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Pennsylvania Restaurants, Bars Face Beer Shortage Due To Delivery Delays

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- For people looking to enjoy a beer at the bar, well the beverage of your choice might be out of stock and it could be that way for a little while due to delivery delays.

At O'Neals Pub in Philadelphia's Queen Village neighborhood, the flow of beer is slowing down. Managing partner Greg "Spoonie" Rand says if he ran out of a certain beer in the middle of the week, he used to be able to get another delivery the next day.

Now he may have to wait until the following week.

"You used to be able to order and get it any time during the week. You gotta order on a day, so they only allow you one day to get your beer," Rand said.

Limited access is largely because wholesalers don't have enough drivers to deliver the beer.

Jay Wiederhold with the Pennsylvania Beer Alliance, a trade organization that represents suppliers, says the problem is getting worse amid the pandemic.

"There's some bigger companies out there like your Amazons and stuff of the world offering all kinds of giant signing bonuses and stuff to come work for them, so it makes it harder for our folks to compete," Wiederhold said.

In a letter to the State House Liquor Control Committee, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association asked lawmakers to loosen rules that prevent bars and restaurants from picking up beer directly from wholesalers.

"They certainly should be allowed to pick up a limited amount of supplies that they can take back to their own establishment and then be fully supplied until the regular delivery can arrive," Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association Executive Director Chuck Moran said.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta says he's introducing legislation this week that would allow bars and restaurants to pick up beer and malt beverages from distributors like they do with wine and spirits.

It remains to be seen if enough lawmakers will support the bill for it to pass.

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