Distributor: Pa's looser beer sale rules ‘an opportunity'

- Pennsylvania drinkers have a new reason to celebrate as looser regulations on beer retailers go into effect. So do distributors.

Tuesday, a state law became official, letting beer distributors sell any quantity, including individual 32-ounce bottles, six-packs and growlers. Now, beer distributors can sell by the six-pack for the first time since Prohibition ended 75 years ago.

The Keystone State's 1,200 distributors were once largely limited to selling cases and kegs. That's one reason Pennsylvania's alcohol rules were widely considered among the nation's most restrictive.

That changed a couple years ago, when retailers were allowed to sell 12-packs.

Tuesday morning, FOX 29's Steve Keeley visited one of South Philadelphia’s biggest beer sellers: Bell Beverage on Front Street.

Second-generation owner Frank Bell said his 70-year family-owned business has seen more changes in the past two years than in the previous 68.

He thinks that’s all for the better, for both his business and customers.

They won’t have to buy whole cases, and can sample more beers by trying six-packs. In fact, Bell Beverage is buying lots of new coolers, shelves and refrigerators to stock by the six-pack.

Frank Bell also said distributors like him can better compete with supermarkets selling beer because they offer a much bigger selection: up to 8,000 brands and craft beers.

The new law also lets bars start selling booze at 9am Sundays, without a requirement they also serve food.

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