Strange Pennsylvania Liquor Laws Make Buying Alcohol an Adventure

A man buying liquor at a bottle shop in East Falls.
Image via Michael Bryant, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
A man buying liquor at a bottle shop in East Falls.

If you are looking to buy beer, wine, or liquor, Pennsylvania’s frustrating and restrictive liquor laws do not make it easy to understand where you need to go, writes Nick Vadala for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

This has been true since 1933, when then-Governor Gifford Pinchot established Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the state liquor store system.

However, the laws have been relaxed somewhat recently, making alcohol purchases a bit more convenient.

Beer and other malt beverages are the easiest to buy. They are sold by beer distributors, bottle shops, bars, grocery stores, and breweries. However, the license each of these establishments determines how much they can sell you.

Wine is also no longer sold just in State Stores. All of the places that can sell beer can now also offer wine if they have the appropriate permit.

However if you are looking for liquor, the options are more limited. State Stores and Pennsylvania distilleries both sell liquor on-premises and can ship it to your home. Meanwhile cocktails-to-go, which were legal during the pandemic, are once again banned.

Read more about Pennsylvania’s liquor laws in The Philadelphia Inquirer.