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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pennsylvania Beer Debate tonight on PCN

Just in from Sheetz's "Free My Beer" campaign...the PCN channel will be showing a live debate between MBDA president Dave Shipula and Sheetz general counsel Mike Cortez, tonight at 7 PM. I can't watch this, or call in, prior commitments. Feel free to take any points I may have brought up in the past and make a call!

An URGENT update from Free My Beer

The fight to free your beer continues tonight!
You are receiving this urgent update because you are one of more than 125,000 people who signed a petition to make the purchase of beer in Pennsylvania more convenient.

Mike Cortez, VP and General Counsel for Sheetz will go
head-to-head with Dave Shipula, President of the Malt Beverage Distributors of PA debating the issue of how beer is sold in Pennsylvania in a live call-in show on “PCN Live” tonight at 7:00 p.m. They will take your comments and questions on the air.

If you want to voice your opinion on the way beer should be sold in Pennsylvania, we want you to call in! 1-877-726-5001.


Unknown said...

Thanks for helping spread the word so quickly about the debate tonight. We think it's the perfect forum for people to start vocalizing their enthusiasm for change here in PA! I did notice that the call in phone number disappears sporadically from your site. In case anyone wants to participate, the number again is 1-877-726-5001.

Let's make it happen PA!!!!

Monica Jones
Public Relations Manager
Sheetz, Inc.

Pete LaVerghetta said...

It was very civil. No new ground was broken. The president of the MBDA trotted out the predictable arguments. More outlets = more DUI, beer + gasoline = lethal combo. About the only thing he said that I'd agree with is that the MBDA supports selling six packs at distributors. They'd use the money they make from those sales to spruce up their crappy facilities. OK, I made that last part up.

Dave P said...

It doesn't surprise me that the MBDA president used the predictable, albeit, pointless arguments to make their case. I was born & raised in PA, but have lived out-of-state since 1988. I have never seen any evidence that supports the MBDA's position. In fact, PA is the only place I have ever lived that has sold beer under an antiquated business model that essentially provides a monopolistic business environment for beer sales. Though I enjoy returning to PA to visit family & friends, I dread the inability to conveniently purchase good craft beer and not the typical beer like water that is primarily carried by most distributors. It's clear to me that the reason the PA legislature has not changed the law is due to the $$$$ influence that the MBDA has with state politicians vice the will of the people who elected the state's representatives & senators. I guess I can say I'm thankful that I can purchase good beer where and when I want to.

Lew Bryson said...

Actually, Dave, most distributors ARE carrying craft these days, even the dinosaurs. The case law is still a problem, though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lew. But what's the real story on beer being used as a loss leader? The MBDA guy keeps bringing it up, but you say PA law prohibits it. Why are they not being challenged in these public programs on that argument? Perhaps the Sheetz guy needs to read your blog.

Lew Bryson said...

The real story on beer as a "loss leader" is that supermarkets are prepared to take a much lower margin on beer sales than distributors; not actually losing money or breaking even, but just making a small profit. It only makes sense: grocery stores are used to making small margins, it's how they work. Beer is all distributors sell (with a few tiny exceptions: tobacco, glassware, snacks, soda), so they have to make their money on it. It's really not a fair playing field for the distributors. This is not as simple as people on either side of the debate would have you think.

Rich said...

The archive of the show is now available on PCN's site for anyone who wants to see it.

FYI...about a week ago I got a call from state senator Brubaker's office about the Rafferty bill. His rep said that he asked her to call me and update me on the status of the bill (I e-mailed them in support of the bill). She said it was currently in committee and it has a number (although I forget it). She said that the office has gotten other calls in support of the bill. They did not offer Mr. Brubaker's stance on whether he supported the bill or not. I thought it was awesome that they actually took the time to contact me about it.