Beer me: PLCB to allow restaurants and grocery stores to deliver ale

A recent decision by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will now allow alcohol-serving establishments - restaurants, grocery stores, pizza shops, etc. - to also deliver beer for the first time in Pennsylvania.

The change comes from a Dec. 5 advisory opinion by the PLCB over the use of Pennsylvania's transporter-for-hire licenses, a legal instrument that authorizes the transporting of alcohol that is not allowed with regular liquor licenses.

Mark Flaherty, a principal of downtown-based Flaherty & O'Hara PC, a law firm which specializes in liquor law, expects the change to offer a major opportunity for a wide range of food businesses and sees it as a significant change from past practice.

He said the new interpretation of the law is now in effect.

"For many years, the Bureau of Licensing took the position that you can not own a restaurant and be a transporter for hire," he said, further explaining: "[It said] I can buy beer to go. But you could not (as a business) deliver that beer to a customer in the past."

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