Why One State Is Placing a Two-Bottle Limit on a Number of Popular Spirits

Around 42 popular spirits and Champagnes are getting rationed

Young man at a wine cellar choosing between two wine bottles wearing a protective face mask. Covid-19 related supply issues are still affecting liquor stores in some states.
Due to on-going issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic, liquor stores are still facing shortages
Hispanolistic / Getty

Booze shortages are so bad in Pennsylvania that the state has been forced to introduce a two-bottle limit on some popular brands.

These shortages are the result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a big increase in sales of some well-known brands and also supply-chain issues (including a lack of truck and warehouse workers) along with shortages of glass and aluminum.

In Pennsylvania, the state’s Liquor Control Board has started to ration sales of 42 alcoholic products to two bottles a day per customer, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer. And that’s not just hurting individual customers; that’s also rationing for bars and restaurants.

The 42 bottles, which represent 2% of the state’s total booze list, include popular releases from Buffalo Trace, Don Julio, Hennessy, Moët & Chandon and Patrón.

“These bottle limits are preventative measures to fairly distribute product and minimize out-of-stock situations, which will vary by location,” the PLCB said in a statement, with these limits remaining “for the foreseeable future.”

It’s not just Pennsylvania; other states with a three-tier boozing system (that’s producer, distributor, retailer), including Vermont, New Jersey and Ohio, are also facing a lack of bottles on the shelves, according to The Drinks Business. And North Carolina faced similar shortages earlier this summer.

While we could argue about making it easier to buy and ship alcohol within and between states, a potential and quick solution for customers is something we’ve said for over a year now: buy local, buy craft. (Also, you know what state makes some fantastic local whiskey? Pennsylvania.)


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