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Lehighton council: No beer samples at Bike Nite

Published July 25. 2013 05:02PM

A request by a local business to serve beer samples at Lehighton's Bike Nite on Aug. 10 in the borough park was rejected by Lehighton Borough Council.

Red Castle Brewery, located at Castle Grill on Bridge Street, sought approval to hand out two-ounce samples of locally brewed beer at Bike Nite.

Councilman Darryl Arner made a motion to approve the request, but it died for the lack of a second.

Grant Hunsicker, president of the council, supported Arner, remarking that the rejection is hurting a local business.

"We do have some stigmas to Lehighton," said council member George Kogut, who added, "Let's promote families. I have nothing against drinking. That's their prerogative. To me, it's an extremely tough call."

The council indicated that there are other entities which serve beer at Bike Nite, including the Lehighton AMVETS and Dunbar Bottling. These firms sell the beer outside the park, though, the council said.

Council members said Red Castle Brewery could possibly find a site other than inside the park for its samples.

Mayor Donald Rehrig objected to Red Castle's request, asking, "Do we want to allow beer?"

"It's beer tasting," responded borough manager Nicole Beckett.

Rehrig remarked that Bike Nite is a family event with children attending.

"I don't think you should have alcohol around," he said. "I'm opposed to it."

Another councilman, John Bird, was concerned that individuals under 21 would be able to get samples of the beer. Rehrig said carding those tasting the beer would be a requirement.

Arner suggested more discussions with the owner of Red Castle Brewery before making a decision, but was advised that Bike Nite is going to be held before council meets again.

Attending the meeting in addition to Arner, Kogut, Hunsicker and Bird was council member Bessie Bauchspies. Absent were Scott Rehrig and John Kreitz.

"That just a slap in the face to a local business person," Arner said after the motion died.

Mayor Rehrig disagreed. He added that the police officers have a tough job at the event and it has nothing to do with the business owner.

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