Pennsylvania state police raid bars for selling... beer? 

The nanny state runs amok again. Breweries haven't paid some obscure $75 licensing fee in Pennsylvania, so the state takes it out on the businesses that otherwise legally bought the beer:

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.

Based on a complaint from someone the State Police refuse to identify, three teams of officers converged last Thursday on the three bars, run by Leigh Maida and her husband, Brendan Hartranft. Checking their inventories against the state's official list of more than 2,800 brands, the cops seized four kegs and 317 bottles, totaling 60.9 gallons of beer, according to police calculations.

Have to love that "Based on a complaint from someone the State Police refuse to identify..." Who on earth is making a complaint about an obscure $75 licensing fee? Or more likely the police or liquor control authorities made it up to to justify the over reach. 

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Mark Hemingway

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