Supporters of the craft-beer industry don’t have a whole lot to be excited about.
Almost no part of the exchange yesterday in Harrisburg between members of the state’s Liquor Control Board and Pa. legislators involved beer, even though a series of hearings had been called to investigate the raids of three Philadelphia bars and a distributor last month. The raids have prompted calls for changes to the way beer is registered.
At the second day of hearings in Harrisburg yesterday, P.J. Stapleton, chairman of the Pa. Liquor Control Board, and Joe Conti, CEO, say they’re working on upgrades to the beer-registration system.
Politicians are considering other beer-related bills. A bill to synchronize in- and out-of-state breweries’ distribution channels has passed the House and is up for consideration in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, which is also examining a bill that would allow beer sales in grocery stores.
Legislators also discussed the possibility of creating a Beer Advisory Council, which would be comprised of beer-industry experts who would advise LCB members when issuing recommendations to politicians. Beer council members would help address the agency’s “lack of knowledge of how beer works” in order to “re-acquaint them to the needs of licensees and the products themselves” and perhaps recommend changes to beer laws “that weren’t crafted for today’s world,” says Lynn Benka-Davies, executive director of the House Liquor Control Committee.