On September 11, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“PLCB”) issued a new Advisory Notice, Advisory Notice No. 24, regarding the on-premises consumption requirement for retail licensees in Pennsylvania. » Read More
In a recent federal court ruling, a judge articulated once again why famous brands enjoy greater rights than those that lack renown
The case pits two giants in wholly unrelated fields— clothing versus alcoholic beverages.
The lesson? Liquor sellers should exercise caution and select brand names that are not the same or are not similar to those of existing “famous” brands, even in completely unrelated fields. » Read More
There have been rumblings around the Commonwealth that the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (“LCE”) has been investigating Pennsylvania wineries regarding their selling practices. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“PLCB”) has now addressed the issue in a Legal Advisory Opinion. » Read More
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has announced the ninth restaurant liquor license auction, which is permitted under Act 39 of 2016. These auctions are for “zombie licenses” that have been expired and in possession of the Pa.L.C.B. dating back to the year 2000. » Read More
The recent SCOTUS decision in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas (“Tennessee Wine”) stirred things up in the alcoholic beverage industry. As my colleague, Matthew B. Andersen, discussed, in Tennessee Wine, the Supreme Court found that Tennessee’s residency requirement to hold a liquor license was unconstitutional because it was a protectionist measure (i.e., intended to reduce competition from out-of-state businesses for the benefit of local businesses) clothed as a police power in violation of the Commerce Clause. » Read More
On June 28, 2019, Governor Wolf signed into law HB262, which amends the Tax Code for various reasons, but most importantly to the brewing industry, clarifies sales tax assessment for a brewery’s taproom sales to its consumers.
This journey for breweries in Pennsylvania began approximately five years ago when yours truly re-wrote a portion of the Liquor Code. » Read More
Last week, the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) issued the long-awaited decision in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas (“Tennessee Wine”). The Tennessee Wine case was watched closely by liquor attorneys, businesses, consultants and others, as it was the first case that SCOTUS has heard since 2005 regarding constitutionality of state liquor laws. » Read More
With the recent closing of the purchase of the Sands Casino in Bethlehem by Wind Creek Hospitality for $1.3 billion, the question of the legality of video “games of skill” remains a focus and a hot topic within the Commonwealth. Many of these games are a significant source of income for many businesses, including liquor license establishments, which have been allowing them on their licensed premises since a 2014 decision in Beaver County that ruled that a video game machine manufactured by Pace-O-Matic was not a “gambling device per se.”
Since that controversial decision, the legality of these games has been an unknown gray area. » Read More