BASTARDS!

For quite some time now, I’ve been curious as to why I can buy Founders’ Centennial IPA, Breakfast Stout and Double Trouble in Alabama but can NOT purchase their best-in-class Scotch Ale, the Dirty Bastard.

Thanks to Free the Hops, we now know why. Apparently a bureaucrat (and I say that with all the freighted baggage the word implies) from the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has decided that the word “bastard” is too offensive to the delicate sensibilities of everyday Alabamans to allow such a beverage to be sold here. Of course, this could conceivably make sense in a “won’t someone think of the children” vein…if children could actually BUY alcoholic beverages. Which, last I checked, they can not.

Apparently this Victorian-era dowager on the Alabama ABC Board finds the word “bastard” so offensive that he/she wants to ensure that the 4.8 million OTHER Alabamans who live in his/her state can’t purchase one of the best craft beers in the country. This is despite the fact that I can purchase Fat Bastard wine (sold in Alabama) while watching Inglourious Basterds (released in Alabama) whilst being a bastard (technically I’m legitimate, but I’m still a right bastard).

I can’t really objectively discuss this issue, unfortunately. I LOVE the Dirty Bastard (as does my wife) and its barrel-aged cousin, the Backwoods Bastard. The fact that I can’t purchase those beers alongside other award-winning Founders beers because one person has decided what can and can’t be sold in this state based on their own insanely restrictive sensibilities is just COCKFUCKINGRIDICULOUS!!!

Sorry, like I said, I’m not very objective about this.

When you’re younger, you think the world is run by a bunch of overzealous bureaucrats. When you become an adult, you learn that things are much more complex than you thought in your rebellious teenage years. But…sometimes, the world really DOES function exactly like you thought it did when you were 17. Sometimes there really IS one nameless, faceless asshole who makes decisions based on some personal whims that negatively affect everyone else. THIS is one of those times.

For those craft beer fans that are reminded of the Michigan ABC vs. Flying Dog Raging Bitch brouhaha…yeah, this is pretty much the same thing. Let’s just hope this ends the same way. With an embarrassing black eye for Alabama’s ABC and an emphatic win for consumers across the state. Although, considering Alabama’s history in terms of doing what their constituency actually wants, I’m not optimistic.

If this makes you as angry as it makes me, then please contact Alabama’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and tell them how you feel about this situation. Also, please contact Founders Brewing and let them know that the only person who finds their labels offensive is some fucktard on the Alabama ABC Board. We don’t want this ridiculous verdict to affect Founders’ distribution in the Yellowhammer state, for the love of god.

As for the person who made this decision? GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU STUPID BASTARD!!!

Sorry, did that offend you?

Good.

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20 comments

  1. Pappy O'DaniAle · ·

    That sucks. Backwoods Bastard is legit.

    I’m 31 and I still think the world is run by a bunch of over zealous bureaucracts!

  2. The Wookie · ·

    Nice rant! Fortunately most NJ bureaucrats know they are bastards so it’s easy to buy here but that sucks for you dude. Just out of curiosity can you get Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch, Wasatch’s Polygamy Porter, or Sweetwater’s Happy Ending?

    1. Interesting point, Wookie. Yes, we can purchase Happy Ending and Raging Bitch here. Wasatch does not distribute to Alabama, but I’m sure a beer that surreptitiously mocks Mormons would be perfectly acceptable in the Bible Belt.

      I’ve heard rumor that the individual who approves labels for the Alabama ABC Board is fairly new to the job and might be using the “Bastard” beer labels as a chance to flex his/her muscles a little bit. Reminds me of every temporary parking lot attendant or security guard at a special event. Give someone even the tiniest bit of power and watch how quickly they become corrupted.

  3. Lucky for you Barley, Alabama’s bureaucrats are too stupid to know that Happy Ending, Wake and Bake, and Tramp Stamp might be considered offensive. If they only knew, you’d be screwed.

    That’s a knock on bureaucrats by the way, not the good people of Alabama.

  4. Hey, Alabama is the state that used to prevent the sale of “beer” period. Beer could not be called beer. Seriously, it had to be called “Cold Beverages”. I feel for you. I’ve been there too. Ugh!
    Go on & Free The Hops!

    Cheers!

    David Ivey
    BlackBucketBrew.com Inbox Magazine Editor

    PS. Check out our free e-book and beer mag.

    1. I could go for some Cold Beverages right about now.

  5. Anonymous · ·

    TIL That Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State. What an awesome nickname!

  6. I lived in Montgomery for a spell when I was younger. Do people still ask “what church ya’ll go to?” upon meeting someone for the first time? Given all the barriers to obtaining craft beer that Alabama throws in your way, I commend you, Brother Barley, for still managing to drink as much as you do!

    1. I don’t want to say that I’m a hero, ’cause what’s a hero?

  7. Wait…Whole Foods can sell Stone’s Arrogant Bastard in their Alabama stores. But, you cant label your bastard brew in state. Seem kind of backwards to this guy.

    1. I didn’t think that Stone distributed at all to Alabama. Barley?

      1. Stone does not distribute in Alabama, unfortunately.

        And unless this decision is repealed, it could be a LONG time before that changes.

        1. My bad i saw a post somewhere else on the net that said stone was in Whole Foods in AL. Come to California we are pretty loose with a beer naming and our morals….but no seriously lots of great micro and nano brew in southern California.

          1. I wish Alabama was like SoCal in terms of beer availability, Otterbaub. Or really any other state that doesn’t end in “ississippi”.

            We’ve only got one Whole Foods in the state and it has a decent, but unremarkable beer selection. Definitely no Stone there. It’s available in Georgia, but Greg Koch has bypassed ‘Bama. Most likely because Alabama’s legislators seem to think beer is on par with crystal meth and PCP.

  8. beer-miester · ·

    I am sure that they would have no trouble with “Leg humpers ale”. That is just how they roll….. Having gone to school in the great state of Bama… I have lived with thier pain… Free the beer!

    p.s they have very tasty “shine” in the central east area of the state..

  9. red flanders · ·

    sent an email to the abc product management division. thanks for the heads up on this, barley.

    1. I got an email back from them saying they would “take my request under consideration.”

      1. As did I. Even if we all just receive a stock response, I would suggest that everyone e-mail the ABC Board to protest this decision. The more consumers that find fault with this issue, the more likely it is to be repealed. Send your e-mails to:

        ABCBoardAL–Administrator@abc.alabama.gov

        Yes, that huge, ungainly thing is their e-mail address. One look at their web-site will let you know how tech-savvy they are. Please be civil when you e-mail them. They’re clearly not rational people and if they receive angry letters, that will only strengthen their resolve.

  10. Alabama is not alone. We have the same problem in New Hampshire. We don’t get many breweries at all (including Founders, who are in all the surrounding states) due the difficulty registering in the state. Dogfish Head distributes here, but their Bitches Brew was blocked by the state because of its “offensive” name. One can by the Miles Davis CD in any music store though….

    1. I hadn’t heard that, Scott. Thanks for keeping us posted on the similar issues in New Hampshire. Most of the Aleheads went to college up there. Sad to hear that the “Live Free or Die” state isn’t quite living up to their motto…

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