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Bar busted for selling Spotted Cow beer gets new liquor license

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The Maple Grove bar that faced punishment for offering a beer that can only be sold in Wisconsin has a new liquor license after stopping alcohol sales for three weeks.

The Maple Tavern was busted in April by Department of Public Safety investigators after an undercover officer found it selling Spotted Cow beer on tap.

The makers of Spotted Cow, from New Glarus Brewing, only have a license to sell the beer in Wisconsin. And transporting it out of the state and selling it across the border is a felony under Minnesota law.

It was found that an employee of the pub had bought several kegs of it from the Historic Casanova Liquor Store in Hudson and resold it in Maple Grove.

The bar will be allowed to sell alcohol again however after a self-imposed three week suspension of alcohol sales while it applied for a new license under new management, according to a Maple Grove City Council document.

Anonymous call prompted investigation

Officials were tipped off to the sale of Spotted Cow by an anonymous caller and launched an investigation into the Maple Tavern, finding pictures of the tap on the bar's Facebook page and an advertisement on the same page saying the beer would be available for sale Feb. 21.

After an undercover officer bought a sample of the beer and a search warrant later found several kegs in the bar's basement, officials were considering a suitable punishment for the bar's infraction, while the employees involved were let go.

The bar's liquor license was up for renewal on June 30, and owners were told it was unlikely to get renewed as a result of the pending action against it.

The license was therefore allowed to expire and alcohol sales were stopped for three weeks while a new application was made under a "new corporate structure and with a plan for new management," the council document says.

According to the Star Tribune this was approved by the council on Monday and a new license was issued Tuesday.

The Pioneer Press notes the New Glarus product is one of the most popular craft brews in Wisconsin, with the beer a popular choice among Minnesotans visiting liquor stores in Hudson – the nearest point in Wisconsin to the Twin Cities.

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