We usually think about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board as a terribly outdated, horribly run state agency that takes away all of our boozy fun. But, thanks to a hilariously loose interpretation of the state’s liquor code, Philadelphia has been running outdoor beer gardens for licenses that cost only $500. The gist of it is that the beer gardens use a catering license obtained by a bar and use them to legally operate outdoor beer garden setups. If you want all of the nitty gritty details of the loophole, head over to Don Russell’s Philly.com article from last summer.
This loophole, quite obviously, isn’t specific to Philadelphia. Which means that someone, or multiple people, need to open these in the Lehigh Valley. Now. This spring, this summer. We’re constantly, without fail, years behind the trend on everything from hookah bars to food trucks to vegan restaurants and the list goes on. With how pissed some of the politicians, bar owners, and other people with the stake in the game seem to be at this little loophole, it’s sure to go away soon. That means the time is nigh for it to be taken advantage of.
If there’s one thing that we can take away from Musikfest, Mayfair, Hop Fest, etc, it’s that the people of the Lehigh Valley like to drink, and they like to do it outdoors. There’s some damn scenic places in the area that I would love to kick back and sip a Funk Citrus IPA or a Brew Works Hefeweizen without worrying about an open container citation.
This is an easy proposition. There’s more than enough places for this to take place. People like beer. Bar owners and lot owners like money. This is a win-win for everyone. Someone, please, make it happen.