Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Apparently crime is so under control in Philadelphia

that the cops have time for bullcrap like this.
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
Besides the general bullshit, the word 'raid' strikes me; I wonder if they got to wear their ninja suits for this, or just plain uniforms? Why a raid at all? Why not a guy showing up at opening time and saying "Sir, we've had a complaint on this, and I need to check it out."? Was that just too simple, or not enough publicity?

For instance, the cops grabbed Monk's Cafe Sour Flemish Red Ale.

The beer has been sold throughout the state at dozens of restaurants and distributors for the last seven years. The brand appears on the state's online list as "Monk's Café Ale." It's on tap seven days a week at the Center City bar after which it was named: Monk's Cafe, at 16th and Spruce streets.

But that wasn't enough to keep the State Police from confiscating 20 bottles and three kegs of the supposedly illegal ale at the three bars run by Maida and Hartranft - Resurrection Ale House, at 2425 Grays Ferry Ave.; Local 44, at 44th and Spruce streets, in West Philadelphia; and Memphis Taproom, 2331 E. Cumberland St., Port Richmond.

Maida said that the State Police also confiscated bottles of Duvel, a popular ale imported from Belgium that is widely advertised and available in at least 200 bars throughout the city and suburbs. The beer appears on the PLCB list as "Duvel Beer," while its label reads "Duvel Belgian Golden Ale."

"No actual investigating was done," Maida said in an e-mail to the Daily News. "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 acknowledging that it appears that some of the confiscated brands had not been properly registered, Maida said that about half appeared on the state's registration list in some form
Possible lack of actual investigation, possible shoddy work by the state, private property confiscated... There is one good thing: at least no dogs were shot.


Keith (who is capable of organizing a pissup in a brewery) said...

I wonder if it will ever be returned?

Or will it be errr "disposed of"?

However, I'm sure that those good Phili cops could be trusted to be left overnight in a brewery without err, misbehaving...

Keith said...

On the subject of Phili; I hear that Ray Riling Books has gone bust.

Shame that, I used to buy a lot of stuff from them. I met Larry back in about 2001. He was a really nice guy.