NY: We're No. 2 -- and still wrong

Poor New York. The onetime "Empire State" has difficulty setting any sort of trend these days, even stupid ones.

A year ago, I reported on the state of Connecticut's ill-advised attempt to stop a Massachusetts distributor from bringing certain beers into that state. Specifically, a set of English beers with such playful, seasonal names as Bad Elf, Seriously Bad Elf, Rudolph's Revenge and Santa's Butt. Not witty or classy names, to be sure, but sort of playful.

The Nutmeg State had claimed the labels made the brews look too much like fun so it would be an undue temptation to have them on store shelves where underage drinkers would be tempted to acquire them. Cooler heads prevailed and the objection was withdrawn, but not before Connecticut had befouled the distributor's holiday supply line and cost it a bundle of money.

This week, the New York State Liquor Authority dusted off Connecticut's foolishness, using the same "too attractive for children" logic to justify instituting a ban on the sale of a variety of the beers.

Daniel Shelton, owner of Shelton Brothers, a distributor in Belchertown, MA, that supplies dealers in 45 states, got attorney George Carpinello to immediately file suit in state Supreme Court in Albany. He called the ban a violation of both state liquor laws and federal freedom of speech.

Carpinello would appear to have a shot at getting the ban overturned. In 1998 he represented Bad Frog beer, which was banned because of a so-called "obscene" gesture a frog made on its label. Bad Frog prevailed.

To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Brews Notebook latest entry.
Back to Dowd On Drinks home page.

No comments: