– With the goal of modernizing liquor laws and bringing more business to Pennsylvania, Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne) brought professionals and local brewery owners together to testify before the House Majority Policy Committee Wednesday.
During the hearing, Fritz discussed his bill aiming to modernize Pennsylvania’s liquor laws with legislators and panelists.
A good portion of breweries in the Commonwealth desire to expand their operations to include distilled spirits; however, current liquor laws in Pennsylvania impede this development. Under current law, a brewery and a distillery may not operate at the same location, nor may they serve on-premises consumption at the same location. Fritz’s House Bill 2757
would change the law to remove this impediment to commerce and support breweries that choose to expand.
“The craft beer industry is very much about what’s new and what’s next. Growth and product innovation fuel interest from our consumers,” said Becky Ryman from Wallenpaupack Brewing Company, a local brewery in the Northeastern Tier.
“My family has been a part of the Pennsylvania brewing industry since my great-great-great grandfather emigrated from Germany to Philadelphia in 1849, eventually working his way up to NEPA with the sole intention of brewing beer. And here I sit talking to you over 170 years later,” said Fred Maier from Susquehanna Brewing Co.
“One of my proudest achievements in our 10 years of operations is watching our production staff tripling in that time while the average pay has increased 40% over that time as well. Giving Pennsylvania small brewers the ability to expand with a distillery permit would be another great way for us to invest in and grow our businesses.” said Maier.
“This legislation is commonsense and makes Pennsylvania more competitive in the growing brewing and distilled spirits industry,” said Fritz. “It was incredibly productive to have several panels of testifiers providing lawmakers with professional and local insight to this issue, along with their desire for these laws to change.”
“Flexibility, modernization and the future of Pennsylvania’s economy remain at the forefront of this great bill,” said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), chairman of the committee. “As the state continues the path to economic recovery, we must advance policies that will get government out of the way and allow key industries like this one to grow.”
The full hearing is available to view at PAGOPPolicy.com.
Representative Jonathan Fritz
111th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jordan Garrett
RepFritzPA.com / Facebook.com/RepFritz