Rationing booze: Pennsylvania enforces 2-bottle limit on some alcohol due to shortages

Pennsylvania is providing the rest of the nation with a perfect case study that demonstrates what happens when you put the government in charge of consumer products as the state-run liquor system has started to ration certain boozes this week, citing “supply chain” issues.

On Thursday the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has implemented an indefinite two-bottle per day limit on certain alcohols for license holders including state stores, bars, and restaurants.

The restrictions were announced on Thursday due to “sustained supply chain disruptions and product shortages,” according to the PLCB.

“We kinda saw this coming. This isn’t the first time. Because the first time around with the COVID and everything we kinda backed everything up,” said Barry Nicholas, Assistant General Manager of the Olde Brook Inn in Pennsylvania in an interview with WNEP.

“We would have to either go out of state, which I don’t even know if that’s legal but we would definitely have to go to different stores and you know try to make up for the demand again,” Nicholas said.

The list of 43 types of liquors currently being rationed includes several types of Bourbon, champagnes, cognacs, and Patron Tequila Silver, among other types of booze.

Critics are using the prohibition on sales as an opportunity to advocate against government control of the liquor market in the Keystone State.

Others worried that this was a step towards going, “full-on Australia,” where authorities have begun restricting the number of alcoholic drinks people can have in lockdown by monitoring and policing alcohol deliveries.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association issued a statement decrying the restrictions on sales, arguing that it is only further hindering an industry already struggling from pandemic restrictions.

“Supply and labor issues are not helping with recovery,” the association said in a statement. “We hope the Legislature will take all of this into consideration when they return to Harrisburg. The industry still needs help moving forward.”

Shawn Kelly, a spokesperson with PLCB, said the limits were announced on Thursday and placed the blame for the shortages on disrupted supply chains.

“If you take a look at stories that have come out from around the country because of COVID-19, supply chains have been disrupted, production has been disrupted,” Kelly said according to AP. “In some cases there have been shortages of cans and bottles.”

Earlier this year, supply chain disruptions triggered sauce rationing at the conservative Chick-fil-A that focuses on chicken products. Sauces were limited to one sauce per entree, two per meal, and three for every 30-piece nugget order.

“Due to industry wide supply chain shortages, some items, like sauces, may be unavailable. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience,” read an announcement from Chick-fil-A’s app and website.


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