On Tuesday evening, the Concord Township Board of Supervisors in Delaware County, Pennsylvania approved beer sales at the Wawa located at 721 Naamans Creed Road in Chadds Ford. Customers will be able to purchase up to two 6-packs of beer at the Delaware County store. The Naamans Creek Road store is the first Wawa in Pennsylvania to be approved for beer sales.
Beer sales at Wawa could mean a whole new and vast market for local beer brewers. If Wawa chooses to expand the sale of beer to its other locations, local brewers could put their product in front of a large new set of consumers.
But what does this mean for beer distributors in Pennsylvania?
Earlier this year, the PLCB declared that beer distributors are permitted to sell 12-packs of beer. The distributors are required to purchase the beer in 12-pack shipments in order to resell to the consumer in that quantity. This was a huge win for Pennsylvania distributors who had been limited to selling beer by the case or keg. While the Pennsylvania liquor code permits bars, supermarkets and convenience stores to sell beers by the 6-pack, it tends to be sold at higher costs than those charged by distributors.
Given Wawa’s vast reach and popularity in Pennsylvania, this could be the start of a whole new area of competition for beer distributors in Pennsylvania. Similar to a restaurant, Wawa would be permitted to sell beer from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Sundays, while beer distributors are generally limited to sales from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. It may also be more appealing for customers to make one stop at Wawa to purchase beer, food, gas and other everyday items, rather than making an additional stop at their local beer distributor.
The upside for PA beer distributors is that sales have not yet been approved by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and Wawa officials have stated that they are currently only seeking approval at the Delaware County location.