SunGazette: Liquor Law Solutions - Outdated System May Not be so Easy to FixSeptember 17, 2012
Pennsylvania's system of buying wine, spirits and beer is so outdated and inconvenient, that it's almost easier to buy a bottle of wine in New Zealand and fly it back than to pick up the same thing in New Jersey.
It may sound like a far-fetched example, but one critic who advocates for the abolition of the state Liquor Control Board says it's very much true. By law, Pennsylvania residents are prohibited from purchasing alcohol across the state line.
Lew Bryson, a Philadelphia-area columnist, blogger and author on all things beer and spirits, makes no qualms about his dislike for the LCB and how beer, wine and liquor are sold in the state.
"We're looking at a system that is anti-business, anti-consumer," he says. "I have not experienced great service at the LCB stores, with a few exceptions."
Bryson said the state's divided system of selling alcohol with LCB, or "state" stores for wine and spirits, beer distributors and six pack shops makes no sense.
Access to alcohol is more prevalent in neighboring states, where wine, spirits and beer are commonly sold in the same location at grocery stores and convenience stores.
Even Utah - which is the only other state in the nation besides Pennsylvania that has a government-controlled monopoly on retail and wholesale sales of wine and spirits - sells beer in convenience stores. That state also sells wine, spirits and beer together at its state and package stores.
Bryson also says that the state is fighting itself as a marketer and seller of alcohol while trying to enforce alcohol regulations.
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