In an odd turn of events, it seems like Founder’s brewing just can’t catch a break lately in new markets. It wasn’t more than just a few months ago that they ran into trouble in Alabama for both Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard. In Alabama you couldn’t have the word bastard on a beer label (although it was ok for wine considering Fat Bastard wine was already available). Now it turns out that the label for Breakfast Stout violates New Hampshire LCC rules for children in relation to alcoholic products.
This brings to mind something I read earlier this week. You see, the picture on the label for the stout is a cartoonish child eating a bowl of cereal. Although the kid is on a beer bottle he is depicted doing something childish. To me this falls into the misguided belief that only children watch cartoons, no matter the subject matter of the cartoon.
As an avid watcher of cartoons most of my life, I can safely say that there are quite a number that children have no business watching.
This frame here actually being fairly tame, is a glimpse of the type of stuff out there. As crazy as it is, we tend to put so much into our perceptions of what we think is right and wrong that we tend to neglect actually looking at what the subject matter really is.
Granted there is a case to be made for protecting the people who can’t defend themselves. But doesn’t this actually fall back down to responsibility? When we take away peoples rights to choose what is right and wrong for themselves, don’t we take away their rights to responsibility for their own actions?
And this is how we now tie back in to alcohol. Are we honestly so afraid of children thinking that the pictures on the label are calling to them that we need to take the right to choose away from the parents?
I am reminded of Bad Frog Beer (from the early 90s). Their label art featured a frog flipping off the drinker. Of course this ruffled the feathers of some moms while shopping in the super market. My question at the time was (and still is) “If you the label offends you, why are you taking your child down that aisle?”
In the end it boils down to this, if a minor wants to get into booze they will get into booze. It has nothing to do with what’s on the label. I know from my experience growing up, the only reason why the silver bullet was the one we drank was because it was easier to pick out. And how about that, their were no cartoons on the label or anything.
Time for a pint…