TITUSVILLE – The operator of the Blue Canoe brewery was on Tuesday on closing the operation by the end of June.
“I made a few mistakes early on,” William Zimmer said Tuesday of the amount of federal and federal tax debt accumulated by the Titusville company.
Keystone Brewing Co. LLC, doing business as Blue Canoe Brewery, owes at least $ 380,000 in federal and state taxes, according to a records check conducted Monday by The Meadville Tribune.
Keystone Brewing / Blue Canoe Brewery holds $ 328,532.96 in tax liens filed by the Internal Revenue Service since 2011, and an additional $ 51,547.91 in tax liens filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue since 2016, according to office records of the Prothonotary of the County of Crawford.
Zimmer said he was working with two different tax settlement companies – one for federal taxes and one for state taxes – to try to settle the debt.
“I’ve worked hard to cut federal taxes. I have a payment plan, but it’s a big debt issue,” said Zimmer, who could not be reached by the Tribune when the story broke on Monday. “I had a payment plan with the Department of Revenue, but I didn’t stick to it. Business has slowed down, I’m working on renegotiating it.”
The Keystone / Blue Canoe tax issue came to light after Titusville Community Development Agencies (TCDA) announced Monday that Lavery Brewing of Erie would open a location in Titusville – in the location of the Blue Canoe Brewery. Jason Lavery of Lavery Brewing has confirmed that his business will lease the space effective July 1.
TCDA owns the brewing equipment and location at 113 S. Franklin St., leasing it to Blue Canoe.
Neither Laurie Baker, executive director of TCDA, nor Lavery wanted to comment on why the change was taking place.
Zimmer said he hopes to reopen somewhere in the Titusville area.
“We love the community of Titusville – I can’t say enough about it,” he said. “We need to put our (brewery) license in a safe place. We cannot renew it until taxes are paid.”
A Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board records check shows that Keystone Brewing’s brewery license expired on December 31, 2010. Keystone Brewing’s restaurant liquor license remains active until July 31, 2019.
Zimmer confirmed to the Tribune that he can sell alcohol but not brew beer.
Zimmer has also been cited at least eight times since 2014 by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for operating without a business license, court records show. Zimmer has been convicted eight times by Judicial District Judge Amy Nicols of Titusville and ordered to pay $ 6,197.22 in fines and costs, according to court records. Zimmer paid everything but $ 296.25, according to court records.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at [email protected].