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Old 12-19-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
won't their still be a limitation on how many licenses a single entity can own?
I have no idea, but I would note a huge number of convenience stores and supermarkets are independently owned, even if operated under a common brand.

Anyway, here is an article making this angle a little more explicitly:

Fear the beer bill - dailylocal.com
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Philly
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huh. the bill is certainly flawed, as was the previous one...but so long as supermarkets have to buy their licenses from the existing pool, I'd imagine they will do fine if they liquidate....of course, half a million for a liquor license? that's absolutely ridiculous in itself ensuring that no mere bartender can afford one. maybe they could drop the bar provision and allow bars to buy direct from local brewers regardless of who owns the distribution license (in theory, this should allow for lower costs)...and consider extended hours (3 or four am at least for the two big cities...then just allow distributors to have first crack at a wine license but nix the annual fee (or make it nominal)...any leftover licenses could be auctioned off separately (and should also apply to beer delis).
none of it addresses the fact that it's difficult and expensive to get into the bar business in PA but hard to get shut down. it should be the opposite.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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I don't know the details of how the licenses will work under the new bill, but I got the impression the beer distributors are concerned about supermarkets using tavern licenses and selling 30-packs. If that is the concern, then beer distributors won't get a windfall from supermarkets buying up tavern licenses, although some tavern owners might.

I should emphasize that my response to all this is "So what?" There is absolutely nothing about the traditional beer distributor model in PA that I think is worth saving. But they likely see it differently.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Philly
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that would simply drive up the cost of owning a bar unless new licenses are issued, which is also a bad thing in my opinion. it's already difficult enough for small timers to buy licenses with prices in counties that have grown already in the 100's of thousands jsut for the license alone, without the business. one way to counteract that, aside from issuing new licenses, would be to have licenses to be transferrable throughout the state so they can be moved from shrinking counties to growing counties. a second, and perhaps more workable solution, would be to make all licenses the same...simply have a license to sell alcohol (or at least beer and wine)...at least the distributors would not be stuck with dramatically reduced license values. btw I appreciate your explanation, the distributors gripes seem sensible in light of that. wouldn't eliminating the tavern provision get rid of that complaint?
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pman View Post
wouldn't eliminating the tavern provision get rid of that complaint?
I think that is more or less what the distributors are saying--they like the idea of being able to sell six-packs and wine, don't like the idea of people with tavern licenses being able to sell 30-packs.

Of course the bill may be passed over their objections, or it may be changed to suit them--but then someone else will likely complain about the new deal. I'm sure tavern owners, for example, won't be happy if distributors can sell six-packs and they get nothing in return.

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I really wouldn't count on any of this happening. Too many people have too much invested in the status quo to make it an easy process, and this state government struggles to get anything done at all.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I think that is more or less what the distributors are saying--they like the idea of being able to sell six-packs and wine, don't like the idea of people with tavern licenses being able to sell 30-packs.

Of course the bill may be passed over their objections, or it may be changed to suit them--but then someone else will likely complain about the new deal. I'm sure tavern owners, for example, won't be happy if distributors can sell six-packs and they get nothing in return.

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I really wouldn't count on any of this happening. Too many people have too much invested in the status quo to make it an easy process, and this state government struggles to get anything done at all.
I believe you are correct; likely the pathetic status quo will remain. Also, given that not a few beer distributors have all of the ambience of an airplane hangar, or an industrial warehouse. they would seem to be a strange place to look for a fine vintage or two. Let alone ask for an opinion!

Last edited by hornet67; 12-20-2011 at 11:54 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,785 posts, read 7,386,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I think that is more or less what the distributors are saying--they like the idea of being able to sell six-packs and wine, don't like the idea of people with tavern licenses being able to sell 30-packs.

Of course the bill may be passed over their objections, or it may be changed to suit them--but then someone else will likely complain about the new deal. I'm sure tavern owners, for example, won't be happy if distributors can sell six-packs and they get nothing in return.

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I really wouldn't count on any of this happening. Too many people have too much invested in the status quo to make it an easy process, and this state government struggles to get anything done at all.
I don't mean to be pessimistic either, but that never stops me. you're right, they can't seem to get anything done.
for tavern owners, the loss in value would probably be less...taverns are open no matter what, and selling six packs is gravy, whereas a distributor is going to have to stay open and justify it with new sales. I do think some business will go to distributors, but I generally only buy the pricey tavern sold six packs out of convenience (it's late at night, weather's bad, don't feel like driving to a distributor, etc). otoh, if they can simply pass through 30 packs (which I imagine is a high volume business catering to people without taste, thus don't take up much your time) at the same price as a distributor, I'd guess taverns would win that market...in some ways that would be good, distributors would have to draw people in with good selection, knoledgable staff, etc, but for a lot of distributor owners that aren't owned by beer people, that's probably the kiss of death.

hornet-distributors definitely have no atmosphere, but some are staffed by helpful, knowledgable people. I think a move into wine and increased competition would probably force them to compete a little more. fact is, although there are more distributors than state stores, there are still too few licenses to really stoke competition.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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If all the reforms went through, distributors would definitely have to go more of the Total Wine approach, and not the warehouse of skunked beer approach. Which would, of course, be incredibly pro-consumer, but the consumer doesn't have much of a place at the table in these discussions.

I agree most tavern-license owners wouldn't care too much about distributors selling six-packs without being able to sell 30-packs themselves, but of course the "bottle shop" owners would care, and they would be provided with lobbying support by the supermarkets et al planning to use tavern licenses.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,785 posts, read 7,386,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
If all the reforms went through, distributors would definitely have to go more of the Total Wine approach, and not the warehouse of skunked beer approach. Which would, of course, be incredibly pro-consumer, but the consumer doesn't have much of a place at the table in these discussions.

I agree most tavern-license owners wouldn't care too much about distributors selling six-packs without being able to sell 30-packs themselves, but of course the "bottle shop" owners would care, and they would be provided with lobbying support by the supermarkets et al planning to use tavern licenses.
I think the 500 some odd beer delis should be convertible licenses. get rid of the distinction and make them either tavern or distributor licenses with the ability to sell wine. the fact that there are only 500 some beer deli licenses is pretty ridiculous in itself, considering it's supposed to be a convenience business.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
I think the 500 some odd beer delis should be convertible licenses. get rid of the distinction and make them either tavern or distributor licenses with the ability to sell wine. the fact that there are only 500 some beer deli licenses is pretty ridiculous in itself, considering it's supposed to be a convenience business.
" Beer Delis"; what a howl. Perhaps the others are different, but the one nearest to me, in Mt. Lebanon, has a "menu" consisting of month old hotdogs! No that I care; his prices also seem to have been undercut by Giant Eagle and Shop n'Save.
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