Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Insanity

As many of you have heard, The Pennsylvania liquor Control Board raided three bars in Philadelphia last week. The Memphis Taproom, Local 44 and The Resurrection Ale House were visited by PLCB employees and armed State Troopers. The restaurants are all owned by the hard working husband and wife duo of Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft. What prompted the PLCB to pay them a visit? The PLCB were tipped of that Maida and Hartranft were selling beer not registered by the PLCB. All three bars promoted and sold kegs of Russian River's highly coveted Imperial IPA ,"Pliny the Younger". Beeradvocate.com recently voted "Pliny the Younger" to be "The Number One Beer In The World", overturning Westvleteren 12. The few bars in the Philadelphia area which received this beer carefully distributed the beer to lucky patrons who went out of their way even they were just able to purchase and drink one glass.
It is largely believed that a local bar owner who was not allotted any "Pliny the Younger" for purchase checked the PLCB's list of registered beer and realized that "Pliny The Younger" was not registered for Sale in Pennsylvania. This informant then contacted the PLCB. Here is the list that is in question .

In addition to "Piny The Younger" not being registered, lots of other beers were confiscated from Maida and Hartranft. Some of the beers confiscated were Duvel and Monks Cafe Sour Flemish Ale. Duvel was confiscated on the ground that the Duvel's label has a different name than the name listed on the PLCB's list of registered beers. On the PLCB list, "Duvel" is registered as "Duvel Beer" but "Duvel Belgian Golden Ale" is written on the label. It is also worth noting that lots beer stores and bars in the state sell "Duvel", and were not intruded by armed state police. For the time being, shipments of "Duvel" are currently not being sent to Philadelphia.

All of the beer that Maida and Hartranft purchased for their bar were legally purchased from a wholesaler. Maida further elaborates, "Personally, two of my many concerns during all of this has been that our employees and guests might now feel like we’re up to something shady (we’re not, swearsies) and, well, perhaps obviously, that there’s someone out there with enough of a grudge against us that things took this course. My goal is to make this whole experience as un-drama-filled as possible. Our bottle lists haven’t been depleted all that severely, though there are a few favorites that we’ll just consider 86′d for a little while." The PLCB left all three restaraunts with over $7,000 worth of beer that they confiscated from Maida and Hartranft.

Russian River Brewery owner Vinnie Cilurzo stated to the Daily News in regards to the unregistered beer sent to Philadelphia from his brewery, "It was a simple mistake on our part that we forgot to register some brands with the state of PA. We are a small mom and pop brewery and every once in a while something slips through the cracks."

In addition to Maida and Hartranft's restaurants being raided for possessing unregistered beer, the PLCB also paid a visit to the local wholesaler of Russian River, Origlio beverage. The PLCB only confiscated Russian River Suplication from Origlio on account that they supposedly would have needed a whole tractor trailer to confiscate the rest of what was not registered with the PLCB.

Maida and Hartranft and Origlio Beverage are only guilty of trying to provide consumers with a highly sought after and quality product.

Show your support to Maida Hartranft by stopping by one of their 3 fabulous restraunts for some wonderful food, people, and beer that hasn't been confiscated by armed men.

Are you outraged with what the PLCB is doing?

There are several steps you can take to change PA beer laws for the better:

you can email the PLCB at RA-LBconsumer@state.pa.us

Contact State Representative Robert Donatucci

Also, contact your'e favorite breweries via their web pages to make sure all the beer you love to drink is registered with the PLCB.

and of course feel free to email me at brewsdayblog@gmail.com with any ideas or suggestions you have to help us all enjoy our favorite beverage, beer.

Check Out Lew Brison's blog to read further, and join his Facebook group "Abolish the PLCB"

compiled from Joe Sixpack's blog ,Jack Curtin's Blog : Liquid Diet ,The Philadelphia Daily News and Local 44's web page.


  1. This is disgusting. All my sympathy for the unfortunate owners.

  2. an outrage!!! I'll be contacting my Representative.

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