Bass Ackwards Beer Laws
And you thought Alabama’s beer regulations were retarded:
The Maine Civil Liberties Union wants Santa’s Butt in beer coolers by Christmas.
In what its staff attorney called a case of government censorship, the MCLU on Thursday sued the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement in federal court over the agency’s refusal to let a specialty beer distributor sell three imported brews because their labels were deemed “undignified and improper.”
Here’s the entire article. It describes the “undignified and improper” labels:
The Santa label at issue in Maine shows Santa Claus viewed from behind while looking over his shoulder, according to court documents. He is depicted holding a pint of beer in one hand and a list in the other while sitting on a barrel, which appears to hold about 126 gallons, or a butt of beer.
The intent is to “produce an amusing pun,” and humor is a protected form of expression, according to the lawsuit.
Another rejected label is illustrated with a detail of Eugene Delacroix’s famous painting, “Liberty Leading the People.” The 1830 oil depicts Liberty as a bare-breasted woman holding the French revolutionary flag in one hand and a bayoneted rifle in the other. The painting that the label for the blond French ale was taken from has been hanging in the Louvre for more than 100 years.
The artwork on the third label — Rose de Gambrinus, a Belgian beer —is based on a watercolor painting by Raymond Coumans, a renowned Belgian artist, according to court documents. The painting depicts a legendary King of Flanders strongly associated with beer and brewing with a nude female figure on his lap.
In the same order, pictures of the “undignified and improper” labels:
Wow. There are two obvious objections to the ban. One, these images are neither improper nor undignified. Two, and more importantly, even if they were, what business is it of the state’s? I suppose this is where I should spend a few paragraphs attacking the ridiculous idea that the state has the authority to protect the thin skinned among us by making sure they never have any contact with anything they find offensive. But I won’t. I hope this regulation is self-evidently stupid. And if you don’t think it is, you probably would not listen to my argument anyway.