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Pennsylvania liquor stores now selling booze online

Illustration for article titled Pennsylvania liquor stores now selling booze online
Photo: Hispanolistic (Getty)

Pennsylvania closed all its state-run liquor stores on March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as is to be expected, Pennsylvanians started freaking the fuck out. Those who could drove across state lines, flooding liquor stores in Maryland and Pennsylvania, to stuff their trunks full of enough wine and hooch to get them through the next few weeks (or months) of sheltering in place. Bootlegging across state lines is still very much illegal in the Keystone State, but seriously, at this point, who really cares. Alcohol sales are up 55% nationwide, and nothing—not even the cold, hard fist of the law—is going to stop Pennsylvanians from pitching in to drive up those numbers even higher.

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Earlier this week the Pennsylvania state government reopened its liquor business, switching to an online-only model. Two days into the relaunch, as could have been predicted by literally every person on earth, the website has crashed due to overwhelming demand:

Illustration for article titled Pennsylvania liquor stores now selling booze online
Screenshot: State of Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
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As reported by The Pocono Record, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has announced that it will be accepting a controlled number of orders per day. In a statement, the PLCB specified that it will be randomizing the liquor buying process “to avoid overwhelming the site with high traffic, prevent order abuse and prolong access throughout the day, so that order availability isn’t exhausted in seconds or minutes each day.” For the lucky Pennsylvanians who manage to win the liquor lottery, they’ll be able to purchase up to six bottles from an abbreviated catalog of around 1,000 top-selling wines and spirits, which will then be shipped to their homes.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

imnotdedyet
David E. Davis

Bootlegging across state lines is still very much illegal in the Keystone State, but seriously, at this point, who really cares.

When the choice is PA’s grossly overtaxed booze and the same stuff at half the price at Total Wine 15 minutes away...Total Wine it is! Any moral issues with bootlegging are blatantly ignored by border Pennsylvanians. Maybe when they finally repeal the long since paid 10% Johnstown Flood Tax will the attitude change. Until then, flaunt the law.

Now that the DE option is off the table for the next month or so, a trip to MD for a trunk load might be a viable option.