clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gallons Of Premium Beer Confiscated In Philly Police Bust

Like a bad National Lampoon's movie come to life, last weekend more than a dozen armed policemen confiscated over 300 bottles and four kegs of premium microbrews from three Philly-area bars. Although the beer in question was purchased legally by the pub owners, the cops initiated the bust on allegations that the distributors and brewers who sold them the booze never paid the $75 registration per each imported product.

Curiously, all three bars involved in the bust were owned by husband and wife team Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft. The duo notes that many of the ales were actually properly registered, but that the cops failed to see this because of "clerical errors" or "blatant ineptitude."

As the story goes, sometime last week a complaint from an "unidentified citizen" was reported to the police, who conferred with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on the unlicensed products before making the raid. Maida says of the incident:

"No actual investigating was done...The police sent a shoddily typed list to the PLCB, some drone fed it into the machine verbatim and returned what came back, without . . . even trying to offer us the benefit of the doubt by double-checking on some of the so-called unregistered beers."

While it is true that many the beers were imported without the proper fees and paperwork taken care of, one of the guilty purveyors, from the Russian River Brewing Co., notes: "It was a simple mistake on our part....we are a small mom and pop brewery and every once in a while something slips through the cracks."

Right now, an investigation is underway with the PLCB to determine which ales were properly registered and which were not. The stash is being kept at an undisclosed location. The ones that were sold without the proper paperwork will sadly be destroyed, and there is a strong chance that even the batches that were sold legitimately will skunk by the time the investigation is through.
·Troopers raid popular bars for unlicensed beers [Philadelphia Daily News]

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day