Shipyard Brewing pays federal fine

on 07/12/11 at 11:33 am

Industry

Portland-based Shipyard Brewing paid a $175,000 fine this summer after the federal government alleged the company altered some labels on its beer bottles.

Shipyard Brewing LLC and Pugsley Brewing LLC — the name under which Shipyard brews non-Shipyard beer brands — each paid $87,500 in July in a settlement with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The offer in compromise, or OIC, is an agreement between the bureau and alleged violators in lieu of civil proceedings or criminal prosecution.

The agency, known as TTB, says it accepted the offer from Shipyard and Pugsley after it claimed the brewery had altered government-approved labels and sold malt beverages without valid labels, in violation of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and Internal Revenue Code. The bureau also cited the brewer for having inaccurate information about the producer and/or place of production on certain labels and cartons. The alleged infractions occurred between May of 2005 and July 2008 at the company’s Newbury Street facility.

Tom Hogue, a spokesman for the TTB, says every alcoholic beverage sold in the United States has a government-approved label, containing facts like its alcoholic content, brand name, a health warning and where the drink was made. These labels must be officially sanctioned before a company can sell its products in the market.

Fred Forsley, Shipyard’s founder and co-owner with Alan Pugsley, wouldn’t comment on the settlement. He started Shipyard Brewing Co., the largest brewery in Maine, in 1992.

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