Beer Delivery Is Apparently Legal In Pennsylvania

by Kim Lyons

Pennsylvania has some weird alcohol laws. Not so much about what, where, or how much you can drink, but about where you can buy it. For instance, you can't buy beer and wine in the same place. All wine and liquor sales are made via state-operated stores, and you can buy cases of beer at beer distributors. And those state-run stores and beer distributors are closed on Sundays. Oh, and you can only buy six-packs of beer from restaurants.

And, as it turns out, there's no rule on the books that prohibits restaurants that sell beer and also offer food delivery from delivering six- or twelve-packs of beer. So, when you order a pizza to be brought to your front door, you can get a six-pack of Yuengling or Iron City (two fine Pittsburgh brews) delivered right along with it.

But apparently no one realized that Pennsylvania law allows home delivery of beer until someone asked. A Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) spokeswoman told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A licensee asked the question and our legal office offered a clarification. The code is silent on it. There is nothing prohibiting it.

According to the PLCB, which oversees all alcohol sales in the state, anyone holding a retail liquor license "may obtain a transporter-for-hire license to transport a third party’s alcohol."

But, of course, there are some rules, including a limit on how much beer a restaurant can deliver, and where (not outside the state; sorry, Ohio and West Virginia). You can't pay the delivery driver at the door, and establishments have to pay around $1,000 for the special "transporter-for-hire" license.

Restaurant and tavern owners applaud the PLCB's clarification of the rules, however, because many say their customers have been asking about beer deliveries for ages. A bar owner told The Express Times in Easton, Pennsylvania:

People have been asking for years. They ask, jokingly and not jokingly, "Can I get a six-pack or a 12-pack delivered with my pizza?"

Pennsylvania isn't the only state to allow beer deliveries, but Bloomberg Businessweek notes that regular home delivery of beer isn't widespread because of legal concerns, especially over selling to minors. But there are apps like Drizly, which allows Uber-like delivery of beer in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

While beer delivery sounds really convenient, it's possible that it could prove beneficial in other ways as well, and could be a way to deter drinking and driving. For instance, say you're watching the game at home, and you run out of beer. If you can get a six-pack delivered at halftime, chances are you'll be less tempted to get behind the wheel to buy more.

We'll drink to that.

Image: Getty Images (1); Giphy (2)