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Wegmans Food Market, Inc. won approval Monday from Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court to set up separate yet self-contained stores within its supermarkets in which beer can be sold and drunk both on the premises and to taken home – as long as it's under two six-packs.
According to published reports, the court's unanimous decision allows patrons to bypass the beer distributors that dominate the state's off-premise market -- and where customers have to purchase beer by the case.
Attorney Robert Hoffman said the Pennsylvania Malt Beverage Distributors Association would appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, claiming that distributors could face considerable losses if regulations are changed by the courts.
R.J. O'Hara, a lawyer representing Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, said the limit of two six-packs on take-out purchases would ensure that grocery-linked restaurants will not devastate business at beer distributors.