I’ve got 99 problems, but a case ain’t one.

by / Wednesday, 01 October 2014 / Published in Blog

DSCF2125Pardon the Jay-Z reference.

A few weeks ago, a Texas brewery made the craft brew news headlines by offering a 99-pack of beer.  Austin Beerworks released a limited supply of the 99-pack of  its “Anytime Ale” for those occasions where you and your friends need a few dozen more beers than the typical case provides.  Good thing, because you will need a friend or two (and probably a truck) to get it to where it needs to go.

Since the news of the release of this 99-pack, I’ve had a few people ask me whether a Pennsylvania brewery could do something similar – the assumption being that, given Pennsylvania’s reputation for backward beer laws, the PLCB would never allow this to occur.  Well, it turns out, the Liquor Code would allow a Pennsylvania brewery to produce a 99-pack or more if it so desired.

Section 440 of the Liquor Code provides that a brewery may sell beer produced and owned by it to individuals on the licensed premises for consumption off the licensed premises in containers or packages of unlimited quantity and of any volume.  That is about as simple as the Liquor Code gets – breweries can sell beer to consumers in any quantity they want.

For distributors, however, the Liquor Code sets a floor, but not a ceiling, on the amount of beer a case can contain.  Pursuant to Section 431(b), a distributor may sell beer “in quantities of not less than a case or original containers containing one hundred twenty-eight ounces or more which may be sold separately as prepared for the market by the manufacturer at the place of manufacture.”  The Liquor Code defines a case as “a package prepared by the manufacturer for sale or distribution of twelve or more original containers totaling two hundred sixty-four or more fluid ounces of malt or brewed beverages excepting those packages containing twenty-four or more original containers each holding seven fluid ounces or more.”   Therefore, so long as you have at least 12 containers adding up to 264 fluid ounces, the sky is the limit.  Finding a distributor to stock your 99-pack or more is an entirely different problem though.

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