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Beer Sales Take Center Stage At Liquor Privatization Hearing

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Beer distributors, tavern owners and grocers had their say as the state Senate continued a series of hearings on privatizing liquor sales in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Law and Justice Committee highlighted the balancing act facing lawmakers in reforming the sale of alcohol. While much of the focus has been on the fate of state stores, there’s also the matter of how to treat taverns, beer distributors and food stores, each with their own wish list and concerns regarding the sale of wine and beer.

Beer distributors testify at hearing in Harrisburg. (credit: Tony Romeo)

Beer distributors testify at hearing in Harrisburg. (credit: Tony Romeo)

Beer distributors testified before the panel on how they’d like to see restrictions on their sales relaxed, Republican Senator Richard Alloway reminded them there has to be give and take.

“That argument is not a winning argument ever, and you guys have made if for years: we want to take from the taverns, but we don’t want the grocery stores to take from us. It’s not fair. We want to work with you guys and the taverns.”

The Senate committee has held two hearings on a bill passed by the House and other legislation to reform the sale of alcohol, and plans to hold one more before taking any action.

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