Our government, unfortunately, has decided that paying humorless drones to evaluate alcohol labels is a worthwhile use of taxpayer money. They’re the reason why Lagunitas’ “Chronic” ale now bears a big “Censored” label and why St. George Absinthe Verte features a contemplative monkey rather than a monkey playing drums. The regulators have struck again:
Vaune Dillmann thought the wording on his bottle caps was just a clever play on the name of the Northern California town where he brews his beer — Weed.
Federal alcohol regulators thought differently. They have ordered Dillmann to stop selling beer bottles with caps that read “Try Legal Weed.” …
But illegal drugs are no joke to the federal agency, which maintains meticulous rules about labeling. Drug references on alcoholic beverages were banned in 1994, agency spokesman Art Resnick said.
“We protect consumers of alcohol beverages against misleading advertising and labeling. That’s one of our primary functions. That’s what we do, as well as collect taxes,” he said.
The ruling is not so amusing to Dillman, who just dropped $10,000 on 400,000 bottle caps he can no longer use. And the man’s got a good point:
[The] native of Milwaukee said he wonders how some other brewers have gotten away with the names for their products, such as Hemp Ale or Dead Guy Ale. And he can’t understand how his label has run afoul of federal alcohol regulators who must surely be aware of one of the most famous advertising slogans in American marketing: “This Bud’s for you.”