A buck here, 50 cents there—across the board prices will increase for 313 wine and liquor products in Pennsylvania, with some starting Feb. 1.
The state's Liquor Control Board approved the rate hike at all Pennsylvania wine and spirit shops for the first time in 18 months, according to numerous media reports. The hike is rolled out over February and March.
Impacting all state stores, including the shop on Greenfield Avenue in Ardmore, the increase was spurred on by vendor pressure.
"We couldn't continue to turn down the vendors’ requests for price increases, because we would risk losing the opportunity to carry (their) products," PLCB member P.J. Stapleton told the PA Independent.
Vendors are allowed to request price increases four times a year, he said.
"I struggled with (raising prices), but we at least need to work with the vendors to make sure the product stays on the shelf," PLCB Chairman Joseph Brion said.
Most common brands of wine and liquor will only slightly increase. According to the complete list, as published by CBS Philly, a Sutter Home bottle of white zinfandel will go from $9.99 to $11.99, and a bottle of Jim Beam's rye whiskey ticks up to $18.99 from $17.99.
The top shelf spirits, though, rise sharply. Hennessy Cognac Paradis, for example, jumps from $359.99 to $599.99 per bottle.
Not all brands are increasing. In context, state stores typically carry about 4,400 products, and the statewide system sells about 30,000 different types of wines and liquor, according to PA Independent.
The news comes as the General Assembly gets back into gear. House Majority Leader Rep. Mike Turzai (R-28) and Gov. Tom Corbett have made it a legislative priority to explore the option of privatizing liquor stores, though bills in both chambers have stalled.
(You can still vote in a Patch Poll first published in early November: Should Pennsylvania Get Out of the Booze Business?)
For more information, visit the liquor control board's website.