Beer distributors upset with Corbett plan on Pennsylvania alcohol sales
January 31, 2013By Mary Wilson
Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to sell off Pennsylvania's liquor stores and allow consumers to buy wine, liquor, and beer from a wider array of retailers is rankling some businesses.
They say the plan would be disruptive to anyone currently doing business alongside the state stores.
Pennsylvania has more than 1,200 beer distributors and their product is already privatized.
But under the governor's plan, supermarkets and convenience stores would be able to buy licenses to sell it.
That's a scary prospect for Randy King, spokesman for the Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania.
He says Governor Corbett should give more consideration to beer distributors in his quest for more customer convenience.
"The long game on this that if you expand beer and wine sales into every grocery, convenience, and big-box store, it will ultimately have a very negative impact on the business model that beer distributors have used and followed at state direction for 75 years," said King.
But distributors couldn't pan the proposal in its entirety.
It includes one thing they've long fought for: packaging reforms, to allow them to sell beer in six-packs, not just cases and kegs.