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Alcohol outlook

Gov. Corbett's outline for reforms would affect host of retail sectors

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A customer peruses the selection of about 600 varieties of beer and fruity malt beverages at the Giant Food Store on Linglestown Road in Dauphin County. In November, the store started beer sales in an eatery area called the Beer Garden that operates under a restaurant license. Photo/Amy Spangler
A customer peruses the selection of about 600 varieties of beer and fruity malt beverages at the Giant Food Store on Linglestown Road in Dauphin County. In November, the store started beer sales in an eatery area called the Beer Garden that operates under a restaurant license. Photo/Amy Spangler

Convenience for consumers and funding for schools are at the heart of Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed vision for privatizing and reforming alcohol sales in Pennsylvania.

From big-box and grocery stores on down to drugstores and convenience stores, consumers would be able to expect the availability of beer and sometimes wine at a store near them. Not to mention that a trip to the "state store" could fade from the commonwealth's lexicon.

The extra licenses that businesses would need for such sales and the privatizing of the state liquor store and wholesale system would contribute about $1 billion to fund education, the governor has said. The governor's proposal was poised early this week to be introduced as House Bill 790, a spokesman said.

But then what? What would the New World Order of retail in Pennsylvania look like with alcoholic beverages more freely sold? Would there be a new order? The Business Journal spoke with associations and stakeholders from various industries to ascertain what they think at this early juncture of the process. What we found: Reactions vary greatly.

In this package:

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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