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Old 07-05-2008, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
40 posts, read 170,498 times
Reputation: 21

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As some of you may have read in other threads I've started recently I am a Chicagoan living in Portland who is ready for a move and I've kind of got my list down to Pittsburgh or Denver.

I will drink liquor and mixed drinks on occassion but beer is my beverage of choice, especially craft microbrews.

I saw another thread about beer in Pittsburgh and it made me wonder:

What are the liquor laws like in Pittsburgh/Pennsylvania?
Can you buy liquor at the grocery store?
Can you buy liquor on Sunday?
Are there any [percentage beers]?

In Oregon, if you serve liquor you also have to have a restaurant/kitchen as part of the operation. Do you have anything like that?

While Oregon is not Utah - we have really quirky laws which can be fairly inconvenient at times. However, I know Denver/Colorado is pretty much the same way.

Not a huge factor, but it can attribute to quality of life.

(THIS PART IS THE EDIT THAT I'VE ADDED: I don't want to be rude, but I am not looking for personal feelings/attitudes about drinking. I know that people have strong feelings about drinking - especially if you don't drink. However, I am really looking for JUST THE FACTS MA'AM.)

Thanks

Last edited by 5starson23; 07-05-2008 at 09:42 PM.. Reason: focus
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:11 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,420 posts, read 4,318,379 times
Reputation: 1201
I rarely drink, but my girlfriend does. You buy beer by the case (usually 24pack) at beer distributors, which are everywhere, and mostly closed on Sundays. This means no beer in 7-11s or grocery stores. You can also buy (overpriced) 6-packs at bars and some restaurants. Liquor and wine are sold at state stores, most of which are closed on Sundays. So, if you want to drink on Sundays, you have to do it at a bar, or plan ahead, which doesn't seem like that big a deal.

I think PA's alcohol laws were written back when William Penn lived in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh was still a fort on the frontier. I'm mixing my historical periods here, but you get the picture.

I personally believe that quality of life would be much better with no alcohol, but I'm a former pothead, so that's just my opinion. I still can't wait to vote in favor of the 10% drink tax, which is already in effect and which bar owners are trying to get repealed at the ballot box in November. The alternative is jacking up the property taxes by 20%, which affects everybody, even renters.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
40 posts, read 170,498 times
Reputation: 21
No BEER at the grocery store?

really?
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:37 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,420 posts, read 4,318,379 times
Reputation: 1201
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5starson23 View Post
No BEER at the grocery store?

really?
Nope. Beer distributors (basically beer stores) and bars.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:12 PM
 
1,139 posts, read 2,240,804 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5starson23 View Post
As some of you may have read in other threads I've started recently I am a Chicagoan living in Portland who is ready for a move and I've kind of got my list down to Pittsburgh or Denver.

I will drink liquor and mixed drinks on occassion but beer is my beverage of choice, especially craft microbrews.

I saw another thread about beer in Pittsburgh and it made me wonder:

What are the liquor laws like in Pittsburgh/Pennsylvania?
Can you buy liquor at the grocery store?
Can you buy liquor on Sunday?
Are there any [percentage beers]?

In Oregon, if you serve liquor you also have to have a restaurant/kitchen as part of the operation. Do you have anything like that?

While Oregon is not Utah - we have really quirky laws which can be fairly inconvenient at times. However, I know Denver/Colorado is pretty much the same way.

Not a huge factor, but it can attribute to quality of life.

(THIS PART IS THE EDIT THAT I'VE ADDED: I don't want to be rude, but I am not looking for personal feelings/attitudes about drinking. I know that people have strong feelings about drinking - especially if you don't drink. However, I am really looking for JUST THE FACTS MA'AM.)

Thanks
Ah, the liquor laws. This is something heavily debated/complained about in the state of PA. Some people find it quite inconvenient that you can't purchase these things in a grocery store or gas station. I have lived in other states so I do know that it can be a pain.

I have to say that Creep gave the best advice...plan ahead. If you think you're going to need it or want it for whatever reason...buy it and have it ready so you don't have to worry about making a special trip for beer/liquor. The biggest complaint is the not being able to buy 6 packs. I don't really care about this because I feel you can just buy a case and keep it. I remember caring when I was younger because you just wanted 6 to go out and you didn't really feel like lugging a 24 pack to a party but now I don't find it to be that big of a deal.

Um, I don't think there's any law about bars having to have a kitchen or serve food. There's plenty of bars and I'm pretty sure a large majority of them don't serve food.

As for Sundays, some stores have Sunday hours and you are able to purchase. I'm not sure, exactly. An important point to make is that if these things really bother you...you can always drive the 40 minutes on Route 22 to West Virginia or Ohio and buy there. They sell in grocery stores and gas stations there and I believe certain hours on Sunday as well.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:09 AM
 
2,751 posts, read 4,945,200 times
Reputation: 1769
Pennsylvania's a controlled state, one of only used to be 18 such states in the country. If you want hard liquor you have to go to a State Store. Their hours are as stingy as you can imagine, and they ain't everywhere! Your days of picking up a fifth of Jack or J&B at the supermarket are numbered.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:59 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles Area
3,306 posts, read 3,622,898 times
Reputation: 592
The alcohol situation in PA is ridiculous. There are the obvious annoyances with not being able to get alcohol at the grocery stores, on Sunday. But those issues are relatively mirror. For anybody that is into alcohol above and beyond getting drunk Pittsburgh is horrible. Wine can only be purchased at the horribly overpriced state stores and the selection is poor. Although, there are some reasonably priced local beers if you want something imported/craft you will either not be able to find it or have to pay almost double for it. As a result the most popular beer in the area that doesn't taste like pee is Yuengling. The only craft beers you're likely to find are the local ones and there aren't too many. I should also add if you want a 6-pack you have to buy it from a bar, the "beer stores" only sell 24 packs. So much for sampling.

Some people I knew would drive to Ohio and drop a few hundred bucks every few months. So there is a way around the states monopoly and crazy laws.

Last edited by Humanoid; 07-06-2008 at 04:07 AM..
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
11,942 posts, read 15,044,210 times
Reputation: 9844
The infamous Liquor Control Board has to be the biggest joke in PA. Clerks can make 40K plus bennies, I know a manager that makes 75K. It's used by every governor as patronage and will never be eliminated.

For a while when all the CVS and Rite-Aids were being built there was a rumour that the LCB was going to allow beer sales in those stores. Don't hold you breath. The PA Tavern association will never give up 6-pack sales. The only good thing they did was allow beer distributors to open on Sundays.

About the only good you can say about the system is there are very few liqour store robberies, if any. And it's impossible for underage kids to steal a brew from the 7-11.

And if you are a wine lover, live close to the NY or OH border.
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:11 AM
 
13,091 posts, read 21,736,715 times
Reputation: 22703
It's my understanding that some of the larger grocery stores (as in large square footage, lots of $$) DO have a state store inside them, so you can one stop shop -- sort of -- you have to buy the alcohol (spirits or wine -- beer is a beer distributor only) at the in store state store, but that does make it tad easier.

But choices are limited and prices are wack.

I can still remember walking into a grocery the first time out here in CA and being both aghast and amazed....heck, with my Puritanical upbringing I didn't start buying hard liquor untii I was well into my forties -- and then it was bourbon for cooking...

Bourbon is NASTY tasting to drink, but it cooks up real nice.

But the Tanquaray? Oh -- that's for drinkin'.... hmmmmm. I loves me gin.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Just East of the Southern Portion of the Western Part of PA
1,261 posts, read 3,340,723 times
Reputation: 1489
While the liquor laws are really stupid here in PA, you will still have no trouble "getting your drink on". Between the hundreds of bars, restaurants, and beer distributors you will have plenty of opportunities for world class boozing. Some of the liquor stores and beer stores are even opening on Sundays now, so the excuses for being sober are really pretty weak.
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