The World of Fun that is COLAApr. 12, 2016
On the same day that news about scientists’ first view of the human brain on LSD came to light, we came across an LSD beer-related story. One of our local greats, Indeed Brewing Company, had a label rejected by the Tax and Trade Bureau apparently because it referenced LSD.
One of the first, if not the first, bomber I picked up from Indeed was their Lavender Sunflower Honey Dates Ale, also known as LSD for Lavender, Sunflower, and Dates. It’s a really great beer where the ingredients blend nicely together and not one of them overpowers the others.
Indeed is going to start distributing this beer across state lines, so it had to apply for label approval with the TTB. The TTB, however, did not like the name LSD (presumably because of the drug reference) so the label was rejected. The label now refers to the beer not as LSD, but as Lavender Sunflower Honey Dates, with no bolding or emphasis on the letters L, S, and D.
The TTB, while we may think of it as some bureaucratic robot, is made up of individuals who have a difficult job, and we cannot expect one hundred percent consistency. That said, we did some poking around and found that JD’s Sports Pub & Brewery in Oregon applied for label approval with respect to its L.S.D. ale. And it actually received approval on August 2, 2015. It’s not clear why one L.S.D. label was approved and Indeed’s LSD label was rejected.
The TTB’s prior approvals are not precedential, however, so there is nothing wrong with inconsistency. Inconsistency may result in some difficulty in determining what labels you can expect to get approved and what you can expect to be rejected. In that sense, it’s a lot like filing a trademark application with the Patent and Trademark Office — some examining attorneys may approve trademarks for registration that other examining attorneys would refuse. I don’t think there’s any way around this — it’s the price we pay for being human.
That said, let’s all go enjoy some LSD . . . er, I mean, Lavender Sunflower Honey and Dates ale.