One of the two men charged in Hennepin County District Court for bringing New Glarus Brewing Company Spotted Cow beer into the state to sell at Maple Tavern in Maple Grove will enter the county’s diversion program.
The felony case against Brandon Jon Hlavka, 37, of Maple Grove, will be continued for a year as he enters the De Novo program. If he successfully completes the program, the charge for illegally transporting or importing liquor for resale will be dismissed.
Hlavka and David Andras Lantos, 28, of Brooklyn Park, were both charged in the case. Lantos’ hearing is April 18.
According to the complaints, the men were charged after the state Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division investigation of the illegal resale of alcohol began in April 2015. Officers served a search warrant on Maple Tavern, where kegs of the beer were seized. Hlavka was an owner of the establishment, while Lantos was the bar manager. Both are no longer part of Maple Tavern, according to an earlier statement by Jacob Toledo to the Osseo-Maple Grove Press. Toledo is one of the owners of the establishment.
Spotted Cow beer is brewed by New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, Wisconsin, and the company is not licensed nor distributed in Minnesota.
Two agents visited the tavern, saw the Spotted Cow beer dispensing tap handle at the bar and ordered and were served a glass of the beer.
The search warrant revealed a keg that was connected to the bar’s tap dispenser lines, two full untapped kegs and an empty keg of Spotted Cow beer. Hlavka also turned over receipts for 10 illegal keg purchases between Feb. 19 and April 4, 2015, at liquor stores in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Both men were interviewed, and Hlavka acknowledged that they had discussed how to get some micro-brew beers, specifically Spotted Cow, in the bar and that they decided to go to Wisconsin to buy it.
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