Thursday, October 08, 2009

If the Name Fits, Brew It

England is often called the Nanny State because of the short-sighted, often inane decisions they make under the guise of "health and safety." So, it should come as no surprise that someone decided to make some money off this reputation, as well as rub the country's nose in it.

Scottish brewer, BrewDog, was recently criticized and branded as irresponsible for making a limited edition beer called "Tokyo," which has an 18.2% alcohol content, making it the strongest alcohol in all of Great Britain.

In response, BrewDog created a 1.1% alcohol beer called Nanny State.

While campaigners welcomed the beer, they said it showed a lack of appreciation of the problem.

I think it shows a complete waste of beer bottles and the brewing process. Dude, just relabel some water bottles and call it Budweiser.

BrewDog said they had created the high alcohol brew because it would help tackle Scotland's binge drinking culture, because they would drink it in smaller quantities.

Jack Law of Alcohol Focus Scotland told the BBC this argument was "deluded."

"The name of the beer proves that once again this company is failing to acknowledge the seriousness of the alcohol problem facing Scotland," he told the BBC.

James Watt, BrewDog's founder, said in his blog:

Anyone who knows BrewDog, knows beer, or anyone has more common sense than a common (or garden) gnome will know that the scathing and unrelenting criticism we faced was pretty unjustified.

If logic serves the same people who witch-hunted and publicly slated us should now offer us heartfelt support and public congratulations.

However I fear that this, unfortunately, is an arena devoid of logic and reason.


I'm not sure who to back in this fight. While I think that BrewDog should be free to brew whatever beer they want, their argument that it will reduce binge drinking is rather specious. Packing more alcohol is not going to reduce binge drinking, it's going to make it more efficient. It's like gun manufacturers who make their guns shoot faster, but never actually telling you what you're supposed to shoot faster. Yet the wink and the nudge is there.

So too has BrewDog brewed their Tokyo with a wink and a nudge.

However, Alcohol Focus Scotland might want to lighten up a little bit. If you go publicly attacking anyone and call them irresponsible, they're going to retaliate in the best and most public way they can think of.

In other words, if it looks like a Nanny State, talks like a Nanny State, then it's going to be bland, tasteless, and won't have an effect on anyone other than to waste valuable resources.


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