Governor urges PLCB to allow gas stations sell beer 6 packs

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Governor Tom Wolf has written to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board requesting that it, “free the six pack”, in gas stations across the Commonwealth.

“I am requesting that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) favorably consider license applications from businesses with appropriate protections to sell up to 192 ounces of malt or brewed beverages. Doing so will make purchasing beer more convenient for Pennsylvanians and is consistent with recent precedent in the Commonwealth Court. I understand that there are twelve such applications up for approval at the May 25 board meeting, and I respectfully ask that PLCB approve all of those applications that otherwise meet PLCB standards.

Currently, the Pennsylvania Liquor Code requires that the PLCB “shall refuse any application for a new license [or] the transfer of any license to a location where the sale of liquid fuels or oil is conducted.” As you know, however, a recent Commonwealth Court ruling affirmed PLCB’s interpretation of this provision to permit the sale of malt and brewed beverages on the same property as liquid fuels, as long as points of sale are appropriately separated. The Court’s ruling in Water Street Beverage, Ltd. v. PLCB affirmed PLCB’s decision to approve a license for Weis Café, when Weis had gas pumps on the same property as the proposed Café. The Court’s decision sets important precedent that both clarifies this provision of the Liquor Code and allows for the sale of malt or brewed beverages at gas stations and other businesses under appropriate circumstances.

I respectfully ask the PLCB to approve the license applications pending before the Board, as well as all subsequent similar applications, that involve the same factual circumstances approved by the Board and the Court with respect to Weis Café. Allowing malt or brewed beverages to be sold at gas stations under appropriate circumstances is an important step toward our shared goal of “freeing the six-pack” and increasing convenience and improving customer satisfaction for all Pennsylvanians.”

The PLCB meets Wednesday morning. Several applications to sell six packs at stores that also sell gasoline are on the docket.