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Pennsylvania Poised for Round Two of Liquor Reforms

October 28, 2016

Both the Senate and House have passed House Bill 1196 and, based on indications from the Governor, he is expected to sign the bill into law.  HB 1196 marks another round of sweeping liquor law reforms that will bring long-awaited changes to Pennsylvania consumers.

A complete copy of the bill can be found here. Some key takeaways from HB 1196 include:

  • Distributors can sell any amount of beer including six-packs, growlers, mix-a-six, etc.
  • Allows manufacturers in and outside of Pennsylvania to ship up to 192 ounces of beer per month directly to consumers (note to breweries, you need a shipper license to do this).
  • Breweries can offer beer from other Pennsylvania breweries up to a 50/50 ratio of the brewery’s own sales vs. sales of beer produced by others.
  • Raises the permitted level of carbonation in alcoholic ciders to reflect federal standards.
  • Soften rules regarding the ownership restrictions which will allow retail licensees to have an interest in a distillery and 10% or less of an interest in a retail license will not be considered a financial interest.
  • Mug clubs no longer required to provide a “mug.”
  • Breweries and wholesalers must report volumes sold to the LCB with breweries required to report on premises and self-distributed sales.

The law will take effect sixty days after being signed by the Governor.  HB 1196 puts the exclamation point on a year of dramatic changes to Pennsylvania’s liquor laws.

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