If Sex Really Sells, This Should Be Gone in a Jiffy

This pretty much jumps off the screen (and the shelf?). This is from contributor Amber Fries, who said:  “There are several ways this label can be construed, and none of them have much to do with the wine inside.” The wine is barely mentioned. If sex really sells, this may well prove it.

800 Pound Gorilla, Coming on Strong

Costco is coming on strong with its own brand (Kirkland Signature) in beer, wine and spirits. Various reports suggest Costco is one of the biggest and most powerful US retailers across the alcohol beverage spectrum, and here are signs that they have no intention of easing up on the throttle. Here are Kirkland Scotch, Vodka, Beer and Champagne. All told, Costco has more than 80 alcohol beverage products approved so far under its brand since 2003.

Joe the Plumber: This Butt’s for You

What with all the hullabaloo about Joe the Plumber, the least we thought we could do is bring you this “fine ale.” If you dare, please use the comments to expand upon this crack concept.

22 Ounces of Weed

Here is Weed Lager. The brand name refers to Weed, California, where the beer is made. Before this 2008 label approval, the labeling said “Try legal Weed.” The current label also says “Vegan: No Animal Testing or Ingredients” (as opposed to, for example, wine with egg, milk and fish protein). Greg Beato explains the controversy in First Amendment Lite, his excellent article in the August/September issue of Reason magazine.

Every year, the TTB reviews more than 100,000 proposed labels, and because the statutes and regulations it has at its disposal are both extremely specific and extremely vague, its agents often end up behaving more like cultural critics than government bureaucrats — parsing puns, interpreting illustrations, determining the artistic value of the occasional female breast.

Mass Customization: Tons of Twisted Tea

TTB gets a lot of labels. For this brand alone, it appears the brewer submitted over 1,500 labels since 2003. Why? There are many reasons why brewers submit multiple variations for a given brand (state deposit rules, container sizes, alcohol content, etc.). But here, it is probably mass customization. Due to advances in printing, small run labels are becoming increasingly common. It’s not always necessary to submit every permutation, but here are three:  above, Syracuse, wide stance.

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