The Alabama Beverage Control Board has blocked two beers from being sold on Alabama shelves, Free the Hops told its members in a message from its board today. The beers’ names: “Dirty Bastard, and “Backwoods Bastard.” Have you figured out what’s going on here yet?
Yes, dirty words.
Both beers meet Alabama’s limits on bottle size and alcohol content, but the board has nixed them anyway, and it’s difficult for Free the Hops to tangle with the ABC board’s authority. Laws can be changed, but bureaucrats are intractable.
On their blog, Free the Hops notes that Fat Bastard wine has been sold on Alabama shelves for years.
However, this is not the first time the ABC board has taken exception to a label. In 2009, the board drew national media attention after it banned the sale of the California wine Cycles Gladiator, because the bottle had an Art Nouveau naked lady on it.
We in Free the Hops believe government bureaucrats should not be deciding what beer labels are and are not appropriate for our eyes. The free market already has a solution for this supposed problem: retailers are free to choose not to stock beers with labels they think might offend their customers. But retailers patronized by responsible adults should have the option to stock any beer carried by local distributors, regardless of the beer’s name or label artwork.