Alcohol

Keystone Light Kops in The Keystone State

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Reader inkfarm sends this dispatch from the frontlines of The War Against Beer in the City of Brotherly Love:

More than a dozen armed State Police officers conducted simultaneous raids last week on three popular Philadelphia bars known for their wide beer selections. The cops confiscated hundreds of bottles of expensive ales and lagers, now in State Police custody at an undisclosed location.

The alleged offense: Although the bar owners had bought the beer legally from licensed Pennsylvania distributors and had paid all the necessary taxes, the police claimed that nobody had registered the precise names of the beers with the state Liquor Control Board—a process that requires the brewers or their importers to pay a $75 registration fee for each product they want to sell in Pennsylvania.

Based on a complaint from someone the State Police refuse to identify, three teams of officers converged last Thursday on the three bars, run by Leigh Maida and her husband, Brendan Hartranft. Checking their inventories against the state's official list of more than 2,800 brands, the cops seized four kegs and 317 bottles, totaling 60.9 gallons of beer, according to police calculations.

In fact, according to Maida, more than half the beer removed by the State Police was properly registered—but the cops couldn't find it on their lists because of "clerical errors" or "blatant ineptitude" between the police and the Liquor Control Board, with whom the officers were conferring by telephone.

More here. Amateur gumshoes, take note: I'm betting that the informant is a disgruntled employee or patron of the Maida-Hartranft bars.

Reason.tv checked in on the microbrew revolution. Here's what we found.