MOST OFFENSIVE BEER LABELS

In recent weeks, the series of tubes we call the Internet has been abuzz with debates over “offensive” beer names and labels. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s dubious decision to ban Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch Belgian IPA sparked a number of angry free speech diatribes. And earlier this month, Candice Alström created a firestorm when she used her husband’s influential website, BeerAdvocate.com, to personally bash Clown Shoes, a small, Massachusetts-based brewery known for their lascivious labels and names.

These discussions got me thinking…what ARE the most offensive beer labels out there? Of course, there are plenty of one-off, draft-only beers with blatantly offensive names (Dark Horse’s Busterhiman Cherry Ale anyone?). But that’s a different list…I want to know about actual, printed beer labels. After all, anyone can give a beer an offensive name, but it takes some true commitment to slap a label on your product that might piss off the very people you’re trying to sell it to. With that in mind, here are 10 of the most “offensive” beer labels on the market.*

*Editor’s Note: We’re just guessing here. The Aleheads are universally described as “assholes” at best and “sociopaths” at worst so finding a beer label that actually offends us is virtually impossible. That being said, if you absolutely MUST see a beer label that offends the Aleheads, click here. But fair warning…once you see that label, it can’t be unseen.

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10. Wasatch Polygamy Porter: What’s so offensive about this one? A fairly classy image of a naked guy hanging out with a bunch of naked women. Hell, I think I even see some angels in there. Sure, the tagline is a little inflammatory (Why Have Just One!), and it might rile up devout Mormons who are a little sensitive about their pluralist past. But it’s not like this beer is brewed in Utah where…wait…oh. Never mind.

If Bill Henrickson drank, he would absolutely POUND these.

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9. Left Hand Stranger: The most abstract label on here, you’ve got to know your urban slang before you get the full impact of this label. Where’s the silhouette’s left hand? Why is his head thrown back like that? What exactly is IN this Pale Ale, Left Hand? Gross.

Left Hand used to call their American Pale Ale, "Jackman's". Seriously.

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8. Flying Dog Raging Bitch: The brew that inspired this post (a delicious brew, I might add). Flying Dog often uses slightly cheeky, dog-themed names for their beers (Doggie Style, In-Heat Wheat), but the Raging Bitch is the one that has garnered all of the attention. Obviously the word “bitch” is what got the controversy started, but the Ralph Steadman-designed logo of a female dog with hanging teats and exposed genitalia probably didn’t help its cause.

The ground the dog is walking on seems to be made up of teats as well. Mostly, I just like writing the word "teats".

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7. Middle Ages Double Wench: When we wrote our “Sexiest” Beer Labels post, most of the labels on there were fairly tasteful with at least some hint of artistry. Not so the Double Wench. This is just a straight-up doodle from the pen of a horny teenager. A cartoon of a hot woman in Renaissance Faire garb with an open mouth and a massive rack. Nothing even remotely subtle here.

"Teats."

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6. Struise Tsjeeses: I mean…it’s a picture of a super-stoned Jesus with smoke billowing out of his nose. That shouldn’t require much explanation.

I'm pretty sure those are Cheetos flying around Jesus.

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5. nIcebrew Easter Bunny’s Memorial Brew: Speaking of Jesus…how about an Easter beer label depicting a crucified rabbit with Christ hunched in the foreground munching on the dead bunny’s chocolate eggs. nIce.

Yes, his hands and feet are still bleeding. nIce touch.

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4. Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit: This brew has sparked a TON of controversy with its imagery of a beautiful “witch” being burned at the stake. Lost Abbey has defended the brew by explaining that their labels are often used to depict the negative excesses of religion (particularly Catholicism) and that the commentary on the beer label actually speaks to the often narrow-minded, intolerant nature of religious zealotry. Nevertheless, numerous Wiccan groups have boycotted Lost Abbey’s beers for this “inflammatory” image.

Get it? Inflammatory?

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3. Beer Here Malus Pater: Of course, if you REALLY want to thumb your nose at Catholicism, why not go all out? The Danish brewery Beer Here pulls no punches with their Malus Pater (Bad Father). I’m sure the Catholic Church was thrilled to see this beer label come out in the midst of their unending molestation and sexual abuse scandals.

And what's up with the priest's hand? Is that a "shocker"?

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2. Beer Here Tia Loca: It takes a special kind of brewery to produce a label like Malus Pater and have it be only the SECOND most offensive label in your portfolio. The Tia Loca is a Witbier that showcases both Belgian and German brewing methods. To commemorate this cultural melding, Beer Here decided to take the obvious, sensible step of creating a cartoon depicting Hitler as Tin Tin. In place of his adorable pup Snowy, Hitler/Tin Tin is being followed around by a vicious German Shepherd with a yellow bone in its mouth. Also, there are fat German men in lederhosen falling from the sky for some reason (when you dress up Hitler as Tin Tin, logic is obviously not your strong suit).

Not pictured: Logic.

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1. Birra Dalla Storia Hitler: How do you top a beer with cartoon picture of Hitler on it? Easy…just use the real thing.

Just...I mean...no comment.

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What are we missing Alehead Nation? Which beer labels tickle your angry-bone? Let us know! And for even more offensive beer labels, click here!

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31 comments

  1. You not speak for all Alehats when you condemn clampagne! I drinks cheladas and micheladas when I am in Mexico and CT.

  2. Anonymous · ·

    I like Thirsty Dog’s Ole Leg Humper

  3. We got a case of Kindzmaurauli red wine from Georgia (Russia)- bottles covered in black velvet cloth and a bow, and one bottle had a label with Joseph Stalin on it “Uncle Joe” red wine. It’s the only bottle that says “By order of Joseph Stalin, this wine was included in the Soviet Navy submarine crews’ food ration.” The powers that be in my store elected not to display it, because of who is on it. So I bought it for the interesting bit of history it represented. As to putting figures in history on beer/wine labels, I think it’s only offensive in the sense of time proximity. If you put Ariel Sharon “The Butcher of Beirut” on a label, that will be offensive to some. If you put Nero on a label, it probably wouldn’t be as offensive because no one today has a memory of his horrors.

    I found a post about a beer label from ’05 that’s called “Beer Label a Hate Crime” http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/001550.html

    One man’s humor is another’s offense.

  4. Kid Carboy Jr. · ·

    Haha, the world’s first Ganesha-related hate crime.

  5. Just to clarify, I believe that the fat men in lederhosen in #2 refer to the painting Golconde by Rene Magritte, the famous Belgian surrealist painter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Golconde.jpg

  6. I believe you are 100% correct, Mike. Thanks for the illumination!

  7. Jaydles · ·

    1. The czar is, strangely, correct. can’t say I like Tomoto OR clam juice, but together, they do something magical, and moreso when mixed with beer.
    2. When I got to bad father, I thought, “it’s impossible that whatever comes next will make this not need to be number one. Wrong.

  8. Ronnie Egan · ·

    The left hand issue above could just as easily be his right hand. We can’t be sure that we’re not seeing him from behind…

    I’m still surprised that nobody has issued a very strong high gravity beer called Masterbator.

  9. Your Pal · ·

    Dear Resie Rae

    Nice blood libel, friggin’ moron.

  10. Hey ‘Your Pal’ I was 8 yrs old when Ariel Sharon was named The Butcher of Beirut, fuckwit. And you’re calling me a moron?

    Oh what? Nobody should say anything negative about Israel & it’s people? LMAO get a grip on reality, boyo.

  11. Really people? Even Aleheads can’t escape anti-Israel vitriol? We’re a goddamn beer blog!

    Look, we pride ourselves on allowing Alehead Nation to say pretty much anything they want and we’re not about to start censoring people. But please…this just isn’t the forum for sensitive geopolitical debates. Let’s just focus on the beer. And if you absolutely MUST bash a specific nationality, please stick to the Germans.

  12. I’m not a fan of Israel, true, but I merely brought up the Ariel Sharon bit as part of the conversation, not to hammer Israel. It just popped in my head is all. It’s not my fault some anonymous boob took offense & singled that bit out from my entire post. I’m not on this planet to make sure people don’t get their feelers hurt.

    Anyway, back to the beer, I came across this pg of ‘offensive’ beer labels.

    http://pumpclipparade.blogspot.com/

  13. Anonymous · ·

    well I thought the Hopy Beach from Washington State was kind of politically incorrect …but wow ..drinking from a bottle while looking at Adolph mustach ..quite a challenge.

  14. Anyone who gets uptight over a beer label needs to get a life!

  15. rikki Doxx · ·

    Forgot GD beer from St. Louis. Greisi Dyck (unsure of spelling)

  16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griesedieck_Brothers_beer

    You would order it with by asking for a “GB”

  17. Anonymous · ·

    Also, does Hitler/Tin Tin have a raging hard-on?

  18. “I’m still surprised that nobody has issued a very strong high gravity beer called Masterbator.”

    Homebrewers have so named their dopplebocks for entries in competitions, but since the “-ator” ending is traditional for dopplebocks, which is almost nonexistent from craft breweries in the US, don’t hold your breath.

    Interestingly, I did see a bait shop at the marina in Puerto Vallarta named Masterbaiters, and their slogan was “We won’t jerk you around.” I don’t think the Mexicans got it.

  19. Yeah Left Hand Dan, you got it going on! I miss your orange hunting hat.

  20. Candice Alström is a fat, angry, vile bitch. Especially around this time of year, you have to feel bad for the extended Alström family.

  21. Minstrel Toad · ·

    Ken, I’m sure that Candace is a angry, vile bitch 24/7/365 (not sure about the fat part)….is it truly possible for her to actually elevate the intensity of her faux-progressive, self-righteous brand of evil just for the holidays?

  22. Minstrel Toad · ·

    Oopsies….*an angry…..lest my truthiness be disqualified for lack of cromulence….

  23. Henry Turner · ·

    I once designed a beer label for a brew called York Hunt.

  24. If you think those Beer Here labels are bad, just wait until you see what they did for April Fool’s this year:

    http://beerhere.dk/simplepage.aspx?Id=126

    They’re pretty infamous for their labels in general. Just check out Bukkake (as posted in the comments above), for instance. The labels for Kama Citra and Ammestout probably wouldn’t pass muster in the US either!

  25. Don’t forget Buffalo Bill Brewing Co’s Alimony Ale: The Bitterest Brew in America

  26. [...] reasons I can only begin to fathom, our Ten Most Offensive Beer Labels post went viral over the past week. Well…the Aleheads are nothing if not responsive to our [...]

  27. Anonymous · ·

    Raging Bitch is a skullbuster!

  28. [...] #1 Most Offensive Beer Labels #2 The Best Beer Labels #3 Labelmania! (i.e. more best beer labels) #4 Best IPA in America #5 The Best Beer Names [...]

  29. Anonymous · ·

    Shorts took some heat for this label. The ebony hue of the hand was an issue with some folks (personally, I did not notice). Now re-released as Controversi-ALE

    http://www.thegreatestbeerofalltime.com/tgboat/2011/3/14/shorts-brewing-company-hangin-frank-ipa-another-reason-to-ke.html

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