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As previously reported, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has added a new regulation, Section 3.93, Title 40 of the Pennsylvania Code, which allows breweries to sell beer and other malt beverage products at its brewery facilities without the need to acquire any additional form of license like a restaurant license or a brew pub license.  This regulation became final when it was published in the PA Bulletin over the weekend on May 30, 2015.  This regulation has a greater impact for breweries who wish to open tasting rooms and the final form regulation is a credit to the work of the Brewers of Pennsylvania.  The Brewers of Pennsylvania had issued comments to the original form regulation and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission agreed with those comments, resulting in a change by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.  As a result of that slight amendment which lifted the restriction on the beer having to be produced on the premises where the beer would be sold, now, Pennsylvania breweries can open secondary storage locations (up to two per brewery license) and sell beer and other malt beverage products for on-premise consumption as well as six-pack, case and even keg beer.  Although the new brewery regulation does not specifically address storage facilities, pursuant to Section 431(a.2) of the Liquor Code, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board can issue two storage licenses per manufacturer separate from the location of the manufacturing facility.  A manufacturer may use the facility to receive, store, repackage, sell and distribute malt and brewed beverages in the same manner as its place of manufacture.  When read together with the new breweries regulation, the law now permits breweries to have tasting rooms in separate facilities without any manufacturing requirements as long as the storage facility has 10 seats and offers snack food like chips or pretzels.  Indeed, the opinion of this author is confirmed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Office of Chief Counsel, in an Opinion issued on May 21, 2015 at Opn. 2015-227.  In this Opinion, the Board confirmed that storage facility locations can sell pints pending the publication of the brewery sales regulation in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.  With the May 30th publication, breweries can now add independent tasting rooms.
For additional information regarding this matter or for addressing any other liquor law matters, please contact Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire at tzeller@nmmlaw.com or at our offices at 610-391-1800.