No One Outside Of Pennsylvania Understands The PLCB

And even if they do, they're just scared of it.

plcb_champagneAs a matter of fact, issues surrounding the PLCB (and efforts to curtail, privatize or simply abolish it) can get so weird and so confusing that the folks over at Lucky Peach recently brought in local food writer and man-about-town Drew Lazor to explain some things–including why Pennsylvanians were so excited when we were told that we could finally buy beer in 12-packs, which is something that most other Americans can do whenever and wherever they damn well please.

The Philadelphia Daily News described it as “stunning.” An attorney specializing in liquor law lauded it as “revolutionary.” “This is the biggest thing to happen to beer since 1933,” a Pittsburgh beer distributor told the Associated Press.

What are these Pennsylvanians describing with such exultant glee?

In March 2015, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), the omnipotent governing body for booze in the Keystone State, decreed that beer distributors, for the first time since the repeal of the 18th Amendment, were allowed to sell twelve-packs.

Lazor gets into the history of the PLCB (which is fascinating), its evolution, the calls for compromise and privatization, and how it operates today. Along the way, he loops in a bunch of locals (Tim Kweeder from Petruce et al, former Governor Gifford Pinchot, Chadd Jenkins from Little Fish, and others), talks about the kind of money that’s on the line ($2.2 billion in 2013-14), and even makes an Ewok joke, which is nice.

The whole thing is up right now at Lucky Peach. You can check it out through the link below.

Beer Money [Lucky Peach]