Near beer

By on February 18, 2015
The beer section at the Lititz Weis has expanded from 300 to 800 beers, Weis said Tuesday.

Look for Weis to open a  beer section like this one at its the Lititz location.

Weis cafe ready to open

Beer could be available at Weis Market in Ephrata by the end of next week.

Weis spokesman Dennis Curtin said the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board confirmed the company’s application to transfer a license and open a 30-seat beer café “prior to the store’s grand re-Opening on Sunday March 1.”

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

Distributors argued that state laws create a competitive disadvantage due to regulations that limit its sale options and hours of operation.

For instance, a beer distributor license allows only the sale of full cases of beer and precludes it from selling six packs.

That distinction has become even more significant recently as consumers have gravitated to buying smaller quantities of more expensive craft beer. The popular option of “mixing and matching” varieties of expensive craft beer six packs is not allowed by distributors.

But the LCB board ruled in Weis’s favor on Feb. 11.

Per LCB regulations, the cafe has a separate entrance and dedicated refrigerated cases that will be stocked soon with suds inside the store at 331 N. Reading Road.

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

Weis has done extensive renovations and has been waiting to open the café as part of a larger store grand reopening.

The remodeled store now has an expanded prepared meals section, an increased selection of organic and gluten free products in its fresh and grocery departments and new décor.

The beer café will offer more than 500 beers, including an extensive collection of local craft beers. It will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The news has excited a large number of vocal residents who’ve expressed support for Weis on social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and Beer Advocate.com.

Weis also announced it will launch its third Lancaster County café at its Red Rose Commons store in Lancaster. That complements the company’s Lititz market which is home to the only beer café currently operating in Lancaster County.

News that the LCB board ruled in Weis’s favor delighted most Facebook users Wednesday. As has been the custom, discussion centered on PLCB regulation of beer and liquor sales.

Some comments express relief: “Let there be beer.”

Others articulated impatience: “It’s about time.”

One dripped with sarcasm: “Welcome to the 1970s.”

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

 

 

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