Late last week, a Federal Court ruled in favor of yours truly in a landmark case for freedom of speech, proving yet again that Good Beer, No Censorship prevails.
When Raging Bitch was released in 2009, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission promptly banned it from being sold in the state, deeming the beer “detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the general public.”
We didn’t take this appalling attempt at censorship laying down. We sued the State of Michigan and the individual members of the commission on the grounds of violating our right to freedom of speech. Now, over five years since the beer’s release, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the commissioners’ actions were a violation our First Amendment rights.
The Supreme Court has long established that the power to regulate alcohol, which is made at the state level, does not authorize the violation of free speech. And last week’s ruling confirms that officials who nonetheless ignore free speech are not immune from liability.
Our CEO Jim Caruso said: “It’s taken a few years, but now appointed bureaucrats are accountable for imposing their personal agendas and prejudices on the public, and for committing the crime of violating Flying Dog’s right to freedom of speech.”
And our attorney, Alan Gura, added: “In 21st Century America, officials cannot ban words, artwork and poetry they dislike. Illegal censorship causes real harm, and Michigan’s liquor commissioners will now be made to pay real money for the damage they’ve done.”
Commentary on this ruling would not be complete without the thoughts of Ralph Steadman, the genius responsible for both the art and poetry that adorns each bottle of Raging Bitch. Referring to a 2001 ruling against the State of Colorado for banning the words “Good Beer, No Shit” on the label of our Road Dog Porter, Ralph said:
“…and THAT is how it should be!!! Under a Michigan sky — or under a Colorado sunset!!!”
It’s All Happening: The Competition Edition
On Wednesday, Federal House in downtown Annapolis will have three beers from Heavy Seas and three beers from yours truly on tap. Whoever’s kegs kick first wins. We’ll have Bloodline, Pale Ale, and Easy IPA, so it’s pretty much in the bag.
Then on Saturday, it’s round two of yours truly facing off against Bell’s in a Kangaroo Boxing Club beer bucket challenge as University of Maryland men’s basketball takes on Michigan. During football season, Maryland reigned supreme and we’re already calling a repeat.
Needless to say, we’ll be watching all 14 Air Bud movies tonight to prepare.
99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
ICYMI: Our tramp is out of the bag. Supertramp Tart Cherry Ale is hitting the bottle this week and hitting shelves at the beginning of March.
Also coming down our brewhouse pipes this week is our next round of limited releases: Single Hop Imperial IPA with Warrior and Brewhouse Rarities Earl Grey Black Wheat, proving that there is light at the end of your Mexican Hot Chocolate/HBC-431 tunnel.
Stay in the Know
Shine those boots and report to the Weinberg Center at 18:00 Thursday for The Dirty Dozen. Free admission for anyone with a military ID. Happy hour starts in the lobby at 6:30 pm, the show’s at 7:30 pm, and the after party at Market Street Fusion beings once the movie ends.
“Drinking in public is now adorable thanks to The Cool Baby.” There’s a real-life Kickstarter to help some guy produce insulated beverage carriers that make boozing look like parenting. Seeing that thing disassembled has scarred us for life.
No matter how you look at it, Valentine’s Day is a bitch…except when there’s a deep-rooted mutual love, admiration and respect of craft beer.
Whether you’re buying for family, friends, fuck buddies or foes, we’re taking the guesswork out of your V-Day with our first ever gift guide.
A. For the consciously coupled couple who find pants restricting.
B. For the consciously coupled couple who don’t have legs.
A. For someone who loves learning about and subsequently explaining European beer laws.
B. For your Tinder-obsessed friend who is starting to worry you.
A. Because your feet are always cold and you rubbing them on me makes me cold.
B. Because watching the latest episode of NCIS on the couch > sex.
A. For the four-legged friend who loves you unconditionally.
B. To show your significant other that you’re into that kind of thing.
A. So your significant other can pledge their allegiance to the People’s Republic of Flying Dog.
B. To prevent grass stains when you get down and dirty behind that big oak tree in the park.
You took the day off, found a sitter and have all of the necessary witch doctor potions to nurse that post-Super Bowl hangover. Now, you’re ready for some Gonzo.
So we’re here to answer any and all questions to get you more excited than this puppy:
How much does each bottle cost?
750-ml bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter cost $18 each. Rum-Barrel Aged Gonzo bottles are $20 each. We accept cash and credit cards.
I want to be the first in line. How early can I arrive?
You can get in line as early as 9 am. By doing so, you waive Flying Dog Brewery of any responsibility for frostbite, loss of circulation to key limbs, loss of battery life on phone, and overall cold-weather bitterness. We will not let anyone in the building until the clock strikes noon, so you should probably dress like the younger brother in A Christmas Story.
Mother Nature is being a bitch again. Will the release go on if there’s inclement weather?
At this point, we have no plans to reschedule the release due to the weather. If this guy isn’t panicking, then we don’t feel the need to either. If that changes, we’ll announce it on our website and via social media, so follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Can I call ahead and reserve bottles?
No. You can only purchase bottles on-site from noon to 8 pm, even if you try to sweet talk us or offer to off Nicholas Cage. Once and for all.
Can I call during the sale hours, buy the beer, and have it shipped to me?
Again, no. It’s illegal in Maryland for a brewery to ship beer directly to consumers. It’s also illegal in Maryland to grow thistles in your yard, throw bales of hay out of second-story windows, and give or receive oral sex.
Is there a limit on how many bottles I can purchase?
Yes sir/ma’am. There will be a strictly-enforced two bottle per style, per person limit. If you want more than that, bribe and bring your friends to buy for you. (But if you need to bribe your friends to come to a brewery, you may have some issues to sort out before you start worrying about buying more than two bottles of beer.)
Once I buy my beer, what can I do?
While we cannot serve beer by the glass quite yet, we are able to serve beer samples. Also, from noon to 8 pm, The Green Bowl food truck will be serving up their famous fare and PUTTING A FRIED EGG ON TOP OF EVERYTHING.
Are growler fills and other packaged beer to-go available during the release?
You bet your ass they are. However, by law, we can only sell a total of 288 oz. of beer to each person. We’ll let you do the math from there.
Will bottles of Barrel-Aged Gonzo be available at my local bottle shop after the release?
Nope. And while you’re in reading mode, you might want to check out what the word “exclusive” means.