Portman outlaws Tokyo beer

03 December, 2009

The Portman Group’s complaints panel has ruled that the packaging for Brewdog’s record-breaking Tokyo beer does encourage excessive consumption and shouldn’t be stocked by retailers.

But the watchdog ruled that the label of the beer – officially Britain’s strongest at 18.2% abv – didn’t place undue emphasis on its alcoholic strength.

It also rejected complaints that the phrase “intergalactic fantasy” on the label was an allusion to illegal drugs.

Brewdog was found in breach of the Portman code of practice on marketing because of wording on the label which stated: “Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time [to time] have excess. This beer is for those times.”

Complaints were received from Alcohol Focus Scotland and a member of the public.

Portman said Brewdog had failed to respond to the complaints.

Chief executive David Poley said: “It’s obviously unwise for any company to urge consumers to drink to excess.

“We won’t allow any irresponsible marketing whether it’s for a big brand or a niche product.

“That’s why we’re taking action to restrict future sales of its beer.”




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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