Feds put a cork in Obamagang beer

Business usually goes pretty much the way Brewery Ommegang wants it to.

The Belgian-owned brewery located near Cooperstown, NY, has always had a solid cult following for its Belgian-style brews. But when it decided to put out a special beer called "Obamagang," the government stepped in to say "No way."

The single-batch brew was whipped up to coincide with next week's presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. However, the feds at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau said it is not permissible to use anyone's name or likeness for commercial purposes without their permission.

Ommegang Marketing Director Larry Bennett said the brewery has decided to re-name the beer Inauguration Ale 2009, with 600 kegs of it being made available to select bars in Syracuse, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

"The TTB won’t let us call the beer Obamagang on the keg label. So it will be known legally as Inauguration Ale 2009, but the tap handles will be more ... um ... direct," Ommegang said in a press statement. "The style lies between a porter and stout, with a bit of Kriek and a touch of chocolate blended in.

"We will donate a percentage of sales to charities in the respective cities where the beer is sold, and we’ve asked our distributors to match our donations and pick the local charities."

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1 comment:

The Foaming Head said...

Here was my blog entry on the situation.


I will let you know how it tastes as I have high hopes for it. I am stil working on figuring out how Sixpoint was able to call their beer Hop Obama.