An Upper East Side sports bar popular with Wisconsin transplants was slapped with two fines totaling $20,000 for selling a popular beer that's only licensed to sell in Wisconsin. The owners of Mad River Bar & Grille were fined by the SLA earlier this month for pouring Spotted Cow, a microbrewed ale that retails in Wisconsin for about $30 a case or $1.25 a bottle.
An SLA spokesman tells the Wisconson State Journal that businesses selling alcohol in New York need to purchase their alcohol through a wholesale distributor. Officials seized 50 cases of the forbidden beer during a raid on November 6th. The SLA was tipped off after a call from an anonymous wet blanket tipster. Spotted Cow, created in 1996, is the most popular beer produced by New Glarus Brewery, which expects to move 50,000 barrels of the brew this year.
Last week New Glarus brewmaster Dan Carey received a call from the SLA asking if they were selling the beer in NYC. It's unclear how Mad River got their hands on the Spotted Cow, but Carey tells the Post, "I feel bad for the Wisconsin ex-pats who can't get a taste of home." He denies selling it across state lines, and tells the Wisconsin State Journal, "As goofy as it sounds, we don't want to be a big brewery. We want to control our growth."