• New Brewery Regulation Will Help Pennsylvania Sales and Selection
  • November 28, 2014 | Author: Theodore J. Zeller
  • Law Firm: Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. A Professional Corporation - Allentown Office
  • Recently, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board voted in favor of a proposed regulation amending their view on the ability of breweries to sell beer for on-premise consumption. Many Pennsylvania breweries, including the Brewers of Pennsylvania, have been advocating for a change in the interpretation of Sections 440 and 446 of the Liquor Code, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board delivered.

    Although the proposed regulation still treats brewers of malt beverages differently from wineries and distilleries, it does allow a brewery, without any other form of license, to sell its beer on the licensed premises under certain conditions. The brewery must have at least 10 seats and offer snack food items like pretzels or potato chips. On-premise sales may occur between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and midnight. The regulation also seeks to change existing law concerning tastings.

    The proposed regulation states a brewery may offer tastings of malt or brewed beverages produced on the licensed premises, where current law allows breweries to conduct tastings on or off licensed premises with products that it owns and are not restricted to a particular production site. While the tastings provisions will further complicate legal interpretations, the proposed regulation is a win for the malt brewing industry. Breweries will no longer need to apply for a brew pub license, which comes with the requirement of securing a health permit and seating for 30 patrons. The new regulations will have no effect on wineries and distilleries, which are still allowed to serve on or off-premise consumption at their facilities without any requirements of securing a health permit or obtaining minimum seats.

    Yes, the less alcohol by volume you manufacture in Pennsylvania, the more regulation you face, but this new proposed regulation should benefit our smallest industry partners - namely, small craft breweries that will be able to easily build out small tasting rooms and offer their products to Pennsylvania consumers for on and off-premise consumption. This will certainly boost sales and consumers can expect unique selections to be offered at these new tasting rooms. There is a 30-day comment period that will end December 8th, and all written comments are to be directed to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Office of Chief Counsel, Attention Executive Deputy Chief Counsel Rodrigo Diaz or Assistant Counsel Norina Blynn.