Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NEWS FLASH! PLCB Supports PA Wine Month

Dateline Harrisburg: October 13, 2015

The PLCB announced today that as long as the threat of privatization continues they will support Pennsylvania wine makers. Chairman Tim Holden stated that the the PLCB is fully behind Pennsylvania wine makers, and the proof is the 50% increase in shelf space allotted to Pennsylvania wines.

"The change from two to three shelves of Pennsylvana wines is a big step for the state's vintners," Holden announced. "We support all Pennsylvania wineries, even the ones that can't afford to sell to us because of our pricing policy (a majority of the over 200 wineries in the Commonwealth). In the past 5 years we have instituted ONE new policy to help Pennsylvania wineries, an increase of 100% over the previous 75 years, to try and make up for selling bulk California wine that undercut the state's own producers. We won't get caught doing that again."

Board member Michael Negra chimed in with this bit of techno-hope: "Over the next five years we plan to attempt to put a tab on our website so you can see all the Pennsylvania wines available for order. Someday we hope to be able to allow a customer in Erie to order a Lehigh Valley wine and have it delivered to their local store! But for the moment we aren't equipped to ship and warehouse the hundreds of different SKUs that would require, and of course we couldn't allow the winery to ship direct to the customer; that would mean a loss of control. And 'Control' is our middle name, kind of." 

Consumer reaction has been mixed since the change in the stores.  "I don't know where to find the Riunite now." said a State Store customer, "It was always under the PA wine section before and now they have moved it. because of the extra shelf of PA wines."

"I think it is great!" said another consumer as he walked past the Pennsylvania wine section to get a box of Franzia. "I think the state should support in-state businesses. Maybe not having the PA wine section in the back corner of the store would be better...but hey, I'm sure they know what they're doing."


Anonymous said...

Why do you bring up Riunite and Franzia?

Lew Bryson said...

Why do you ask?

Albert Brooks said...

Which two would you like me to use next time?

Anonymous said...

You two, Bryson and "Brooks", are like reading an online version of Bar Rescue, obviously supported by some Whiskey/Bourbon distillery or distributor. Really, how many people really give a hoot about whiskey? The average consumer probably cannot name a distillery beyond Jack Daniels and maybe only because of their ads with Mila Kunis. I get that to you privatization would mean you could get insidered access to some craft brand of 80 proof alcohol that the average customer either has no knowledge nor could afford. Pappy whatever is probably more available than Heady Topper or Hill Farmstead, but in the end most consumers could care less about either. From what I have read your true goal is to lower wages for worker, destroy small businesses like Beer Distributors and Bottle Shops, and advocate for chain stores. I was at a beer event tonight and a craft brewer in PA was concerned that your version of privatization would mean less shelf space in their home state. They already know what it is like to go to corporate buyers to get their SKU's approved and see only 1 or 2 of their beers versus the local beer distributor carrying the entire lineup. Yes, like the merger of Bud and Miller, privatization, in your version, will only serve the major corporations and screw the little guy.

Dave Stoller

Lew Bryson said...

That's a really strange perspective you have. We're not "supported" by anyone; I've never asked, taken, or received a dime for this blog or anything I've ever said about privatization of the State Stores. If anything, it's cost me money.

If you're such a hot supporter of the small brewer and craft beer, why do you sound just like a Bud drinker from 25 years ago when you talk about whiskey? We just want the same thing from liquor stores that we wanted from beer stores back in the 1990s: carry the small, new product lines that are coming on the market (and the old, established single malts, but that's a different issue, since the PLCB doesn't carry those either). Just because YOU don't care about them... After all, enough of us care about them that the PLCB is having a lottery to see who gets to buy some limited edition whiskeys.

To me, privatization would mean that I could get the same kind of access that I can easily get just across the Delaware River in New Jersey: nothing special, just NORMAL.
That's my "true goal." I'm not in favor of chain stores, never have been. Would it be great to have a Total Wine? Sure, but you'll notice that the presence of Total Wine in Cherry Hill hasn't killed the liquor store segment in the area: Canal's, Roger Wilco, Wineworx, Moore Bros. all still thrive. I don't want to destroy small businesses, I want to CREATE them. If you're worried about small businesses, can't you see that the PLCB has destroyed an entire category of them? I want small specialty stores like I see in other states, not one HUGE chain store, with NO other choices: the PLCB. Under the PLCB's monopoly, I can't even legally go across the state line to try another store. Tell me what's good about that.

Your sob story of the local beer distributor carrying "the entire lineup" is just bullshit. It's HARDER for the distributor to carry the entire lineup because of the stupid case law: "my version" of privatization would get rid of that. Craft brewers are doing FINE in other states that have a MUCH more open beer retail system. They're concerned about market change, sure, I get that. But Pennsylvania's consumers deserve some change.

In short, if you think I'm in favor of big corporate stores, crushing small businesses, and hurting workers, you haven't been paying attention.

I do applaud you for not hiding your name. Thank you for that.

Albert Brooks said...

I suggest you need to read some more. My true goal is to rid the state of their monopoly in alcohol sales. The PLCB is the ones keeping "most consumers" from knowing about what else is available. Why should I have to travel out of state to find things? Because the state monopoly is ignorant about what is available that is why. They don't know or care about anything that isn't geared toward the lowest common denominator. Great if that fits your needs but it isn't working for millions who cross the border in search of better service, better selection, better prices and better knowledge.

A prime example of their incompetence is Auchentoshan American Oak that the PLCB said is now available (FWAGS FB page Oct 8th 6:55 pm) Only a YEAR after it was released. This isn't some limited edition but their main standard bottle. I bought one in New Jersey before last Christmas just because it was new and affordable.

The system plain sucks, always has, always will. It stifles small business, causes entrepreneurs to go elsewhere, limits employment and aggravates the citizens. It does nothing for the state besides limit selection, choke convenience and cost consumers more.

Albert Brooks said...

Well Dave, if you are still reading this timely article would indicate that you are wrong. There does seem to be a large number of people who drink whisk(e)y and would be interested in them.


Anonymous said...

State store selection mostly sucks, but there's one category of wine that there's no scarcity of in PA: kosher wine. Not only does the Bala Cynwyd state store have two totally different sections for kosher wine (but the entire store is maybe fifty feet long), a private Judaica/Jewish wine store is a few blocks away.

Anonymous said...

OMG, a National Liquor Day! Will Hallmark start selling cards?

Albert Brooks said...

I'm not sure if you can base the entire states Kosher wine selection on one store. How much Kosher wine do you think is in the one store counties?

Maybe not a card but the PLCB is advertising it on the FB page.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Al and Lew,
How do I know you are not anonymous?

Lew Bryson said...

Because we use NAMES. Maybe the word you're looking for is 'pseudonymous.'
In any case, these comments are wandering. Stick to the topic if you expect your comments to be posted from here on out.