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Pottsville News

Pottsville Fire Chief, Police Officer Show Up at Free Beer Event; Owner Informed He’ll Be Cited Monday

The owner of Black Rock Brewing Co. is told he’ll be cited on Monday by the City of Pottsville, but no comment on what grounds was given.

Hundreds of people flocked to the Free Beer event hosted by Black Rock Brewing Co. in Pottsville on Saturday evening.

Less than an hour into it, Pottsville’s Fire Chief arrived to let the business owner know that the City would be citing him on Monday presumably for putting on the event.

The Free Beer event was permitted to carry on despite threats earlier in the week by Pottsville City officials to shut it down. However, late on Friday, Pottsville Mayor Dave Clews indicated to other media outlets that the City was backing down from those threats but the business’s owner, Bobby Weaver, would be cited for having the event.

Hundreds Flock to Free Beer Event in Pottsville

Free beer started flowing shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, as a crowd quickly gathered outside the shuttered brewpub. Young and old alike turned up. The Dynamics Department, a local band, provided entertainment.

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Many people in attendance, according to Weaver, were one-time patrons of Black Rock when it was open for business. Some were clearly there to support the embattled business owner. Others were lookie-loos waiting for something to happen between Weaver and the City.

And clearly, just about everyone was there for the free beer.

The party was going off without any issues. Then, at about 5:40 p.m., the City’s Fire Chief vehicle and a Pottsville Bureau of Police vehicle pulled into the bus loop at Union Station, across Centre St. from Black Rock.

Moments later, Pottsville Fire Chief Jim Misstishin, accompanied by a Pottsville Police officer, made his way through the crowd to Weaver.

Weaver greeted Misstishin with a “Hey!” and the Fire Chief extended his hand for a handshake and smiled. Misstishin put his hand on Weaver’s shoulder and the two had a brief exchange of words, all seemingly cordial.

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Pottsville Fire Chief Jim Misstishin greets Black Rock Brewing Co. owner Bobby Weaver at the controversial Free Beer event on Saturday evening, March 16. During this brief exchange, Misstishin reportedly informed Weaver that the City of Pottsville would be citing him on Monday. (Coal Region Canary photos)

What with the sound from The Dynamics Department playing, it was difficult to hear what was being said between the two. And the encounter literally lasted 30 seconds before the Chief and the officer departed, heading back to their vehicles.

Weaver tells The Canary that Misstishin informed him that he’d receive a citation on Monday.

The Canary caught up to Misstishin back at his vehicle. He shrugged and acknowledged that the encounter was friendly. However, he declined to comment on just what grounds Weaver would be cited.

You can see a jumbled video of the moment Misstishin arrived and his interaction with Weaver right here:

Apologies for the video quality. Taking a photo and recording video with just these two hands is not easy.

Weaver didn’t seem bothered by Misstishin’s arrival. Later, he told The Canary, “I’m just glad the event gets to continue. It’s going to be super safe and everyone’s happy.”

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  1. Frank

    March 17, 2024 at 7:52 am

    It’s the good old boy network in Pottsville vs Mr Weaver. Despite Mr Clews in office, the Council magically stays the same, with an overwhelming boost from “mail in ballots”. There appeared to be a record number of them this last election. Wonder how much effort was put into matching signatures on those ballots mailed in by people who just couldn’t make it to the polls to cast their vote.

  2. SafeNotSorry

    March 18, 2024 at 6:25 am

    I’m glad this Gentleman got to put on his free beer party without being shut down, however, I do wonder, why, after being given several opportunities to fix some issues to safely reopen , he hasn’t. I understand money is probably an issue, but try a fundraiser. Safety should always be first and foremost.
    I also wonder if the building itself was the true reason they wanted to shut it down in the first place…could it have anything to do with the fact that he was offering free beer, and they didn’t want a surge of drunken related incidents? I wonder? They are right to cite him, safety and rules must be followed. However, I do wish the man luck and hope his business opens real soon. I would donate to a fundraiser for him for repairs.

    • Canary Commenter

      March 18, 2024 at 10:12 am

      On what grounds should he be cited? We were at the event and there was nothing remotely unsafe about it. It wasn’t unruly or out of control. The owner says he’s addressed the code violations but the city hasn’t shown up to inspect those changes. It’s now a war of words that will ultimately be decided in County court soon enough.

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