Most Common PA Liquor License Questions and Misconceptions

It can be hard to find reliable answers to your PA Liquor License questions without making a bunch of calls or engaging a lawyer. Here are some of the PA liquor license questions we get most often.

Can I just apply for and purchase a PA liquor license in any county?

It depends on the type of license. In the case of “R”, “E”, or “D” licenses, liquor licenses are limited per county so you have to find an active or safekeeping license that already exists and buy it from its current owners. 

On a rare occasion, you can also pick up a license in a PLCB auction as well. But there’s not an application process where you can just fill out a form, pay, and get a license.

It’s a bit of a complicated process… Read: How to Obtain a PA Liquor License for more info. 

“Limited Distillery” or “Limited Winery” licenses do allow you to apply for and purchase a license from the PCLB if you qualify. Learn more about the Types of PA Liquor Licenses.

Can I get a PA liquor license for just beer for my restaurant? 

Not really. There are some “E” licenses (beer/ malt beverages only) available but they are being phased out by the state. Many have been upgraded to “R” licenses.  Learn more about this process, here.

Even if you can find one, they will probably cost the same amount as a “R” license and have similar requirements, so there’s not much benefit in getting one over an “R” license. The rules are a little different in Philadelphia, where “E” license can’t be upgraded. In Philadelphia, an “E” license might be a more affordable option. Learn more about “E” and “R” licenses. 

 Most establishments that sell alcohol in PA (including grocery/ convenience stores) have an “R” license which allows the sale of beer, liquor, and wine unless they are a hotel or they producing alcohol like a brewery/ winery. 

Learn more about the Types of PA Liquor Licenses.

Contact PA Liquor License Company for questions about liquor licenses types.

Do PA liquor licenses go down in price or lose value?

Typically not. Because liquor licenses are limited per county, pricing is based on supply and demand. Though the price of licenses can go down, in theory, we don’t see that happen often. 

Even during shutdowns, pricing stayed pretty steady. At the peak of 2020, liquor license prices in Western PA only decreased by 10% at the most, but that decrease was pretty short-lived. 

Typically value only increases and sometimes it increases dramatically based on development in an area. 

Want to know how much a license is worth in your county? Contact PA Liquor License Company!

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