Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

There was a recent court case involving Wegmans cafe's selling beer in six-packs. For me, this paves the way to Giant Eagle one day selling a six-pack in a place where I dare to tread. Naturally, beer distributors are upset. They have the monopoly on reasonably priced beer. And by and large, they and their six-pack bar brethren rake in the dough without a thought of appealing to anyone with taste. I see ads on TV with scantily clad woman walking the aisles of concrete-floored walk-in garages lacking any semblance of heat or even warm lighting. They appeal to the common base who wants to walk in, cart out some cases of beer and leave. Currently, the homeless guy scraping together $10 in change to buy 8 oz Coors Light by the 24-pack seems more at home than I do. Most six-pack bars barely edge out in decency with their sticky floors, dim lighting and lack of windows. Now, Wegman wants to sell beer in "cafes." Why are they so far away?

And what do the beer distributors have to say about this landmark courtcase? "NOOOOOOO!!!!! We will fight you in court till the day you die!!!!"

I have a few alternative suggestions for these beer distributors.

1) How about you increase the appeal of your stores? If people want to shop at the beer distributor, they will continue to do so in spite of other options. Painting your garage door is not enough.

2) How about fighting for a tax break on cases of beer? It's often-times more reasonable (and always more convenient) for me to buy a beer at the bar than lug home a case. It's also cheaper to drive across the border to another state.

3) Better yet, how about fighting for the right to sell six-packs, even 12-packs? Then you could be an actual full-fledged store that could actually service well-rounded customers. Unless we revert to Puritan society, laws regarding alcohol will continue to get less and less strict. Things should get easier for businesses catering to this vice. Embrace that. It's not like you're selling cigarettes, which are the target of a public witchhunt.

The state of Pennsylvania's liquor laws encourages people to buy six-packs in bars as "travelers." That is sick. I welcome Wegman's to the beer distributor market and can only hope the laws continue to evolve. By the way, if you're not familiar with Why The PLCB Should Be Abolished, you've got some catching up to do. Go read. I echo his call to write to your local paper. The only way the PLCB and its ilk will be abolished is public outcry against it.

1 comment:

Lew Bryson said...

Yes, yes, and yes, only...beer distributors' look the way they do because of the (stupid, benighted) case law. It's real hard to move around a bunch of cases of beer in a nice store, much less display them. One more reason the case law simply sucks.