Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Brew Dog vs. Portman Group

Clearly I am not intimately familiar with the issues here, but I have run across some of Brew Dog's beers lately and found them interesting, in that good kind of way. Apparently they're in a bit of trouble over their offensive labels, which is I guess where the Portman Group comes in. Below is the list of offenses Portman Group has listed with Brew Dog over these labels.
PIPC considered Rip Tide to be in potential breach of Code rule 3.2b for the following reason:“The product is described as a “twisted merciless stout” associating its consumption with anti-social behaviour”

PIPC considered Hop Rocker to be in potential breach of Code rule 3.2j for the following reason“Description of the product includes ‘nourishing foodstuff’ and ‘magic is still there to be extracted from this drink’ implying it could enhance mental or physical capabilities”

PIPC considered Punk IPA to be in potential breach of Code rule 3.2b for the following reason:“This product is described as an “aggressive beer” thus associating its consumption with anti-social behaviour”
Anti-social? Man, these guys are picky, seems more picky than our own label approving body. I gather that the Portman Group will also be advising retailers to not sell Brew Dog products because of these label offenses. I have each of these beers here in my house right now, not one of them appears offensive in the least. I'll need to do some homework on these guys and figure out what Portman's is up to, and why they seem to have it out for Brew Dog and their fun marketing.

According to their own website, Portman Group is:
"concerned solely with the social responsibility issues surrounding alcohol. Our role is:

- to encourage and challenge the industry to promote its products responsibly, which we do mainly through operating our Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks;
- to show leadership on best practice in the area of alcohol social responsibility through the actions of our member companies; and
- to speak on behalf of our members on these issues to inform public opinion and policy.
I don't know, these guys seem a bit fishy. I don't see how anything listed in the complaints against Brew Dog really violates these stated goals they have. Again, more research into these guys in necessary.