (supermarket conglomerates etc...) put up the lobby money to override the influence of the Distributors and the PLCB union.


(3) Both

Lew Bryson said...

No referendum law in PA. However...polling consistently shows that the citizens are over 80% in favor of doing away with the case law, a first step. As for the State Store System, I do believe that if we can show people that they're getting screwed with no revenue-generation or temperance or under-age drinking prevention benefit, they'll back dumping the system. I think. That's why I'm doing this. I just want to get people talking, and get people angry.

Bryan said...

I know you're trying to make a point about PA, but as a Virginian who just returned from a trip to San Francisco wherein I consumed my weight in beer, I can tell you we still have a ways to go with our liquor laws.

Anonymous said...

I just moved to Colorado last summer from the Philly area. When I found the local wine, spirits and BEER (yes, all under the same roof!) store, the following conversation happened between me and the helpful (knowledgeable, to, I might add) employee:

"Do I have to buy a case of this?"
"Uh, no.."

"So, a six-pack, then?

"You mean I can break the sixer to get a bottle to try it out?"
"You're not from around here, are you?"

Also, I've noticed that (gasp!) the stores out here run real specials, and that it's fairly easy for me to get a better price (on say, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen) at one store over another.

Another thing: a few of the beers I bought last spring had gone bad on me--I took them back, and the store credited me immediately. I can't imagine that happening back in PA (where I was a resident for 20+ years).

And that Sunday sales thing is also mighty convenient. Sometimes I like to be able to go out before the football game to pick up a few beers.

If we could only get Troegs out here (I know, it's their decision not to ship farther than 3 hours from H'burg), life'd be complete.


sam k said...

I was a salesman for the Rolling Rock distributor here in Centre County, PA 12-13 years ago, and I remember getting a keg of Rock in that had a Virginia keg registration sticker on it (a big sucker that stuck so well that it wouldn't wash off at the brewery) and thinking, man, that's screwed up!

I feel for you, Bryan!

roan22 said...

Lew, did you hear about Shooting Creek Brewery in Floyd, Virginia?


I wrote my own blog entry about this on myspace.