Alcohol

Bradley C. Bower / AP

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has posted this year’s earnings, and they’re higher than ever.

Despite overhead cost increases, the PLCB says the revenues are a sign the industry is healthy.

Min Xian / WPSU

A judge has dropped all involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges for the 18 Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. Some defendants are going to trial for lesser charges. 

Lawyer: Penn State Fraternity Leaders Were Unaware Pledge Who Died Was In Danger

Aug 30, 2017
Bebeto Matthews / AP

The lawyer for a Penn State fraternity president accused in the death of a pledge after a night of drinking and hazing argued Wednesday that his client didn't see anything to make him think the pledge was at risk of dying.

Defense attorney Frank Fina said during a preliminary hearing that there was no evidence that former Beta Theta Pi president Brendan Young acted maliciously the night 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, was fatally injured.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

One in five people who undergo a popular weight loss surgery is likely to develop an alcohol use disorder within five years, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

For the first time, shoppers at farmers markets around the region can grab some whiskey with their watermelon. Due to a 2016 change in state laws, distilleries, breweries and meaderies are able to sell their products in Pennsylvania farmers markets and food expos.

House Approves Bill To Sell Pennsylvania's Liquor Wholesale System

Apr 26, 2017
Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

House Republicans on Tuesday pushed ahead a set of changes to how alcohol is sold in the state, moving to privatize wholesale wine and spirits sales and expand the retail outlets where booze is available.

Lawmakers voted 105-84 in favor of the wholesale divestment proposal, sending it with other proposals to the Senate for its consideration.

The House voted to allow more grocery stores to seek permits to sell wine, no longer restricting the permits to stores with seating capacity, and retailers would be able to buy wine from brokers in the private sector.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A soccer player, an athlete and a drug dealer sat together in a half-circle in the center of the stage. Each character slumped in their chair, reflective and resigned, as they explained how their prescription drug addiction began.

In the audience were 9-12th grade students at Cornell High School. The district was chosen to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s national 360 Strategy, being piloted for the first time in the Pittsburgh region.

If you drink more alcohol than you want to or should, you're not alone. A nationwide survey by the National Institutes of Health found that 28 percent of adults in the U.S. are heavy drinkers or drink more than is recommended.

Yet, most heavy drinkers don't get the help they need.

So, What's The Deal With Pennsylvania's Liquor Laws?

Dec 30, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

For decades, Pennsylvania had some of the screwiest liquor laws in the nation. But this year, after decades of false starts and abandoned bills, the General Assembly finally passed laws to make it easier to buy alcohol.

Geoffrey Franklin / flickr

Big changes are coming to beer sales in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Tuesday that will allow the state's more than 1,000 beer distributors to sell suds in any quantity. That includes individual 32-ounce bottles, four-packs, six-packs and growlers.

The law takes effect in 60 days.

If you're drinking tonight, you're definitely not alone.

There's anxiety. There's excitement. There's the anticipation of either despair or celebration. There are, perhaps, hours to go until it's all resolved — as the race is turning out to be significantly tighter than some pollsters had predicted.

It's a surefire recipe for a lot of alcohol consumption.

And some election enthusiasts are getting more creative.

Looking for a cocktail for the evening? Here are a few suggestions:

Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA


 A Pittsburgh group named A Few Bad Apples has three missions.

 

The first is to teach people the lost skills of making use of homegrown fruit.

Laura Bittner / Flickr

As returning college students go to parties in new places, often with friends they’ve only recently met, they can be at higher risk for sexual assault, said Kristen Houser, chief public affairs officer for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

More than half of college sexual assaults occur between August and November, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN.

doctyer / Flickr

 

Local entrepreneurs are planning to celebrate Pittsburgh's alcohol heritage with two proposed museums.

Flickr user CCFoodTravel.com

Buying Christmas presents is going to be a lot easier for Antoinette Palmieri this year.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

A grocery store in Pennsylvania has become the first since Prohibition to sell wine in the state.

A Giant Eagle store in Robinson Township will sell wine beginning Friday. Only state-owned liquor stores had been allowed to sell wine since the nationwide constitutional ban on alcohol that lasted from 1920 to 1933.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports store officials and Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai plan a ceremonial Champagne toast to mark the occasion.

Katie Meyer / WITF

The commonwealth's newly-expanded liquor law is ramping up.

The law went into effect Monday, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is already ushering in a few of the first concrete changes.

At the grand opening of a new Fine Wine and Good Spirits store in York County, the PLCB announced lottery tickets will now be sold at 300 state stores.

Sue Seecof / Flickr

Pennsylvania's alcohol regulators are taking applications for permits under the expanded sales of booze approved by the Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this summer.

The Liquor Control Board said the law that went into effect Monday lets about 11,000 businesses that currently have what's called restaurant or hotel licenses, which let them sell beer to go, apply for permission to also sell takeout wine.

Eating place licenses that sell beer to go, typically pizza shops or similar establishments, can apply to upgrade to a restaurant license.

You may know mead — an ancient alcoholic beverage made from water, honey, and yeast — as a drink that's popular among Renaissance fair-goers and Game of Thrones fans.

Meadmaker Andrew Geffken is on a mission to add another group to that list: the average beer drinker. At Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, Md. — he's experimenting with modern takes on this age-old drink.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Arsenal Cider House’s new production facility in Penn Hills is still under construction, with nothing produced yet inside the 17,000-square-foot warehouse. But outside, 110,000 workers are toiling away to create something that will one day end up inside Arsenal’s signature “daily rations” growlers.

Wade Trelchler / Flickr

The Pittsburgh region boasts about 35 craft breweries as American Craft Beer Week kicks off on Monday.

Andy Kwiackowski, head brewer for Hitchhiker Brewing Company in Mt. Lebanon, is past president of the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance. He spoke to 90.5 WESA's Sarah Kovash about how the local craft beer scene stacks up.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A new study out of the University of Pittsburgh found that a text message program that aimed to help young adults cut down on binge drinking worked six months after the program ended.

The study is in the journal PLOS ONE.

Republican Liquor Plan Passes State House Amid Budget Talks

Nov 19, 2015
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

  A divided state House is sending a new proposal to privatize Pennsylvania's government-run liquor system to the Senate, but it's not much different than a Republican-backed plan that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed in June.

The House voted 110 to 86 on Thursday for a bill that would close all 600 state stores and create 1,200 permits to sell wine and liquor.

Beer distributors would get the first opportunity to buy the permits, and what's left would be auctioned off.

It would be illegal to sell or transport powdered alcohol in Pennsylvania under Senate Bill 773, which passed the Senate unanimously last week (49-0).

“This is a gigantic step toward protecting our young people in our state today” said Senator Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia), who authored the measure.

Courtesy The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company

In most industries, companies want consumers to buy their products, not go make their own versions at home.

The craft beer world is not most industries.

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock will host the American Homebrewers Association for a rally celebrating all things craft and homebrewed beer from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The number of fatal drug overdoses in Pennsylvania has increased by 89 percent since 1999, according to the Trust for America’s Health. To help combat drug, alcohol, and gambling addiction, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has launched a website called “Get Help Now” to improve public access to addiction resources and information.

The website, designed by three Harrisburg Area Community College students, uses maps and search tools to connect site visitors to anti-addiction resources near them. People can use the site to get driving directions to the nearest treatment facility or to learn more about health insurance options.

The relatively new product Palcohol, or powdered alcohol, has many concerned with its safety, including a Pennsylvania state senator who is looking to have the intoxicant banned.

Sen. Shirley Kitchen echoes the concerns of many that this product will lead to more problems with teen drinking. They believe the product would be easier to conceal and transport. Also some are concerned drinks could be spiked with the power, making them much stronger than intended.

Ian Turton/ Flickr

  More Pennsylvanians under 21 consume alcohol than the national average, according to a report released by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on underage and dangerous drinking habits.

Brandy or Beer? A History of Drinking in the White House

Feb 16, 2015
Kirti Poddar / Flickr

 

The 2009 “beer summit” was probably the most famous pouring of alcohol at the White House in recent years. But, what were the drinking habits of our past commanders in chief?

We pose that question to journalist Mark Will-Weber author of the book, "Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking.”

Mark starts off by telling us what Washington liked to drink:

“George Washington liked a lot of different things, among his favorite were madeira wine, he loved champagne, and he also really liked this special porter beer, dark beer, that was brewed with molasses.”

Jefferson has a more refined taste for alcoholic drinks:

“ It is not out of line to call him the first father of American wine. Jefferson actually had the opportunity to visit a lot of the best vineyards in France and northern Italy and kept meticulous notes about it.”

Franklin Pierce qualifies as an alcoholic by Weber since Pierce died of cirrhosis of the liver. Abraham Lincoln was very involved with whiskey as a young man, with both producing and selling.

Flickr user Phil Dragash

In the last 4 ½ years, 35 commercial properties in Wilkinsburg’s central business district have been sold, 22 new businesses have moved in, and 12 formerly vacant storefronts have been filled.

That’s according to Tracey Evans, Executive Director of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation.

Like many towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Wilkinsburg is slowly emerging from the combined effects of the 2008 economic recession and the steel industry’s demise in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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