For the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB for short), beer and LSD don’t mix—even if the beer is simply LSD-inspired. According to Munchies, Indeed Brewing Company recently lost a “lengthy battle” with the TTB to keep the trippy labeling on their clever Lavender Sunflower Date Honey Ale, or LSD beer. (To be clear, the beer doesn’t contain any of the psychotropic, except for an abbreviation.)
Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that Indeed ran into regulatory problems with the TTB when the Minneapolis-based brewery started trying to sell its beer outside of Minnesota. Regulators were apparently concerned that the name “implied there were drugs in the beer” and demanded that the brewery change the name.
Feds make Indeed Brewing change name of LSD Ale – “We tried to find a way we could keep it on the label, like could… pic.twitter.com/Ow9Ju3cWnc
— Worldnews News (@2016dailynews) April 10, 2016
Co-founder Thomas Whisenand tells the paper, “The feds did not like the name LSD… they made that clear very quickly.” The brewery tried to get around the TTB by spelling out the words and just bolding the first letters. But “unfortunately we sell a regulated product and there’s not much you can do when the feds say no,” say Whisenand. Now, the brewery is selling the beer under the name Lavender, Sunflower Honey, and Dates Honey Ale, or LSHDH for short, which is definitely way less fun to order.
The Feds are going to the extreme. Some pencil neck box-checker clerk has way too much time on his/her hands…. https://t.co/NqDshZhNPU
— Steve Reid (@iSteveReid) April 12, 2016
Calling a beer LSD is quite tame compared to some of the other names in the craft-beer world, where brewers are not afraid to get cheeky with the labels and packing. Lagunitas also got into trouble for its drug-referencing beer, The Kronik. The company slapped a “censored” sticker over the word on the label as a joke, and it turned into the brewery’s Censored ale.
Both Lagunitas’ and Indeed’s labels are tame compared to those made by the BrewDog. In 2010, the Scottish duo behind the company went so far as to package their The End of History beer in real taxidermied squirrels. They also launched a Royal Virility Performance beer to mark the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which contained natural aphrodisiacs and a label and proclaimed “Arise Prince Willy!”