A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


An article in the Times Leader caught my attention the other day because it mentioned the Weekender.
The story was about the PLCB and its policing efforts to prevent the discriminatory practice of “Ladies nights” at local watering holes. About this I have no opinion. I can’t see the harm but whatever. It’s funny that it’s ok to have nights for people who work in the service industry. Isn’t that discriminatory against those who don’t? But what peaked my interest was the comment from some PLCB honcho that “We always read the weekender to see if bars are running ladies nights” or words to that effect. Really? Well I am not sure if the PLCB ever reads this column but if they do I have a message for them. LET US BUY SIX PACKS IN GROCERY STORES. When I first moved to NEPA (28 years ago) I was astounded to learn the rules of beer buying. I was less astounded than amused when I found out that the purported reason for the rules was to “reduce consumption.” Huh? Let me get this straight. By forcing beer consumers to buy an entire case at a beer distributor rather than a six pack that will reduce consumption? An interesting concept but I am not sure that’s working out so good. Because there are lots of places where you can buy just a six pack. Bars, some convenience stores and a few delis. But in most cases you pay substantially more. And the selection generally sucks,
Whenever I travel back to my home states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine I am always amazed when I see beer in the grocery store. It just seems like a dream. You mean I can buy just a six pack and I won’t get charged with a crime? Amazing. And here’s another concept. In some places you can buy a single bottle. Or a mixed six pack. So if you want to try a new brew you don’t have to make the commitment of a whole case.
Now I realize that there are probably many economic reasons that my poor beer addled brain can’t understand about this whole concept. Surely there is a reason beyond “Reducing consumption” for this madness.
But here is my real point. Some grocery stores are allowed to sell wine. Not beer, not hard liquor but wine is ok? Why? And now Wegmans can sell beer. Why can’t the grocery store I go to sell me a six pack? Why can’t they have a big cooler full of all the many brands I want to try? Then I could go the beer distributor and buy a case and everyone is happy. Or then again I could be wrong.

1 comment:

Jim Rising said...

always follow the money trail. who's making money as a result of the law? the beer distributors. we have the same sort of cartel relationship between our state and the local wine wholesalers who want to maintain control over the distribution of wine, so they lobby our local government to make sure that the good citizens of Tennessee can only purchase what and where the wholesalers approve of.

all wrapped up in the pretty bow of 'we want to keep the kiddies safe and alcohol free'. what the heck does the average 16 year old care about having a bottle of Viognier shipped to his door when he can get a case of red bull and have the 21 year old eagle scout next door buy him a bottle of Sky Vodka?

It's easier to buy an ounce of weed here in TN than it is to get the wine you want. :(