Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Senator Rafferty Comes Out Swinging

I have no time to blog about this -- working feverishly on PA Breweries 4 -- but big news yesterday in Harrisburg: State Senator John C. Rafferty (Montgomery-R) held a "rally" for reforming PA's beer laws, the main aim being to allow six-pack sales in grocery stores, convenience stores, and distributors. Read about it here, here (one of Karen Heller's best columns), and most of all here, in Rafferty's own talking points memo (this is a PDF, just to warn you). I'll be back to talk about this when I'm done with the book.

Two things, though. First, thanks to Stan Sheetz, CEO of the PA-based convenience store chain, for really pushing this issue. Second, to the distributors and six-pack store owners and employees who stand to face competition and possibly job losses from this issue: this day was bound to come. Instead of burning your time, money, and customer goodwill by fighting it in courts or the press, step up and compete. Cooperate to get the best possible bill for yourselves. Here's a plan: go for the package store system they have in Massachusetts. Instead of just "fixing" beer sales, do away with the State Store System and make beer distributors eligible to be "all-alcohol" stores, and that's where people buy their booze, from private stores, supplied by privately-owned wholesalers or directly from the suppliers. How's that sound? Radical, hey?

Double-posted to Seen Through A Glass.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wine sales? Keep them in the State Store, please

With the opening of the first State Store grocery just around the corner on Tuesday, here's something to make you think about just how unfair that is. Read about why it just doesn't make sense to serve wine in Pennsylvania. Then think about why some of you don't understand why it would make sense to get rid of the State Store System monopoly. And come to your senses, will you?

I swear, I'm going to stop buying anything at the State Stores, law be damned. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a mass protest that someone thought up: a thousand wine lovers go to NJ, and walk back across the Ben Franklin Bridge with a bottle of New Jersey-bought wine. Are they going to arrest us? This is more than ridiculous: it's insulting.