More Pennsylvania Gas Stations Can Sell Beer, Despite Looming Court Case

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is granting nine more licenses to businesses that sell gasoline. It's the latest step in loosening the hold on beer sales by bars and beer distributors.

The Liquor Control Board's vote Wednesday is the first since February. That's when the state Supreme Court said it would take up a case challenging whether a convenience store can sell beer and gasoline without violating state law.

The beer licenses are for groceries and convenience stores in northeastern Pennsylvania, including the Wilkes-Barre area, Hazleton, Orangeville and Mahanoy City, and in western Pennsylvania, including Canonsburg, Gibsonia and Huntingdon.

Liquor Control Board officials say dozens of beer licensees also sell gas. That's despite wording in the state liquor law that bans alcohol sales licenses in locations, places and properties where gasoline is sold.

Governor Tom Wolf sent a letter to the Liquor Control Board Tuesday requesting that they consider license applications from businesses with "appropriate protections to sell up to 192 ounces of malt or brewed beverages." In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Wolf praised the Liquor Control Board for "freeing the six-pack."

“’Freeing the six-pack’ will make the commonwealth more inviting for customers and businesses,” Wolf wrote. “I applaud the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for approving these applications and respectfully ask that they approve similar subsequent applications that otherwise meet PLCB standards in order to improve customer service and convenience for Pennsylvania.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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