Taking Things for Granted

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (Photo credit: jurvetson)

The other week when I went to the watercolor exhibition, I also went to check out the new “beer garden” at the Giant in Harrisburg. (Giant is a grocery store chain here.) You’ve probably figured out that I like beer, but here in Pennsylvania we have some really archaic laws regarding alcohol sales. Only Utah has tougher ones. In general, you have to buy your beer by the case unless you purchase it at a bar or restaurant. So when you want to try a new brew, you’re stuck with 24 of them. Or you can pay extra to buy a six pack from a bar.

Lately there have been a few scattered stores where you can get a mixed six in order to try some new beers. These are few and far between. At this particular Giant, you can now buy beer by the case, the twelve, or the six. And they also have the pick a six option. The selection of sixes and singles is varied, but the not most exciting I’ve seen. Still it’s way better than your local beer distributor.


What amazed me the most and is indicative of why these laws need to change in Pennsylvania, was the happiness and amazement on the faces of patrons as they perused the “beer garden.” Strangers were saying to each other “this is so great!” “can you believe this?” “it’s about time.”

All this may sound ridiculous to you if you live anywhere (other than Utah.) But here in PA this is the reality. Just buying a six pack can be an amazing experience because of the control that others have over our selection. I’m not talking about this to rant or express my political views on the liquor control board. I want you to think about how hard it is for us and how easy it is for you to buy a simple six pack of beer. Now what other conveniences do you have that some one in another part of town, another state, or another country has limited access to?

Be thankful that you have this kind of access and learn to appreciate the little things in life. Then have a beer.

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