Friday, May 22, 2015

Beer raids on city taverns left a bad taste

There are so many brands of beer nowadays, it could baffle even a Prohibition-era lawman like Eliot Ness.

Beer raids on city taverns left a bad taste

After State Police raids in search of unregistered beer, afficiandos found it hard to find some of the black-listed brands, such as Duvel, a popular Belgian Ale (file photo).
After State Police raids in search of unregistered beer, afficiandos found it hard to find some of the black-listed brands, such as Duvel, a popular Belgian Ale (file photo).

 

There are so many brands of beer nowadays, it could baffle even a Prohibition-era lawman like Eliot Ness (also the name of a beer brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co.).
 
Worse, some Human Blockhead (Releta Brewing Co.) in Harrisburg decreed years ago that all beer sold in Pennsylvania must be registered with the Liquor Control Board. Brewers are supposed to pay a $75 fee for each brand sold in the state, which strikes some people as Insanity (Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Inc.).
 
It takes more than a Blind Pig (Russian River Brewing Co.) to sniff out all of the unregistered Beer Here (Shelton Bros. Inc.). It takes squads of state police, acting on the anonymous tip of someone who may or may not be an Arrogant Bastard (Stone Brewing Co.).
 
Police seized bottles and kegs of beer that was Criminally Bad (Shelton Bros. Inc.). But something went flat as the police gave this contraband the Hairy Eyeball (Lagunitas Brewing Co.). Some of the beer they seized was legal.
 
The explanation is that, apparently, the LCB put the job of updating its list of registered beers on the Back Burner (Southern Tier Brewing Co. Inc.). Officers in bars were on the phone with the LCB, trying to compare labels of suspected unregistered beer against the LCB’s imperfect list.
 
It couldn’t have been much fun for cops, standing among beer-swilling patrons, asking headquarters aloud if they should be on the lookout for Doppelbock Big Butt (MillerCoors), Smuttonator Double Bock (Smuttynose Brewing Co.), or Chatoe Rogue Oregasmic Ale (Oregon Brewing Co. Inc.).
 
Some of the seized beer was indeed unregistered. It was sent away under Ball and Chain (The Lion Brewery Inc.). But the authorities really ought to redirect their enforcement efforts toward bigger problems.
 
As the guy on the stool next to us said, Brew Free! or Die (21st Amendment Brewery Cafe L.L.C.).
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