Scavello Measure Providing New Liquor Permits for Wine Festivals, Farmers Markets Included in Newly Enacted Liquor Law

Harrisburg – Legislation drafted by Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) creating two new liquor permits for Pennsylvania breweries was signed into law yesterday as part of a sweeping liquor modernization bill.

House Bill 1690 (ACT 39 of 2016) will allow grocery stores to sell wine, increase opportunities for the sale of beer, and improve consumer convenience for overall liquor sales. Before passage, the measure was amended in the Senate to include Senator Scavello’s Senate Bill 1060 creating two new permits.

The first permit is a special permit to participate in wine and food festivals in the Commonwealth. This permit will allow the holder to sell by the glass, bottle or package malt and brewed beverages manufactured by the permittee.  The permit may be obtained for no more than 100 days per calendar year and may not be used for more than 30 consecutive days.

The second permit is a farmer’s market permit which will enable the permittee to sell malt and brewed beverages, including growlers, manufactured at farmer’s markets throughout the Commonwealth.  The permittee may not sell more than 144 fluid ounces in a single sale to one individual.

“With the vibrant and growing craft beer industry in Pennsylvania, these permits provide an opportunity for the brewer to meet consumers face to face and talk about their product and where it comes from. In addition, this legislation allows brewers to form quality relationships with local farmers and keep their beer ingredients in-state,” Scavello said. “By bridging the relationship between brewers, farmers and consumers, these small businesses will be able to capture a wider audience, adding an economic boost to the local economy.”

The new law will also:

  • Allow grocery stores that sell beer, licensed restaurants, and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine per customer.
  • Permit licensed wine producers to ship their products directly to Pennsylvania consumers.
  • Allow “six-pack” shops to upgrade their “eating place” licenses to “full” restaurant licenses to sell wine as well as beer.
  • Lift the requirement that State Stores close on certain holidays and only operate on limited hours on Sundays.
  • Allow special discounts and sales at State Stores.
  • Permit casinos, for a fee of $1 million, to receive a license to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Allow lottery tickets sales in State Stores.

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CONTACT: Christine Zubeck (717) 787-6123