Pennsylvania’s onerous liquor laws continue to modernize under new enactments. Previously, each brand of beer on tap had to have its own branded tap marker as a part of its draught system. Many breweries and restaurants had tap boxes that appeared cluttered against new, industrial layouts and design. Now, under Act 166 of 2016, licensees selling beer or cider out of a tap no longer need to have the trade name or brand of the product being poured directly on the tap marker. The new law reads: “It shall be unlawful … to furnish or serve any malt or brewed beverage from any faucet, spigot or other dispensing apparatus, unless the trade name or brand of the product served shall appear in full sight of the customer.” This allows the retailer significant flexibility.
A practical example of this would be to have a 10-tap system, and each tap would be numbered 1 through 10. After that, the restaurant, bar, brewery, brewpub, winery or distillery could have a chalkboard, sign, menu or the like indicating what beer or cider is being served out of the corresponding tap number. The only requirement is that it must be in the plain sight of the customer and in legible lettering. This is a great change for the brewing industry, as it allows licensees that serve beer to easily change to a new beer or cider. Previously, sometimes retail accounts received the keg and had to wait to serve the contents until a tap marker was delivered. Additionally, it will save the brewers from having to make tap markers for the beer they produce, although we are sure the practice of artful tap marker designs will continue.
For additional information regarding this matter or for addressing any other liquor law matters, please contact Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire, at firstname.lastname@example.org.