PLCB’s range is wide

This is in response to arbitrary and generic comments about Pennsylvania’s “parochial” liquor laws.

The PLCB is a unified and tightly connected network of 620 retail outlets positioned and honed over 80 years to best accommodate dynamic population centers.

Except for a handful of megastores around the state’s periphery, the product selection literally dwarfs 99 percent of all private retailers – especially in rural areas.

As the PLCB is the largest purchaser of alcoholic beverages in the world, their buying power dwarfs everyone’s.

Overall, the state’s prices are always competitive. But anyone can find ample price variations between here and elsewhere to suit any agenda.

Pennsylvania’s 40 rural counties earn less than 11 percent of the liquor revenue. The five counties that contain Pittsburgh & Philadelphia generate nearly 50 percent.

Add that stat to the $700 million the PLCB returned in profits and sales tax last year. The privateers have yet to advance a plan that replicates the dual functionality of intrastate customer service

/product selection and cash flow – while divesting the taxpayer of a multi-billion dollar asset.

If they are a monopoly, why does the PLCB advertise?

They are a money-making business. Lots of new products and programs are rolled out. They are on Twitter & Facebook. There are a couple mobile aps. There’s a killer website with a plethora of information on wine and spirits; there are more than 32,000 special liquor order products.

So when somebody says Pennsylvania liquor laws are “parochial,” it almost leaves me speechless.

Michael Birkos


(The writer is an employee of the PLCB.)