Bad Elf Not So Bad After All

My earlier report on the state of Connecticut considering a ban on selling the holiday-season beer Seriously Bad Elf has a mixed-impact followup.

Although the state's Department of Consumer Protection has done an about-face and decided to allow sales of the beer, its Massachusetts-based distributor says it probably is too late because beer sales for the holidays were completed October and it is doubtful Shelton Brothers will be able to fill any orders now for Connecticut stores. No other state threatened to prohibit sales.

The bottle label of Seriously Bad Elf shows an elf taking aim at Santa Claus's sleigh with a slingshot. Somehow Connecticut initially theorized that such a label would cause mobs of elf-crazed kids to go seek out beer simply because Santa was part of the artwork.

Shelton Brothers was planning to battle on First Amendment grounds the initial decision to ban the beer. The state denied any First Amendment issues figured into its eventual decision not to block sales.

Dan Shelton said he was almost disappointed by the Nov. 8 ruling.

"They took the easy way out," he said. "There is so much wrong with that regulation that (the lawyers) were looking forward to attacking the whole thing in court."

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