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TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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In the state of pennsylvania, can a restaurant use a "beer

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In the state of pennsylvania, can a restaurant use a "beer donation" idea for customers?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "beer donation" (although I like the sound of it). Can you please explain to me your scenario in greater detail?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is where people make a "donation" for beer that i have. They don't buy the beer from me so therefor i don't realy sell them the beer, the just make a donation. Would i need a licence to do something like this?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do i need a beer and wine license to give beer away for a donation only? It would be up to the customer how much they donate, there would be no set price for the beer.

Thank you for clarifying your question. To answer this question, I read through numerous PA Liquor Board advisory opinions to ascertain the State's stance on your question, as there is no statute which directly prohibits or allows the beer donation practice you are inquiring about.

It appears that it depends on the arrangement under which this is occurring. Many of the laws turn on whether or not you are already a license holder. For instance, if you are holding a charity party and are catering, the caterer/liquor distributor can donate beer to the party which is then exchanged for a donation to the charity by the party attendees.

However, a bar cannot self-cater a party in which it sells tickets for unlimited alcohol. Likewise, a charity that is auctioning off alcohol must obtain a license.

If you are not a license holder or a restaurant, and are simply wanting to throw a party wherein you accept donations for free beer, then this is permitted by the law. The beer must be free, and you cannot refuse to give it away if someone does not want to pay a donation. Other liquor laws apply still (no serving to minors or intoxicated persons).

See: r=2005&opinion_sequence=391

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I hope this helps you and if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

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