As Pennsylvania breweries continue to grow as the leaders of the craft beer industry, the state’s relevant legislation is changing for the better.
1. Brewery Licenses
Breweries no longer require a brewpub license to serve pints as of May, which eases barriers to entry for smaller craft brewers. Now, a brewery license allows an operation to serve draft beer and food on premises, in addition to filling growlers and offering packaged brews. While this change makes it easier to enter the craft brew game, it comes with an early closing time stipulation: the last pint must be served before midnight.
2. Distribution Leniency
Brewers, drinkers, and distributors rejoiced as 12-packs were legalized for sale in distributors. Previously, Pennsylvania’s alcohol laws said consumers could only buy cases or kegs at a distributor and up to 192 ounces of beer per transaction at beer stores or from breweries. This change gives consumers a middle option between purchasing a quick 6-pack or a hefty case.
3. Beer in Grocery Stores and Beyond
Grocery stores like Wegmans and Giant have found leeway in legislation that allows them to sell brews out of a technically separated location. More grocery stores appear to be exploring the possibility of carrying alcoholic beverages and are making room for the state’s craft beer stronghold on shelves. As Fox43 points out, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will soon decide whether beer can be sold in convenience stores. Beer is already being sold in several Sheetz locations that also operate a location for beer sales that is technically separate from the gas station.
As residual laws from the Prohibition era continue to be addressed in our state’s exponentially growing beer industry, it will be interesting to see how the dynamic of distributors, breweries and bars plays out. For now, we will keep making multiple trips to the car with 192 ounces of beer.
To get involved in legislation, plan on attending our 5th Annual Brewers Day on the Hill in Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 14, where brewers are encouraged to discuss their needs with the state’s lawmakers.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit trade association that brings together leaders of Pennsylvania-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. Established in 2011, the Brewers of Pennsylvania serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. We believe in the nobility of brewing and hold dear the great traditions and history of Pennsylvania brewing.