Over Regulated Ale, Part 1


I saw this label a few days ago and it screamed out to say there was drama lurking under the surface. Indeed there was.

Kevin Bloom, brewer at Manchester Brewing, explained:

The original label was for St. Paula’s Liquid Wisdom, which shows the Renaissance painting “The Conversion of Paula by Saint Jerome.” However, TTB insisted that we were making a medical claim of physical effect, i.e., if you drank our beer you’d become wise. We countered that no reasonable person believed that drinking beer would make them wise (although, I suppose, if you drank enough you would probably learn the wisdom of avoiding such conduct henceforth). TTB said “they had to consider all the people” by which I would guess they mean idiots. Now, it’s hard to argue that there aren’t a lot of idiots about, but we like to think they drink Other People’s Beer.

Anyway, we appealed the decision. While the appeal was pending, we submitted Over Regulated Ale as a substitute. TTB had no objection to the Over Regulated label. We continue to dialogue with TTB about St. Paula’s and look forward to having approval soon.

Is TTB being too tough? Is Kevin being a baby? He only has to comply with TTB, EPA, FDA, IRS, SEC, FTC, New Hampshire beer rules, New Hampshire tax rules, New Hampshire zoning rules … and make beer. We look forward to seeing St. Paula someday soon.

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2 Responses to “Over Regulated Ale, Part 1”

  1. December 9th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Nathan says:

    I’m curious what kind of regulatory burden is imposed by the EPA on a craft brewer…

  2. December 21st, 2009 at 5:52 am

    Kevin says:

    You have to file a statement including a map showing the physical placement of your brewery in relation to water resources, in our case the Merrimack River which is very close by. However, since the town put their dump on the banks and we use city sewers, it is hard to imagine there being an issue in our case if there was none for the city.

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