How many prognosticators, and beer companies, need to foretell the end of the world, before we see it coming? The Mayans were early to call this thing, a couple of thousand years ago. But since then, Stevens Point Brewery has notably called it, with their 2012 Black Ale. The label explains that “The ancient Mayans developed a ‘Long-Count’ round calendar that ends ominously on December 21, 2012. This date is the inspiration for the name of this Ale.” Box 19 of the form explains that the date is nothing major like “a vintage date, production date, cellar date or sell-by date.” It’s only the end of the world. A handful of Tequila labels back up this prophecy. The Luna Nueva Tequila labels show a few cavorting cadavers, and refer to “2012 The Mayan Prophecy.” Box 19 of the form explains that “The ancient Mayan believed that time runs in cycles and the last recorded cycle ends on [December 21, 2012].” As if that weren’t bad enough or soon enough, this Oregon brewer is getting ready with Apocalypse IPA, and this New Zealand brewer has Armageddon IPA. Lest anyone tremble, my favorite line from the Wikipedia page is where NASA says the 2012 predictions may be comparable to those surrounding the...Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Fox and Reason have a good video about the recent brewhaha over beer with caffeine. The video features John Stossel, Nick Gillespie, and Rhonda Kallman (owner of Moonshot, Beer with Caffeine). Among the highlights: Rhonda says FDA’s ban is “clearly a case of the government over-reaching. … My Moonshot Beer is nothing like these Four Loko drinks.” FDA:
didn’t fully research it … they put the onus on the small entrepreneur to have a scientist. … It’s 5% alcohol by volume and less than a half a cup of coffee of natural caffeine. It’s a great combination. … They won’t stop here. Where will they stop?
Sen. Schumer won’t stop at calling these drinks a “blackout in a can.” He goes further to suggest they may be a death wish in a can. And here, Iowa takes a step toward going much, much further (toward banning any mixture of cola, coffee or Red Bull with alcohol, at bars and restaurants). Near the end of the video, Rhonda points to her petition to save Moonshot. She seeks to distinguish it from the circa-2010 Crunk, Four Loko and Joose products, and explains:
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For the time being, Moonshot has ceased production due to [the FDA ban]. … Three of the products targeted are high alcohol, high...
In a massive and coordinated action yesterday, the Federal Government moved to favor Red Bull and pummel other drinks with caffeine. FDA handed a giant gift to Red Bull here. The FTC handed a humongous present to Red Bull here. Other actions are expected imminently, as legions of other regulators rush in to exaggerate the dangers (it looks like soda, it’s “loaded with caffeine,” it’s like a “plague” and “toxic”) and ignore evidence to the contrary. This follows many state actions in recent weeks. Presto, problem solved! We eagerly await the evidence that young people cut back on alcohol, or cut back on co-consumption of alcohol with caffeine. We hope it’s better than the current leading study; it purports to highlight the dangers of the pre-mixed products such as Four Loko, Liquid Charge, Joose and scores of others — without ever having examined any such products. Instead, the O’Brien study reviewed products so different they are not even within the scope of yesterday’s governmental actions (none of which, after some dexterous sleight of hand and misdirection, stopped it from instigating the above actions). We believe caffeine and alcohol raise plenty of important public policy issues, whether they are combined or not, and they warrant serious deliberation. But many of the deliberations so far reflect political pressures...Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Port Brewing LLC recently got its wit caught in a wringer. The beer label depicts a witch being burned at the stake. Various wiccans, pagans, shamans and others were not amused and The New York Times was there to cover it. About a week before Halloween, the Times article quoted an offended person thusly:
“Can you imagine them showing a black person being lynched or a Jewish person going to the oven?” she wrote. “Such images are simply not tolerated in our society anymore (thank the Goddess) and this one should not be, either.”
To witch which the brewer responded:
We have been accused of inspiring violence against women, and we have been compared to the violence in Darfur. … It has run the gamut from people saying politely, ‘This is offensive to pagans,’ to people saying we are responsible for all that is wrong in the world.
Port seems to be in the process of changing the label. Port’s co-founder said he was “‘totally in favor’ of changing the label and that he and his co-workers had been ‘ignorantly unaware of the mistake’ they had made.”
The brewery explained that, far from being...Continue Reading Leave a Comment
The upcoming Halloween holiday brings to mind candy and costumes and ghosts and ghouls and witches. This year, witches and witchcraft have enjoyed an additional autumnal limelight after tapes surfaced of U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R-DE) claiming to have dabbled in witchcraft while in high school. Squished Witch, from Oz Winery of Wamego, Kansas, looks set to capitalize on the shared whimsy of this year’s Halloween and political seasons. The winery describes Squished Witch as a “fruity, semi-sweet Ives Noir based red.” Like Squished Witch, most of the three-dozen wines in the Oz Winery stable boast some obvious connection to the classic film The Wizard of Oz, including I’ve Got You My Pretty, The Lion’s Courage, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow, Flying Monkey, and I’m Melting Merlot. The Squished Witch label is home to at least one interesting legal issue. If you were looking for the class/type description and/or alcohol content and weren’t having any luck, note the smallish cursive words “Red Table Wine” nestled in a fold in the land above the fanciful name. I missed them at first, second, and third glance. Oz also has Drunken Munchkin, and it’s rare to have a reference to intoxication on a wine label. The Witch label reminds me that a friend used to...Continue Reading Leave a Comment
First it was a major book. Then “A Major Motion Picture.” Now, “Eat, Pray, Love” is an Italian wine coming to a store near you. If the wine sells, too, who knows what will be next. The Wii game? EPL analgesics? I also wonder to what extent the success of this franchise is due to the power of good design and font choices; this would just not be the same in Times New Roman. These wines, referring to the Elizabeth Gilbert book, are imported by Chateau Diana of Healdsburg, California.Continue Reading Leave a Comment