Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Delays Brewery Renewals for Malt or Brewed Beverage Reporting Errors
Multiple brewers have reached out in connection with receiving Correction Sheets to their annual renewals from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Pa.L.C.B.) regarding failure to submit monthly Malt or Brewed Beverage reports.
The requirement to submit Malt or Brewed Beverage reports was addressed in Act 166 of 2016, and the Pa.L.C.B. has begun to strictly enforce that requirement through the renewal process. These reports are to be submitted monthly, by “any person selling malt or brewed beverages at wholesale, and any person selling at retail malt or brewed beverages that were not sold at wholesale.” Essentially, every brewer licensed in the State of Pennsylvania must report on the sales of their own manufactured malt or brewed beverages, whether sold at retail or wholesale. The requirement to report also applies to Alternating Brewery, Importing Distributors and Distributor licensees. These reports are made on the PLCB+ portal and are different from your Malt Beverage Excise Tax reports to the PA Department of Revenue.
The requirement for malt or brewed beverage reporting has taken many brewers by surprise and many brewers are spending significant time playing “catch up” by submitting multi-month and, sometimes, multi-year reports. If there are outstanding reports which are not submitted prior to December 31, the Pa.L.C.B. will consider your validation application late-filed; it will only provide a 20-day temporary authority for you to submit the reports; and if not addressed by that time, your license will be suspended until brought into compliance. Late filing fees are not incurred for late submission of the Malt or Brewed Beverage reports. Although you may have filed your validation application timely, the Pa.L.C.B. will not process the application unless and until you become current on submitting your Malt or Brewed Beverage reports. There is no fee associated with that filing, and there is no audit or documentation required to be submitted or uploaded in support of that reporting. For new brewers, if there were no sales in the initial months of your licensure, you would need to submit a zero report for the Pa.L.C.B. to consider your reporting compliant.
To submit your malt or brewed beverage reports, you would submit your reports through the PLCB+ portal. Once on PLCB+, you would click on the “Submit Report” tab on the right side of the page under “Other.” From there you would insert your LID and it will take you to the report page. There is a FAQ sheet regarding Malt & Brewed Beverage Monthly Reporting reviewable and printable from that page. If there was a period when you did not brew, you will need to submit “zero” returns. The Pa.L.C.B. expects these returns to be submitted from the time you receive your approval, so to satisfy their requirement, zero returns should be submitted. If you are encountering difficulties with the PLCB+ system, you can submit your information via e-mail to email@example.com, or via telephone at 1-844-707-5475. If e-mailing, please be sure to include your Brewery name, license number, and LID.
The malt and brewed beverage reports are available for two years through the PLCB+ portal. To access the reports, you would log into www.lcb.pa.gov, and there is a tab for News/Reports. Click on that tab, and then a page will open with 9 blue boxes. The Malt & Brewed Beverage Monthly Report box is the bottom row, far right. If you click on that box, you have the option of accessing 2017, 2018 and 2019 reports. There you will be able to see what the Pa.L.C.B. has as reported on behalf of your brewery. It’s not the easiest chart to navigate to get to each specific licensee, but for your information, it is separated by Breweries, Distributors, Importing Distributors, etc. The breweries reported are the first couple dozen pages, listed in order by LID.
Unfortunately, like many inadequacies of the PLCB+ portal, some brewers have reported that the Pa.L.C.B. system cannot take multiple month reporting. In the event you encounter this glitch, please call 1-844-707-5475 and be prepared to recite your reporting data over the phone.
For information regarding national and state liquor law matters or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact our Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group: Liquor Law Department Chair Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire (firstname.lastname@example.org); David C. Berger, Esquire (email@example.com) for Pennsylvania and New Jersey retail and manufacturing licensing; or contact our offices at 610-391-1800.