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Archive for the ‘flavored malt beverage’ Category

Egg Nog Beer

Made with beer? Check. Tastes like eggs? Check. Artificial sweetener and colors? Yes. And more alcohol than Pabst Blast. This is the Egg Nog Beer experience.

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Rhonda’s Fight to Save Moonshot

Fox and Reason have a good video about the recent brewhaha over beer with caffeine.

The video features John Stossel, Nick Gillespie, and Rhonda Kallman (owner of Moonshot, Beer with Caffeine). Among the highlights:

Rhonda says FDA’s ban is “clearly a case of the government over-reaching. … My Moonshot Beer is nothing like these Four Loko drinks.” FDA:

didn’t fully research it … they put the onus on the small entrepreneur to have a scientist. … It’s 5% alcohol by volume and less than a half a cup of coffee of natural caffeine. It’s a great combination. … They won’t stop here. Where will they stop?

Sen. Schumer won’t stop at calling these drinks a “blackout in a can.” He goes further to suggest they may be a death wish in a can. And here, Iowa takes a step toward going much, much further (toward banning any mixture of cola, coffee or Red Bull with alcohol, at bars and restaurants).

Near the end of the video, Rhonda points to her petition to save Moonshot. She seeks to distinguish it from the circa-2010 Crunk, Four Loko and Joose products, and explains:

For the time being, Moonshot has ceased production due to [the FDA ban]. … Three of the products targeted are high alcohol, high caffeine and high sugar “juice” drinks sold in oversized 23.5 ounce cans and targeted to underage drinkers. The fourth was Moonshot ’69 – an all malt, craft-brewed pilsner beer that bears absolutely no resemblance to these high alcohol, high caffeine sugary drinks. … There is nothing new about adults combining caffeine and alcohol. Who hasn’t enjoyed a rum and Coke, Irish coffee, Kahlua or espresso martini? The question should be what levels are appropriate.

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Just One Letter

Sometimes, just one letter can make a big difference. As with TEQUIZA versus TEQUILA. One is beer and the other is quite different.

TTB/ATF first allowed this brand name in 1997, for a malt beverage with natural flavors. A 1999 approval is shown above on the left, and the most recent approval is on the right above. Just a few months after the the 2008 approval, Anheuser-Busch apparently killed Tequiza in favor of Bud Light Lime. At this point, it’s gone almost without a trace, like Champale, Zima and other fading memories.

A lot of the branding stayed the same over the course of twelve years and 29 label approvals. But the legal description got trimmed considerably, during that time, to remove all references to the “NATURAL FLAVOR OF MEXICAN TEQUILA.” This part apparently went too far for the Tequila industry, or TTB, to accept, even if the brand name and agave references did not.

By way of another example, from the movies, Little Fockers probably would not be PG-13 if spelled with a u.

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Unspeakable Beer

Because of that fancy umlaut, it is possible that it’s about something other than what you are probably thinking about at this very moment. But then again, now that I have watched the “banned Böner beer commercial” on YouTube, I am pretty sure I will decline if and when anyone offers me one of these. All these other labels didn’t bother us too much, but perhaps this one goes just a bit too far, such that you will have to Google the ad for yourself, so long as you are not easily offended. (Maybe the wit:prurience ratio was higher on the others.)

Böner Beer is made with orange, lemon, coriander and other flavors.

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FDA and FTC Banish Four Loko and Joose

In a massive and coordinated action yesterday, the Federal Government moved to favor Red Bull and pummel other drinks with caffeine.

FDA handed a giant gift to Red Bull here.

The FTC handed a humongous present to Red Bull here.

Other actions are expected imminently, as legions of other regulators rush in to exaggerate the dangers (it looks like soda, it’s “loaded with caffeine,” it’s like a “plague” and “toxic”) and ignore evidence to the contrary. This follows many state actions in recent weeks. Presto, problem solved! We eagerly await the evidence that young people cut back on alcohol, or cut back on co-consumption of  alcohol with caffeine. We hope it’s better than the current leading study; it purports to highlight the dangers of the pre-mixed products such as Four Loko, Liquid Charge, Joose and scores of others — without ever having examined any such products. Instead, the O’Brien study reviewed products so different they are not even within the scope of yesterday’s governmental actions (none of which, after some dexterous sleight of hand and misdirection, stopped it from instigating the above actions).

We believe caffeine and alcohol raise plenty of important public policy issues, whether they are combined or not, and they warrant serious deliberation. But many of the deliberations so far reflect political pressures more than an even-handed review.

November 18, 2010 Update:  TTB lands another blow, against caffeine added to alcohol beverages, here.

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