Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Score One for the PLCB

Credit where it's due: the PLCB has done A Good Thing. PhillyMag food columnist and research editor Victor Fiorillo reported a few months ago that he'd been served what he thought was bogus Maker's Mark at Oscar's, a popular Center City dive-ish bar. He ordered another, surreptitiously poured it into a container, and left the bar with it. He sent it to the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and filed a complaint. Two weeks later, the BLCE sent an agent to Oscar's, who checked the whole place -- the Maker's, the other booze, and the taplines (they weren't being cleaned properly) -- and took samples for analysis: six bottles of confiscated liquor.

The results are in: Oscar's put shite whiskey in a Maker's bottle. The BLCE found that the sample from Oscar's did not match a true sample; they found the same with a bottle of Ketel One. What's gonna happen? Fiorillo sez, "According to [the officer], her office’s legal department will now determine whether to issue a citation, after which a fine, suspension, or other penalty could be imposed." Excellent!

So. I slagged the PLCB last year for not giving a damn about consumer protection. God knows I've slagged PhillyMag for their booze coverage. I say thank you for a job well done to both today. This is exactly the kind of thing a state booze bureaucracy should be doing: protecting me from bad, mislabeled, fraudulent booze. I realize they're probably doing it because of taxes, but you know, it all works out. Cheers to Fiorillo for following through on this. And damn Oscar's for pulling the old switcheroo: that's about the worst crap a bar can pull. Don't know what the PLCB is going to do, but I'm dropping Oscar's from PA Breweries 4th Edition. It ain't much, but it's what I can do.

6 comments:

sam k said...

Yeah, but...

...Victor's the one who ran the sting. Glad that the BLCE followed through, but do they routinely wait for us consumers to do the work?

What do they do in a normal workday that justifies their paycheck? What are their everyday duties?

Maybe they should be praised, but not until I see their job description.

And may Oscar's rot in hell.

Lew Bryson said...

Oh, I don't think that's fair, Sam. There are over 20,000 licensed establishments in PA. That's asking a lot.
There's the BLCE agent who's accused of being crooked here in the Bucks/Montgomery County area, but I don't think you can take that as normal (although there was one up in the Lehigh Valley, too). I'd say praise them for handling this one well. And that's pretty much all I'm saying.

First Stater said...

Leave them in the pub guide but write the truth about their business practices. Maybe a chapter on sleazy establishments.

Lew Bryson said...

FS,
Nah, I'd rather use the room for other places. I'm very tight on space this time, it's nuts how many beer bars have opened in Philly. So why waste it on them?
And if I'm going to do a chapter on sleazy establishments, I'll have to visit them: pass, thanks!

AVB said...

Lou,

If you want to bring the bottle with you it ain't happening but if you want it shipped to you then PA has this easy way to do that. First you have to find out if the state has it available. If it does you can't ship it in. If it doesn't you can do to step 2. Next you have to make sure the shipper is on the approved list and right now a whole 51 shippers are listed.

This could get rather long so read the easy steps for yourself.
http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/plcb/cwp/view.asp?a=1328&q=554550&plcbNav=|

AVB said...

Lou,

If you want to bring the bottle with you it ain't happening but if you want it shipped to you then PA has this easy way to do that. First you have to find out if the state has it available. If it does you can't ship it in. If it doesn't you can go to step 2. Next you have to make sure the shipper is on the approved list and right now a whole 51 shippers are listed.

This could get rather long so read the easy steps for yourself.
http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/plcb/cwp/view.asp?a=1328&q=554550&plcbNav=|