The Maple Grove bar that was busted for illegally selling a popular Wisconsin beer will start serving alcohol again after a short suspension of liquor sales.
In the unusual beer bust in April, undercover state investigators caught Maple Tavern selling New Glarus Spotted Cow, a farmhouse ale that can be sold only in Wisconsin. A manager had bought kegs from a Hudson, Wis., liquor store and resold the beer at the bar — a felony.
New Glarus is distributed only in Wisconsin, and Maple Tavern isn’t licensed to transport or import alcoholic beverages into the state.
The state Department of Public Safety was tipped off by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue after an anonymous complaint. Investigators then confirmed the purchase at the store and went right to the source itself — ordering a glass of Spotted Cow at Maple Tavern to collect the evidence. Armed with a search warrant, they found the kegs in the basement and removed them, according to city documents.
The bust came with serious consequences; the bar removed employees involved and the city started the process of revoking the liquor license.
As a result, Maple Tavern chose not to renew its license when it expired June 30, stopped selling liquor for three weeks and reapplied for a license with new management and a restructured ownership team, the city said. The City Council approved the application on Monday and a new license was issued Tuesday.
“Obviously, the previous actions caused you guys an incredible amount of headache, problems and money,” Mayor Mark Steffenson told the owners. “I assume you’re smart enough not to let something like that happen again.”