- four kegs and 317 bottles were seized, which will be kept at "a secured location, as evidence, until the case is resolved, probably in six to eight months." If the beers are found to be unregistered, they will be destroyed (if they're found to be registered, well, they might as well be, after 6-8 months in unrefrigerated storage).
- Leigh Maida estimated the value of the beers at $7,200, and said over half of them were properly registered; beers like Duvel and Monk's Cafe Sour, both of which are sold all over the state (but the name on the list doesn't match the label exactly...which would seem to be the fault of the State).
- "State Police Sgt. William N. La Torre, commanding officer of the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, said that he was not aware of any beers that had been mistakenly confiscated."
- Francesca Chapman, a PLCB spokeswoman, said that the registration requirement helps the state assure payment of state beer taxes and helps prosecutors identify alcoholic beverages in drunk-driving cases or any other type of prosecution. (Because just taxing every beer that comes in isn't enough? Because looking at the label won't do it? If you're not putting the right name of the beer on the "list" to begin with, how much help is it?)
- La Torre said that the investigation was sparked by "a citizen complaint. It doesn't matter where the complaint is coming from," he said. (I would say that if the "citizen complaint" came from the owner or employee of another beer-related business...it does matter.)
The reasons given for brand registration do not hold up. TAX EVERY BEER, and it doesn't matter what beers are brought in. Every retailer, bar or distributor, is required to keep paperwork on where they buy beers -- wholesaler or direct from a self-distributing PA brewery -- so that's your assurance of payment of state beer taxes. Why do you need to identify the alcohol beverage in a DUI, and why isn't the label identification enough? This is the Internet age: Google the damned thing if you need to know (and you won't be able to identify a draft beer anyway, so what's the point?).
Which brings up another question. Is brand registration actually about ensuring that wholesalers are getting every sale they should be from retail accounts, and retailers are not buying from the "wrong" wholesaler? If it is, why is the state in that business? That should be a problem for the wholesaler to bring in civil court; why are we spending tax dollars to proactively enforce that?
Again, this is an issue for the Legislature. Rewrite the Code. Abolish the PLCB.