General Assembly passes Schweyer bill for expanded hours at tasting, tap rooms

The General Assembly passed legislation (H.B. 947) crafted by state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, that would expand operating hours for sales at tasting and tap rooms throughout Pennsylvania.

House Bill 947, also to be known as the Craft Beer and Spirits Parity Act, would allow beer and spirits “tap rooms” to have the same hours of operation as Pennsylvania wineries.

“As we have seen with our thriving Pennsylvania wine industry, craft beer and spirits provide good manufacturing and hospitality jobs, invite urban redevelopment and boost tourism," Schweyer said. By loosening regulations on this industry, we are helping small-business owners be more successful while creating jobs throughout the state.

Anthony Brichta, co-owner of County Seat Spirits in Allentown said, “This is a growing industry throughout Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley in particular is seeing strong growth. This legislation will make it much easier for manufacturers like County Seat Spirits to sell our PA-made products.”

In 2016, the state Liquor Code created the opportunity for breweries and distilleries, performing art centers and public venues to serve on-premises consumption without the need for a special permit.

Schweyer said the breweries, distilleries and public venues would be permitted to sell Pennsylvania craft products between 9 a.m. and midnight Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sundays.

Schweyer said he is hopeful the governor will sign his legislation.