Beer distributors favor bill to let them sell 6-packs

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MOUNT JOY, Pa. (WHTM) – Neal Fulkerson, the general manager of Roots Beer Distributor, was happy to show abc27 News the beer of the month.

Right now, customers can only get the beer in a 12-pack in the Mount Joy store, but legislation that passed in the state Senate on Monday would let distributors sell six-packs and growlers.

“It’s great for us,” Fulkerson said. “It’s great for the consumer. It opens up a lot of new choices for the consumer. We’d be able to carry a lot more packages. We’d be able to carry a lot more brands.”

The bill would also allow for mail order beer and mixed drink sales at sporting venues.

Last summer, the state passed legislation to change how wine is sold by allowing grocery stores and restaurants to sell bottles to go.

“Beer distributors, because of package restrictions, can sometimes offer less variety than they want to,” Fulkerson said. “Twelve-packs have helped.”

Bottle shop and bar owners claim the convenience isn’t for them.

Mick Owens, the owner of Mick’s All American Pub, agreed the legislation would let distributors sell more products. He also said the bill makes changes to the licenses distributors need while keeping handcuffs on places like restaurants and grocery stores.

“On our licenses, our exclusivity has sort of been reduced,” Owens said. “Now, the distributors can sell product that we alone were allowed to sell in the past.”

“Taverns and bars, they have other things they can offer,” Fulkerson said. “We don’t have that. We’re strictly beer.”

The legislation still needs to pass the state House. Gov. Tom Wolf has said if he’ll sign it.

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