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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 5, May 2011, Posted On: 4/26/2011

Penn. Tests Hard Liquor In Wine Venders

Emily Jed
Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board, Simple Brands LLC, liquor vending machine, wine vending machine, wine vender, vending machine, vending, automatic retailing, wine kiosk

HARRISBURG, PA -- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is planning a pilot program to allow the sale of hard liquor through the wine vending kiosks currently operating in three dozen supermarkets throughout the state.

The agency plans to test hard alcoholic beverages in five to 10 locations, and will likely kick off the pilot within the next few weeks, according to the Associated Press. Officials have not yet decided which hard-liquor products will be offered.

The self-serve kiosks, manufactured and operated by Simple Brands (Conshohocken, PA), require the customer to scan his or her driver's license and pass a Breathalyzer test before enabling the purchase. The liquor agency launched the kiosk program -- the first of its kind in the nation -- to much fanfare last summer, with a test program in two Harrisburg-area supermarkets, and expanded it to a statewide network of 30 machines.

In December, the LCB abruptly shut down all of the machines because of persistent mechanical problems. The technical glitches were identified and repaired, and the venders were back in business by early February. | SEE STORY

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