There’s an interesting article on the Denver Edition of Westworld.com about an unnamed restaurant in Colorado’s Lower Highlands that was serving “contraband” beers from New Glarus.
The bar manager Mike Henderson hails from Madison, Wisconsin, and has a pipeline back to the land of cheese and sausage that allows him to get a steady stream of New Glarus’ wonderful fruity delights, like their Wisconsin Belgian Red and their Raspberry Tart.
These tasty treats were put on the menu, where a bootleg 750ml bottle would set you back $22.00, which isn’t bad considering it’s an ungettable beer being served in a restaurant.
It was all fun and games for about six weeks until the restaurant’s lawyer figured out what was happening, and Henderson was ordered to cease and desist before the restaurant got in hot water with Johnny Law. He ceased (and I suppose he desisted as well), and wound up giving away his excess supply of New Glarus beers to his friends for the holidays. It looks like Mr. Henderson is a good friend to have indeed!
I know the laws are there for a reason, but it’s stuff like this that makes me nuts. How cool would it be to show up in a restaurant in Colorado or Miami or Vermont and find something like a New Glarus Belgian Red on the menu?! It’s a beer geek’s dream, and one that’s officially illegal, but it is certainly a victimless “crime.” I know things probably won’t ever change, but this is another example of how the arcane system of laws that regulate the distribution and production of adult beverages simply sucks.
The only good thing these laws have provided us with was the premise for Smokey & The Bandit, and while it’s a cheeseball classic, it’s not enough to make me (east bound and) down with the program.