Brands have been stirring up controversy with daring ads since before you were born. Shock advertising—or “shockvertising”—is older than Don Draper’s abusive alcoholic father. Sure, there are times when a controversial name or image serves to grab people’s attention and create interest. But there’s a limit.

Here’s a look at controversial beer names and labels that made drinkers look twice. What do you think: witty and creative, or offensive and alienating?

Mikkeller’s Mexas Ranger Spiced Beer

The controversy: Danish brewery Mikkeller made Mexas Ranger with ingredients like spices, almond milk, cocoa, chili, black beans, and avocado. The label depicts a man and woman (chili pepper in hand) crossing the Texas-Mexico border. In a thread on Beer Advocate, many users argued that the ingredients are actually the most offensive aspect of Mexas Ranger. (Photo via Monthly Clubs)

Flying Dog Brewery’s Raging Bitch Belgian-style IPA

The controversy: Michigan Liquor Control Commission banned Raging Bitch IPA from the Great Lakes state but reversed its decision in June 2011. According to Flying Dog’s blog, “The Commission declared that our speech – in the form of the name ‘Raging Bitch’ and accompanying label imagery and text by renowned artist Ralph Steadman – endangered public safety and was harmful to any adult who might read the beer’s name on a restaurant menu.” But the First Amendment pulled through for Raging Bitch, which is still brewed year round. (Photo via BevLaw)

Lost Abbey’s Witch’s Wit Belgian White

The controversy: A 2010 New York Times article reported that Vicki Noble—famous in the pagan and Wiccan communities for her astrology readings, shamanic healing, and writings about goddess spirituality—said she and other members of the pagan and Wiccan community were personally offended by the pale ale’s depiction of a witch being burned at the stake. “We have been accused of inspiring violence against women, and we have been compared to the violence in Darfur,” Sage Osterfeld, a spokesman for Port Brewing, told the Times. (Photo via New York Times)

New England Brewing Company’s Ghandi-Bot Double IPA

Gandhi Bot
The controversy:  “How do you pay homage by naming a beer after a man who was totally against alcohol?” asked Prasad Srinivasan, a Connecticut legislator. Srinivasan met with the brewers of this double IPA earlier this year, calling the beer “insensitive.” “Our intent is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a man who we respect greatly,” the company wrote in a Facebook post. (Photo via NBCNews)

The Garage Project’s Death from Above Indochine Pale Ale

Death from Above
The controversy: Many American veterans, and non-veterans, were offended by the New Zealand breweries image of helicopters showering the Vietcong with napalm. The Indochine pale ale brewers intended the label to be “playful,” but RSA president Don McIver found it “cheap” and “disrespectful.” (Photo via

Lost Coast Brewery’s Indica IPA

real indica The controversy: A California man named Brij Dhir sued the brewery in 2005, accusing it of a hate crime and claiming the Indica label “intimidates Hindus from practicing their religion.” Dhir, with other defendants like Safeway, found the depiction the Indian elephant-god Ganesh “holding a beer in one of his four hands, and another in his trunk” offensive. Lost Coast Brewery discontinued the beer soon after the controversy. (Photo via Sepia Mutiny)

SweetWater Brewing Co.’s Happy Ending Imperial Stout

Happy Ending
The controversy: “Why is that appropriate on a beer label?” said Adam Vavrick, manager of Binny’s Beverage Depot in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. “Breweries: One thing I simply do not tolerate in my department is sexist or racist beer labels. I demand better and will not carry them,” Vavrick tweeted. “We maybe didn’t think this all the way through,” commented SweetWater founder Freddy Bensch. (Photo via Oak Lawn Patch)

Stark Brewing’s Mt. U Golden Cream Ale

Mt U

The controversy: “Many craft breweries seem to forget that their customer base is not exclusively 23-year-old guys. Having said that, I know plenty of 23-year-old guys who are mature enough to realize these labels are terrible. So who are these labels aimed at? Are breweries intentionally looking for a customer base of sleazy uneducated men?” said specialty beer store owner Jason Alvey in a recent blog post, after banning the brew from his shelves. Branding specialist Ben McCoy said, “So can sexual innuendo work? Yes. Will it increase your brand’s reach? Doubtful. Is it worth the hassle? Probably not.” (Photo via Craft Beer Cellar)

Hop Valley’s MR IPA

mr ipa
The controversy: In 2014, Jezebel reported that Hop Valley’s MR IPA stood for Mouth Raper. A former employee said, “I am 100% certain among the brewers, my staff, and apparently also some of our accounts, the ‘real’ name was indeed Mouth Raper.” Hop Valley responded in a Facebook post, saying, “We have a series of draft beers named Mr. Orange, Mr. Black, and Mr. IPA. It has come to our attention that an urban myth and street name has emerged surrounding Mr. IPA.” It has since discontinued the IPA. (Photo via Rate Beer)

Pig’s Mind Brewing PD California Style Ale

The controversy: This image of a woman with her underwear around her ankles (panty dropper, get it?) didn’t go unnoticed. “I don’t care if these are the greatest beers ever—giving the breweries money for them is an acknowledgement that this immature, sexist mindset is okay,” said Amy Cavanaugh in a post on Time Out Chicago. Cavanaugh cites examples of women in the beer world, like the head brewer at Evanston’s Temperance Beer Company, Claudia Jendron, Hayley Shine at Rock Bottom Brewery in Chicago, and Mary Bauer at Lagunitas Brewing Company. Cavanaugh says beer isn’t just a boys’ club anymore, and these offensive labels alienate half their potential drinkers. (Photo via TimeOut Chicago)