(Philadelphia, PA) – Last Thursday, three beer bars, all under the same ownership, were raided due to an anonymous complaint of unlawful sale of unregistered brands. The shitstorm that has ensued from that one person’s complaint is just incredible. Here’s a timeline to get you caught up to speed.
Thursday, 3/4: Memphis Taproom, Local 44 and Resurrection Ale House are raided simultaneously in a coordinated “sting” operation. Speculation spreads that a competing bar owner that didn’t get any Pliny the Younger was the culprit.
Friday, 3/5: Owners, Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft, send out a memo detailing the events and say that some of the beer that was taken in the raids was legally registered.
Monday, 3/8: Flying Fish Brewing cancels its Exit 16 beer release event due to the brand being unregistered.
Monday, 3/8: Philly cops raid Origlio Beverage, voted the 2009 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year for its service to the industry. More on the raid here and the labeling problem jeopardizing the local Duvel supply.
Monday, 3/8: According to Maida, some of the beer that had been legally registered is returned, some is still being debated.
Tuesday, 3/9: State Rep. John Taylor (and the top Republican on the House Liquor Control Committee) speaks out against the raids, calling it a ridiculous use of enforcement manpower.
Tuesday, 3/9: Three BLCE agents reportedly visit Shangy’s in Enmaus, PA, regarding unregistered beers.
Tuesday, 3/9: According to Jack Curtin, two PLCB agents stop into Stockertown Beverage to tell them to stop selling certain brands.
Tuesday, 3/9: Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey‘s Tomme Arthur reports that he is filing paperwork for any remaining unregistered brands; some of the beers seized were from Port/The Lost Abbey.
Wednesday, 3/10: From The Inquirer: “Rep. Robert Donatucci (D., Phila.), who chairs the House Liquor Control Committee, will be holding hearings to determine [whether PA's liquor laws need updating].”