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To ensure fairness between beer and ready-to-drink cocktails, we are advocating for policies that permit the sale of RTDs with comparable ABV to beer in grocery and convenience stores. Our focus is solely on RTDs and we are not advocating for broader availability of all types of liquor or aim to change the overall system regarding privatization of alcohol sales.


Canned Cocktails and ABV

Alcohol by volume measures the alcohol content in a beverage. Although some beer and spirits-based RTDs have similar ABVs, RTDs are often restricted in sales and marketing. This discrepancy highlights the need for fair treatment of all alcoholic beverages, regardless of their alcohol content.

At the Grocery Shop


Senate Bill 688 would allow ready-to-drink cocktails to be sold in locations not operated by state stores, including grocery and convenience stores. This legislation is sponsored by Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York).

Senator Mike Regan

Reasons for proposed legislation

Ready-to-drink spirit coolers have the same or lower percentage of alcohol in them as beer and wine, but they are sold in different stores. It makes no sense. If they all have the same percentage of alcohol, they should be treated the same.

Most of Pennsylvania’s laws regarding the sale of alcohol were passed after prohibition in 1933 and were designed by the governor and General Assembly at that time to make it as inconvenient and expensive as possible to buy alcohol. It is well past time for new, fair, common-sense laws that keep alcohol sales safe but convenient.

Pennsylvania’s liquor laws are among the most complicated and inconvenient in the country. The state limits store locations and store hours, often resulting in extra trips and long lines. This common-sense change would increase convenience and affordability by allowing customers to buy similar products in the same place and not having to make a separate trip.

This common-sense reform increases affordability, competition, and convenience. That is good for consumers and for our economy. That’s why the bill is supported by a broad coalition of organizations, including the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association. 


The legislation allows importers, distributors, restaurant licensees, and hotel licensees to sell ready-to-drink cocktails for off-premise consumption. 


A ready-to-drink cocktail is a beverage composed in part of spirits combined with other nonalcoholic ingredients that are premixed in original containers of more than 16 ounces consisting of at least 1.5%, but not greater than 12.5%, alcohol by volume (ABV). 


The legislation establishes an initial application fee and renewal fees for licensees selling ready-to-drink cocktails for off-premise consumption. 


The legislation also provides for the taxation of ready-to-drink cocktails for off-premise consumption that are sold outside of the control system.

Fiscal Impact


Net present value calculation compares the current ready-to-drink product line revenue ($21 million) with the projected revenues from House Bill 1154, which includes initial application fees, annual renewal fees, and additional taxes from increased sales volume. ​

Over the next 5 years, these revenues are expected to amount to $45.7 million.

Source: Senate Appropriates Committee


Senate Bill 688 would allow canned cocktails to be sold in locations not operated by state stores, including grocery and convenience stores. This legislation is sponsored by Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York).


If you are of legal drinking age and share our vision for a more competitive, innovative, and consumer-friendly liquor industry in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we encourage you to sign up for our coalition and send an email to your legislator. Together, we can ensure that Pennsylvania's liquor laws reflect the needs and wants of today's consumers.

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