HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Should convenience stores in Pennsylvania be able to sell beer? The battle has been brewing in the commonwealth for years. Now, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices will weigh in on the issue, after the state's highest court agreed to take the case.
"We are a consumer driven company, and our customers have told us loud and clear that they want to be able to buy beer at our stores," said Ryan Sheetz, Assistant Vice President of Brand Development with Sheetz. He said the company has been leading the charge for other convenience stores. Sheetz currently has three locations that sell beer. The first was in 2007 at a location in Altoona, Pa. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board granted the licenses. "We actually operate that liquor license and the beer transactions on a separate property, so the technicalities of that rule have been satisfied," said Sheetz.
But, not everyone agrees. The license was challenged, however, ultimately held up in court. The State Malt Beverage Distributors Association has appealed that ruling, successfully petitioning the state's highest court to take up the issue.
"The liquor code, we believe, does not allow for gas stations to sell alcohol the liquor," said Matt Haverstick, Counsel for the Malt Beverage Distributors Association.
Regardless of the decision, Haverstick believes it could have a big impact on all other cases. "the rule set by that one case would, I think, affect all of the other cases the same way," he said.