“Unregistered Beers” Get Local Bars Raided


Last night the three bars of Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida (Local 44, Memphis Taprom and Resurrection Ale House) were raided for selling unregistered beers.

Leigh Maida sent a statement to us regarding the situation that is included after the jump.

So, you’ve been asking (some of you) and you’ve by now probably heard rumors about what went down yesterday at Local 44,  Memphis Taproom and Resurrection Ale House. I thought I’d offer this account of the facts, rather than have it turn into sketchy gossip in a few more hours (probably too late for that, eh?)

You may or may not know by now that the PLCB started an investigation against because someone called in a complaint that we are serving beers that are not registered in PA. We have been going through the list of what was confiscated with our lawyers (and the lawyers of our major distributors) today and we are finding out that some pretty popular beers (widely poured around the city) may in fact, not registered be for sale in PA. As the day progresses, more of the list might prove to be unregistered, or more of it cleared up as bureaucratic mistakes, but for now it’s just few, and i think rather than inviting a lawsuit against ME for spreading untruths, I’d rather just let that part of the situation work itself out without using brand names.

Yesterday all three bars were visited by teams of State Police, armed with a list of “un-registered” beers (and guns!).

The beers that were on the “un-registered” list that they came looking for are some really commonly poured beers (some local, some regional) as well as some harder to get Belgian, English and German beers. How these particular beers got on that “to confiscate” list? Not sure. I blame the woeful incompetence of the PLBC itself, but that’s just a personal opinion.

Again, until the lawyers are all done pouring over the lists and double checking things, I might prefer to not list out for you what of our inventory was confiscated. Some of it would make you laugh though. Something interesting to point out, some of what they confiscated at one location, they left alone at another. Some of what they took is listed plain as day on the PLCB list of registered beers, which, if you haven’t made yourself familiar with it, is located here:


The State Police hold it for the duration of the investigation, and when it comes out that this is all mostly BS, we’ll get it back (hopefully unharmed). This could take 2 weeks or 6 months. Who knows. Every beer distributor with a beer on the confiscated list has been in touch with their PLCB contacts on our behalf, so hopefully that will speed things along.

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.

If nothing else, this will give us a great excuse to hold a couple of “welcome back bottle” weekends at the bars!

All questions welcome, all answers screened by our lawyer, for the time being.

Leigh Maida