A complaint made against Docks Beers’ Carbon Crush has been upheld by the alcohol industry’s Independent Complaints Panel, after concerns were raised that the packaging appealed to under-18s.

The Portman Group said the predominant theme of the product’s label was a comic book strip style story which featured a caped crusader.

The brewer said Carbon Crush was intended as a limited-edition product designed to spread awareness of carbon capture and storage and is no longer in production.

Nicola Williams, chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, said: “Comic books in some forms can be a popular source of entertainment for children. Producers need to take care when, in including such elements in marketing, that they do not particularly appeal to under-18s. Overall, in this case the packaging was found to have a particular appeal to children and I welcome the company’s response that the product is no longer in production.”

Will Douglas, director of Docks Beers & Docks Academy said: “This beer was all about helping spread the message about carbon capture and storage. We even used low carbon hops in the brew. We felt a graphic novel character simplified a complex narrative and helped people understand the importance of this renewables endeavour in our area. The story told in the sequence of images on the can label is one that is eye catching and helped convey the message.  We certainly did not mean to create a product that appeals to children, but we can appreciate how the complainant and subsequently the Independent Complaints Panel might have reached that conclusion.”