PA Liquor Board BANS Russian Vodka

Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has directed that all Fine Wine and Good Spirits outlets, as well as the licensee services center, remove Russian-made items off their shelves by Sunday, February 27.

Only two Russian products are available in stores — the 80-proof vodkas Russian Standard and Ustianochka – and about a half-dozen other brands are available from the country.

Board Chairman Tim Holden stated, “as of yesterday, these products would no longer be offered or procured by the PLCB.”

The decision was made because it was the “proper thing to do,” in light of the changing political and economic context.

Governor Tom Wolf’s Letter

This follows a letter from Governor Tom Wolf to the PA Liquor Control Board, in which he expressed his support for the board.

He called for the elimination of products imported from Russia and from Fine Wine and Good Spirits shops throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States.

His other wish was for the proprietors of stores to discontinue their sale of the products as soon as practicable. When asked if this would be considered a little gesture of unity and solidarity for the citizens of Ukraine, Wolf responded affirmatively in the letter.

According to Gov. Wolf, “I have united with leaders across this country and around the world in denouncing these atrocities and voicing solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”

More on the Story

In a statement, Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, which serves as the statewide political voice for small business pubs, bars, and licensed eateries, said the following:

“The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Pub Organization join the governor in pushing the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to take this action.”

“For the Commonwealth, this is a logical course of action to adopt in order to express its displeasure of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the harm the attack has done to international peace.”

“As far as we know, and in order to avoid confusion with “Russian-themed” vodkas, there are a few genuine Russian-made vodkas available for purchase in Pennsylvania’s liquor stores.”

“Russian Standard and Ustianochka are two of the most popular. Russian Standard is owned by tycoon Roustam Tariko, who is based in Russia.”

“Because there are so many excellent vodka options available, our association encourages Pennsylvania’s family-owned taverns, bars, clubs, and licensed restaurants to refrain from serving Russian-made vodka for the time being.”

“Although it will be a small hassle for some, national American brands such as Tito’s from Texas and locally produced vodkas such as Holla Spirits from New York, are both excellent choices for mixing drinks that ask for vodka in the recipe.”

Many other parts of the free market around the world have made moves to distance themselves from Russian-made products, in light of Putin’s attacks on Ukraine.