Flying Dogs, Raging Bitches, and Banned Beer

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Posted in category Prohibition

Once upon a time, in the fall of 2009, the Flying Dog Brewery applied for a license to sell its Raging Bitch craft beer, in the state of Michigan. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission, instead, decided to forbid the sale of the beer by denying the application because the label was “detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.” That leaves me speechless, but whatever.

The brewery filed a suit to overturn the decision as well as challenge the constitutionality of the Michigan Liquor Controls Commission’s ability to ban beer on the basis of finding a particular label to be offensive. They also sought damages from lost sales due to the beer ban. The decision of the Commission was reversed, and Raging Bitch beer is now for sale in Michigan.

According to this article, “the label’s artwork is by Ralph Steadman, who collaborated with journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson on several books. He worked with Flying Dog to produce illustrations for the brewery’s corporate images, according to the suit.” Meanwhile, the First Amendment lawsuit continues.

My heroic local wine and liquor shoppe, consistently voted the best of its kind in southeast Michigan, struck a blow for freedom by sending out raging, celebratory emails to announce the sale of a previously banned beer. And I’ve got a couple of six-packs on hold to pick up on the weekend to share with my boating compadres. In striking a major blow for freedom, an India Pale Ale would pair nicely with a Cuban cigar.

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7 Responses to Flying Dogs, Raging Bitches, and Banned Beer

  1. CMN says:

    July 20th, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Liquor control commissions are detrimental liberty and offensive. They should be banned.
    My new favorite winery is selling a tasty viogner called “Sofa King Suite.”

  2. Stella says:

    July 21st, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Can you ship some to me out to California?

  3. Karen De Coster says:

    July 21st, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Stella — really?!

  4. Stella says:

    July 22nd, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Never mind my request.  I just figured since the government won’t let us walk and chew gum at the same time in CA, they definitely wouldn’t let us have this beer.  I found it at Bevmo yesterday and picked up a few six packs.  It’s the least I could do for my husband since I’ve been such a raging bitch lately.

  5. liberranter says:

    July 22nd, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    As a fellow “beer snob,” I have long suspected the “Big Three,” a.k.a. the urine and formaldehyde mongers of America (Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Coors), of acting like every other state-corporatist entity in regard to influencing regulation of their markets. I would not be at all surprised to discover (although I readily admit that I can offer NO PROOF WHATSOEVER that they’re doing it) that all three have long been engaged in intense efforts to influence various federal, state, and local liquor Gestapos and other regulatory busybodies to enact special taxes and unnecessarily burdensome regulations on microbreweries that raise their production costs and make their products, however vastly superior to those of the pissmongers, uncompetitive by comparison. One thing I have NEVER understood is why, when you compare beer prices at the retail level, even the cost of an imported beer is cheaper than that of a locally brewed product. Economics of scale, the answer many would offer up, simply doesn’t seem to pass the logic test here.

    BTW, I second Stella’ request. Can I have at least a little sip of the Raging Bitch? I’ve got an empty pint glass sitting here on my desk…

  6. PC says:

    July 23rd, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Ah, locally-brewed craft beer – the “good” carbs!  Beer is where I apply the Mark Sisson 80/20 principle for sure.  Although I am from the People’s Republic of Pennsylvania whose “PLCB” (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) has a strangle-hold on freedom loving beer/wine enthusiasts, I have still been able to purchase the great beers coming out of Michigan.

    In addition to Flying Dog, try Bell’s from Kalamazoo and Dark Horse Brewing from Marshall, MI.  

    Read the “About Us” section of the Dark Horse Brewing website and you’ll appreciate this brewer’s style and his claim that “you’re drinking some of the best f*in’ beer made in the great state of Michigan. Period!”  I would go beyond that to say it’s some of the best beer anywhere.

  7. Karen De Coster says:

    July 24th, 2011 at 12:17 am

    PC – Bell’s Oberon has been my favorite beer for the last year. I drink all the MI microbrews. The state has a huge posse of them.

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