MINNEAPOLIS - A former Maple Grove bar owner and manager have been charged after being caught illegally importing Spotted Cow beer that they then sold at their establishment.
The two men, Brandon Hlavka, 37, of St. Michael and David Lantos, 28, of Brooklyn Park, were charged with a single felony of transporting alcohol into Minnesota for resale on Feb. 4.
Lantos, the former bar manager, and Hlavka, the former owner, of Maple Tavern were busted in April of last year after someone reported they were selling the Wisconsin beer on tap.
The New Glarus Brewing Co. beer is not a licensed manufacturer in Minnesota and its beer cannot be sold in the state.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division began an investigation after receiving a tip about the Maple Tavern and on April 13, two of its agents visited the bar, spotted the beer on tap and ordered it.
They tested the beer and later, during a search warrant of the bar, recovered three Spotted Cow kegs on site. They also found a receipt for the purchase of 10 kegs from two different Hudson, Wis. liquor stores, according to the criminal complaint.
The two men told police they wanted to get Spotted Cow into the bar so they drove to Wisconsin and bought the kegs.
They will make their first court appearance on March 2.