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Pennsylvania liquor stores to put 2-bottle limit on some booze

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor system will begin rationing sales of a few dozen products on Friday in response to what it describes as supply shortages beyond its control.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board notified license holders on Thursday that two-bottles-per-day purchase limits for customers at state stores, as well as well for bars, restaurants and other license holders, will remain in place indefinitely.

The PLCB said “sustained supply chain disruptions and product shortages” prompted the restrictions on certain types of alcohol.

The 43 items on the list of restricted products also will not be available through store-to-store transfers starting Friday.

The list of rationed booze — a small fraction of the vast array of items the state liquor system sells — contains specific types of champagne, bourbon, tequila, cognac and whiskey. The rationing will remain in place “for the foreseeable future” and until the supply chain becomes more reliable, the PLCB said.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association said it will make it more difficult for members to run their businesses.

“Supply and labor issues are not helping with recovery” from the pandemic, the business association said in a statement. “We hope the Legislature will take all of this into consideration when they return to Harrisburg. The industry still needs help moving forward.”

PLCB spokesman Shawn Kelly said bars, restaurants and other customers were informed of the purchase restrictions on Thursday.

“If you take a look at stories that have come out from around the country because of COVID-19, supply chains have been disrupted, production has been disrupted,” Kelly said. “In some cases there have been shortages of cans and bottles.”

Supply shortages in North Carolina have caused restaurants and bars to scramble to find popular brands, with supply shortages made more acute because of pandemic-era increases in customer demand.