21 February 2009

Lower Beer Taxes? / NYT on Hop Obama

With all this talk about increasing beer taxes in Oregon and New York, it's interesting to see a call for lower beer taxes in Britain. The Conservative Party has launched a campaign to lower beer taxes (and raise taxes on high strength cider and alcopops). The Tories are out of power, so I have no idea if it's going anywhere. It sounds like good politics in a place where you can associate beer with family owned pubs (not the case here in the States). 

Meanwhile, the New York Times has an article on Brooklyn's Sixpoint Craft Ales, formerly brewers of Hop Obama. The beer was already retired a few weeks before the feds told them to stop. Really, you can't just name a beer after a public figure like that. I'm skeptical of this:
What stung about the Hop Obama episode was the suggestion that the brewery had been trying to cash in on the president’s name. In reality, Mr. Welch said, Sixpoint felt an affinity for the former community organizer because the beer business thrives on grass-roots connections like camaraderie over a frothy pint glass and even artistic collaboration.
I don't doubt the sincerity of his feelings toward Obama, but I don't know if Welch (brewmaster of Sixpoint) really has any right to feel "stung" by the suggestion that he was cashing in. It was great marketing while it lasted.

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