Good to see. For too long we have had to pretend that craft brewers are some weedy set of rotten businessmen who aren't really making a buck at their chosen
profession obsession. As Andy notes, big craft beer selling out is great news. And so is this:
Flying Dog Brewery has filed a federal lawsuit in Grand Rapids asking that a judge override the commission's decision to reject labels for "Raging B----" beer and allow the brew to be advertised and sold in Michigan. "Regrettably, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and its members have taken it upon themselves to control not merely alcoholic beverages, but speech as well," the Frederick, Md.-based brewery wrote in the lawsuit filed Friday. "Acting as a censorial board, defendants wield state authority to impose their personal tastes as a prior restraint against core First Amendment expression that happens to be placed on beer labels." Sharon Martin, director of the commission's licensing division, said the agency hadn't yet seen a copy of the lawsuit Monday but noted the panel can lawfully reject labels that are "deemed to promote violence, racism, sexism, intemperance or intoxication" or are found to be "detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public."
Raging Bitch. The beer is called Raging Bitch. It's only sweary when you aren't talking about a female dog, oh prudes of the Chicago Tribune whose story I quote from above.
Brewers should sue over dumb regulation. We don't have "commercial freedom of expression" up here so the decision of out monopolistic overlords to ban a beer called "Smashbomb" does not offer up a similar opportunity here. Up here, all that is cited is social responsibility and the brand is banned from the shelves without recourse. Not so to our west in the northern Mid-west neghbours where justice may well have its way with namby pamby concerns over the "welfare of the general public." One to watch. Brewers acting like real grown up business folk. Good news.