Let it flow

By on February 23, 2015

Weis opens Beer Café  today. Patrons may legally purchase a maximum of two beers to drink at the café and no more than two six-packs of beer to go.

by PATRICK BURNS

The first ever beer deliveries made to a supermarket in Ephrata occurred this morning as the Weis Beer Café finally received its initial inventory.

The first  beer truck arrives this  morning  at the Ephrata Weis, which beginning today will be only the second supermarket in Lancaster County to offer beer sales.

The first beer truck arrives this morning at the Ephrata Weis, which beginning today will be only the second supermarket in Lancaster County to offer beer sales.

The café, located inside the Weis at 331 N. Reading Road, got the OK Friday to open today but beer deliveries couldn’t be arranged until this morning, according to the store’s management.

Weis  can sell only six-packs to go during its operating hours of  8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Patrons may legally purchase a maximum of two beers to drink at the café and no more than two six-packs of beer to go.

As required, the 2,300-square-foot beer cafe will also offer food such as rotisserie chicken, pizza and subs.

Weis spokesman Dennis Curtin on Wednesday confirmed that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved the company’s application to transfer a license from a Pizza Hut in Columbia. The opening of the 30-seat beer café will coincide with the Weis store’s grand re-opening this Sunday (March 1).

Social media ignited when the Ephrata Review’s Facebook page reported Feb. 4 that Weis’ beer sales application was delayed by a legal complaint filed by a trade group representing Pennsylvania beer distributors.  Ephrata Borough officials in August approved Weis’ plan to begin beer sales.

The beer section at the Lititz Weis, the first supermarket to sell beer in the Lancaster County,  has expanded from 300 to 800 beers.

The beer section at the Lititz Weis, the first supermarket to sell beer in the Lancaster County, has expanded from 300 to 800 beers.

 

Distributors argued to the PLCB that state laws create a competitive disadvantage due to regulations that limit its sale options and hours of operation compared to  supermarkets and convenience stores which must attain a restaurant liquor license.

The PLCB rejected the distributors’ argument that the issue should go before the legislature which should  revise laws in which a beer distributor license allows only the sale of full cases of beer and precludes the sale of six packs by a beer distributor.

That distinction has become even more significant recently as consumers have gravitated to buying smaller quantities of more expensive craft beer -especially the popular option of “mixing and matching” varieties of expensive craft beer six packs.

But the PLCB board ruled in its favor on Feb. 11 and all systems are go for Weis,  Curtin said. It will be only the second supermarket in  Lancaster County to offer beer sales –  the Weis at 740 S. Broad St. in Lititz is the other.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *