After the furor caused by the state police raids on three Philadelphia bars, and a subsequent raid on a beer distributor, there does appear to be a backlash coming. Several people predicted that was one possible outcome — I believe Don and Lew both mentioned it — and now it may indeed be playing out that way. In a new report posted today by Don Russell and Bob Warner, Beer-Raid Flap Coming to a Head, Hearing Ordered, it appears that the state legislature has scheduled a joint hearing (of the House Liquor Control Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee) for April 13 to look into the matter.
From the article:
“We’re scared,” one bar owner told the Daily News. “I’ve instructed my staff to match every beer we get delivered with the PLCB’s list of registered brands. If it’s not on the list, we’re not going to take delivery.”
Sources told the Daily News that several beer distributors in other parts of the state had been visited by State Police in search of unregistered beer.
As I’ve opined before, this is creating a culture of fear among legitimate business people and that’s not something our government should be doing, especially under the economic duress of today. Lew Bryson has even set up a new Facebook page, Abolish the PLCB-Rewrite the Code. After a few short hours there were nearly 3,000 members. Even if you’re not from Pennsylvania, join it and show the world that we’re tired of arcane alcohol laws and they need to be changed.
There’s also a new separate account by Patrick Walters of the Associated Press, Brew-haha Frothing Over Philly Bar Raids.
Hopefully, all this silliness will result in reasonable and fair regulation. As Don Russell pointed out, no such registration is required for wine as required for beer, and a lot’s happened since these laws were enacted in 1987.
To each their own, to be sure. I find him trite, obvious and, worst of all not very funny.