Craft beer maker busted for no license on strong beer

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Updated: 5/15/2013 12:31 am Published: 5/15/2013 12:14 am

A new restaurant in South Tulsa is accused of selling strong beer without a license.

The owner of Pi Pizzeria, Matheous and the brewmaster, Clint Engles could face charges. They are accused of making and selling high-point beer without a license.

Oklahoma Alcohol and Beverage Laws Enforcement agents hauled off with craft beer-making materials and ingredients from Pi Pizzeria near 58th and Lewis on Tuesday.

"They weren't paying their taxes on it," said ABLE Agent Erik Smoot.

The owner is also accused of not having a license to sell beer higher than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight.

"We got complaints from people that said there is no way the beer they are brewing is low point beer," said Smoot.

Undercover agents went inside and found the beer was much stronger than what they had a license for in the restaurant.

"You come in as a customer you think you are drinking low point beer three or four and think it's OK to drive," said Smoot. "If you are drinking strong beer you are going to be intoxicated and now you are going to get a DUI because you thought it was OK.”

FOX23 News saw the brewmaster leave the restaurant during the interview. He did not want to comment on the situation.

Agents say they will forward the case to the District Attorney's Office. Agents say they face charges for engaging in activity which requires a license and possession with intent to sell alcoholic beverages. Each misdemeanor charge carries a $1,000 fine and year in jail.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Standtogether - 5/18/2013 1:02 AM
0 Votes
Its sad to say, but oklahoma laws are stupid. I have visited the place and the beer is by no means high alcohol beer. the gig they have going at Pi is unique and wont be found anywhere else in Tulsa. Able officers serve no purpose, but control under age drinking and moonshiners.

Unwashed Mass - 5/15/2013 10:40 PM
3 Votes
Psycho-eyes Smoot more than likely made up the "complaint" just to get another photo-op, and knew FOX23 wouldnt question it.

Chazz - 5/15/2013 3:21 PM
3 Votes
MAN, you would have thought they were cooking meth or something in the kitchen. Could face a $1000 fine, a year of jail time, and seizing all of the brewing equipment. I could understand a fine and warning but this seems overkill to me. I also believe that there is no way it was a "customer". Who goes in for a drink a beer and then says "wait, this beer seems stronger than 3.2. I had better call the authorities" I am thinking a competitor is behind this. Get with the times OKLAHOMA!!!

USEagle - 5/15/2013 1:05 PM
4 Votes
Did unABLE or other official talk to them about this and give them a chance to fix this prior to seizing their equipment??? Doubt it!!!

kindagreywolf - 5/15/2013 12:20 PM
3 Votes
Hilarious! Trust me, I had lived in Oklahoma for 4 years and went back to visit NY. I can safely say you can tell when you get into "High Point" Beer. Get with the times Oklahoma, Your beer is just "Polluted water". As a matter of fact, all through the ages people drank what is called, "Dirty Water", Water with 2 to 3% alcohol in hopes that it would kill bacteria. Get with it!

karlschneider - 5/15/2013 11:28 AM
4 Votes
Why are we Oklahomans allowing these Brown-Shirt thugs to keep on with their quasi-religious crusade against anyone they disapprove of? We need to shut them down, stopping the funding of that corrupt "ABLE" gang of jerks is the way to do it. Contact your state representatives, senators and the Governor and demand an end to this idiotic and meaningless harassment!!!

Unwashed Mass - 5/15/2013 10:58 AM
4 Votes
This story is a good example of how ABLE has outlived it's usefulness, and should be disbanded. Put these bullies out of business and spend the money on education, roads and real crime.

AverageJoe - 5/15/2013 8:42 AM
2 Votes
The greatest concern with this story is not that a local business owner is penalized for serving alcohol; it is the endorsement by the ABLE agent of drinking "three or four" drinks and driving. Isn't buzz driving the same as drunk driving? "You come in as a customer you think you are drinking low point beer three or four and think it's OK to drive," said Smoot. "If you are drinking strong beer you are going to be intoxicated and now you are going to get a DUI because you thought it was OK.”
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