Big Changes Coming To How Pennsylvanians Buy Liquor and Wine

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HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvanians may soon be able to run to their neighborhood grocery store to grab their favorite bottle of wine.

Big changes are afoot in Harrisburg that could mean a dramatic shift in the way we buy liquor and wine in the Keystone State.

At Wegman's in Dickson City, it's a nice convenience that customers can grab some beer while picking up dinner.

“Running around, trying to see friends and have a get-together, it's nice to be able to grab food and beer at the same time,” said Brian Hanley from Peckville.

Now your next purchase at a grocery store could be a bottle of wine.

State lawmakers approved a liquor reform bill Tuesday morning and parts of that bill would expand wine sales to grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience marts that currently sell beer to-go.

“I think Pennsylvania's kind of stuck in the past in quite a few different ways and this is a set in the right direction,” said Joe Geris from Dunmore.

“I think it helps a lot of small businesses,” said Star Roeser from Tunkhannock.

Despite that long-running debate that liquor stores should be privatized, this liquor reform bill keeps Pennsylvania in the liquor business since it does not close any state run stores.

“I think the state ought to get out of the liquor business. The state is ineffectual in almost everything it does and the best thing the state can do is get out of the liquor business and let private industry do it,” said Geris.

But the bill does have some changes for the state stores. It would allow state stores flexibility to offer discounts and special pricing. The bill would also allow state stores to be open on holidays and Sundays.

“Especially, right now we live in Tunkhannock, there's only like two places that we can get anything for the weekend and a holiday. They're only open until five anyway, so I think it's going to help,” said Roeser.

That liquor reform bill was sent to Governor Wolf. He is expected to sign this into law.

4 comments

  • Jeff

    The only problem I have with PA State Stores is that they have a monopoly on what gets sold.. like 6 months ago, I bought espresso vodka at a PA State Store, as a whole, it didn’t sell well in Pa, even though it did sell well in my area, so PA removed it from the stores, now I have to drive to New Jersey every time I need to refill that alcohol. And I can’t purchase it online and have it shipped to my house because of PA’s stupid laws.

  • Sam

    Most changes never benefit you or I

    There’s a 1 sided reason behind this, and it’s not for your convenience.

    When was the last time a change was made that benefitted you.

  • cheeseburger_walrus

    After moving out of the state, I can actually say… I miss the state-run liquor stores. In other states (where selling alcohol is more of a free-for-all), many places that carry liquor are expensive and/or have a terrible selection. Like it or not, the state stores in PA are actually fairly decent. It is, however, extremely inconvenient when you cannot just pick up a 6 pack or bottle of wine with your groceries… as long as you’re 21, why not? The current method is ridiculous, having to separate the alcohol from regular groceries, there is no reason for that.

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