I’m a label guy when it comes to beer. Sure, if a good beer has a weak label, I’ll still drink it – oftentimes, a lot of it – but when it comes to trying new beers, I’m often enticed by the label. Think about it. They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we often do (and that’s why they say not to). We do it with food, people, books, movies, and of course, with beer.
One label I absolutely love is the Breakfast Stout by Founders. This is a beer that didn’t get me with the label, as the first time I heard of and had it was on tap in the KegWorks break room. Although, after trying it, I did a quick Google search, saw the label, and loved it. Not to mention, this Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Stout is simply amazing. I’ve never had anything like it. So, when I heard that New Hampshire had banned the beer from shelves and bar fridges throughout the state, I was quite shocked.
The label, as you see, shows a baby eating breakfast – more specifically, oatmeal – from a bowl with the brewery’s name. It’s a breakfast stout with oatmeal flavors, so there’s an obvious reason for the imagery. It’s not like the baby is pounding a beer. I mean, come on.
In all fairness, however, the label is in direct violation of a New Hampshire law, which states that “Advertising of liquor or beverages shall not contain: any reference to minors, pictorial or otherwise.” So, I guess my problem lies not with the decision, as the law’s the law, but rather with the parameters of the law itself.
What if they altered the law to state that beer labels must not show minors drinking alcohol or indulging in activities associated with alcohol consumption? I think we can all agree that the labels on a product not intended for minors should not show minors engaging in the act of drinking, but this playful label by Founders is simply not offensive, in my humble opinion.
And now, many bar owners in New Hampshire are up in arms over it. Some even held a meeting this weekend to protest the ban. Thankfully, the beer is still allowed on draft, which I can tell you myself is a stellar option, but I still don’t agree with the bottle ban.
What do you guys think?