Boston Beer Co., the maker of Sam Adams and other popular alcohol brands, has agreed to pay New York nearly $1 million to settle charges that it failed to register its product labels with the state, officials said Thursday.
The New York State Liquor Authority, or SLA, said it notified Boston Beer in February 2016 that its distribution subsidiary in the state had received a required label approval for just one product, Summer Blueberry Twisted Tea. Alcohol makers or their distributors are typically required to have the labels of their products approved by local authorities, to help track sales or recalls, and to keep counterfeits or knockoffs from the market.
The SLA said the company promised to remedy the problems, but did not, prompting an investigation that found Boston Beer had sold 1.4 million cases of beverages, including Angry Orchard and Sam Adams products, in New York without submitting its labels for approval.
“It was a little bit odd to us,” SLA spokesman Bill Crowley said. “They said they were working on it and we just never heard back from them.”
The company has agreed to pay $975,000 to settle the case, the SLA said.
In a statement, Boston Beer said it discovered a “clerical” error resulted in the company failing to register some products with the SLA and said it worked with the agency to “renew the lapsed registrations and were recently made aware of the final settlement.”