It’s 2015 and yet some stores had to fight for the right to sell a 12 pack of beer

It’s 2015 and yet some stores had to fight for the right to sell a 12 pack of beer

rsz_12_packs_-_imageSometimes in New Zealand we rightly wonder if the rules and regulations imposed by Parliament and local councils go too far. It turns out we may be decades ahead of places such as Pennsylvania which had to go through huge legal battles to affirm that stores could sell a 12 pack of beer.

The previous law had supported selling beer in individual units, kegs, 15 packs, 18 packs or 24 packs (a case). Simply buying a dozen was not considered responsible for some reason. Here are highlights from the news report:

“The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Office of Chief Counsel issued a legal advisory today “informing brewers that they may sell ‘original containers’ as long as the container contains at least 128 fluid ounces — for example a 12-pack — to distributors that may be resold ‘as is’ to consumers.”

For years, beer distributors have been able to sell beer only by the case or keg, while groceries, bars and convenience stores have gained the ability to sell six-packs, 12-packs, and individual bottles for consumption on premises.

Two local distributors have played a major role in forcing the PLCB to confront the case-size question.

Prior to the opinion, distributors were generally restricted to selling cases or larger individual units, such as half-kegs, quarter-kegs and more.

A “case” of beer, according to Act 84 of 2006, is “a package prepared by the manufacturer for sale or distribution of 12 or more original containers totalling 264 or more fluid ounces of malt or brewed beverages, excepting those packages containing 24 or more original containers each holding seven fluid ounces or more.”

In a statement, the state’s Malt Beverage Distributors Association said that “today’s decision accurately reflects the law enacted by the General Assembly many years ago and is best for our customers as it brings the marketplace closer to meeting their needs.”

Many would say this decision bring Pennsylvania closer to common sense – but still not close enough.


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