Woman arrested for illegal online beer sales

A woman in Vermont was arrested recently for selling cases of one of the US’s most sought after beers on the website Craigslist for hundreds of dollars.

1206_Heady_Topper_630x420Stephanie Hoffman was apprehended by the state’s Department of Liquor Control for selling cases of Heady Topper IPA, allegedly for over US$800 for 120 16 ounce cans.

She was caught in a sting operation when she met with undercover investigators in a petrol station parking lot in the town of Georgia.

The beer, brewed in Waterbury Vermont, normally retails for $3 a can or $72 a case, however it was recently rated first in the top 250 beers in the world by the Beer Advocate magazine.

The Alchemist Brewery which makes the beer has seen sales of the IPA rise from 30 barrels a week to 180 in two years and owners Jena and John Kimmich have been forced to close their cellar door retail operation after complaints from locals about the sheer number of people coming to visit.

The arrest of Hoffman sheds light on what is thought to be a growing problem in the US concerning illegal online sales of rare craft beers.

Associated Press recently reported on the Hoffman case as well as another brewer in California who spotted its beers being sold on eBay, including a limited edition anniversary beer for as much as $700.

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