Monday, 08 March 2010 02:05

Censorship in New Hampshire - Raging Bitch

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“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” Abraham Lincoln.

Sadly, Chief of Liquor Enforcement Eddie Edwards is not bringing the people of New Hampshire their beer. Flying Dog's Raging Bitch

Flying Dog Brewery celebrated its 20th Anniversary a few months early on September 25th 2009 (the brewery turns 20 this year). The brewery introduced the new Raging Bitch Belgian-style India Pale Ale at the Flying dog Brats And Gonzo party in Denver that day as part of the Great American Beer Festival.

Propaganda from the label: “Two inflammatory words…one wild drink. Nectar imprisoned in a bottle. Let it out. It is cruel to keep a wild animal locked up. Uncap it. Release it…stand back! Wallow in its golden glow in a glass beneath a white foaming head. Remember, enjoying a RAGING BITCH, unleashed, untamed, unbridled – and in heat – is pure GONZO!! It has taken 20 years to get from there to here. Enjoy!” – Ralph Steadman

 Luckily, you can find the beer in most fine liquor and beer establishments across the country.  However, that is not the case for New Hampshire.  You read correctly, one of the original 13 colonies has recently banned wholesalers and retailers from carrying the anniversary beer for the words on the label.  That’s right folks, censorship in 2010.

How could the first state to declare its independence in 1776 be the only state to deny an age old staple of the human condition – one that our founding fathers participated in concocting - centuries ago?  Could the reason be that our country was founded by a bunch of people who were thrown out of England for being too stuffy?  Hmmm.

The land of “Live Free or Die” has denied people like Chad Ober Raging Bitch. New Hampshire has banned wholesalers and retailers from carrying Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch.  Chief of Liquor Enforcement Eddie Edwards doesn’t approve of the name. Goddammit.  

Edwards is known to be vocal in the fight against underage drinking and alcohol abuse.  A noble cause – indeed - but one that is completely different than this current issue.  By the way, Chad is 37 years old.

How many 19 year olds do you know that appreciate a good Belgian IPA anyway?  Disclaimer: The Beer Goddess does NOT condone underage drinking (that is under 21 in the U.S.).  How about letting the employees and managers at liquor & grocery stores ID the patrons, as they should? 

In protest, Chad started a Facebook page titled, “Beer Drinkers For Flying Dog Raging Bitch in NH.”  On the page, he requests that “anyone joining this group needs to have a desire for all beers to be available to the public, regardless of silly things like names!”  

Amen.

I personally don’t understand the politics of why Edwards is arbitrarily choosing this one beer.  Let’s face it, it’s not the first alcohol beverage to express themselves in a inflammatory manner.  Stone’s "Arrogant Bastard" and the wine/bubbly named “Bitch” is currently available in New Hampshire. 

I spoke with Chad and he explained that his brother-in-law works as beer sales rep in Rhode Island and it came highly recommended by him.  Chad then drove to the nearest specialty beer shop called Bert’s Better Beers and they explained they weren’t allowed to carry it.  The more that Chad thought about it, the angrier he got.  He then decided to form the group on Facebook and even sent a note to Eddie, through Facebook explaining why they should distribute the beer.  He even sent a friend request to Edwards!  All, to no avail.  

Flying Dog CEO, Jim Caruso has also called Edwards several times to discuss this issue.  To our knowledge, Edwards has not returned any calls or inquiries.

I also spoke with Bert at Bert’s Better Beers in New Hampshire and he said simply, “…of course, we would like to carry it.”  We imagine the wholesalers, retailers and beer lovers throughout the state feel the same way. 

Mr. Edwards, give them that choice. 

Flying Dog has posted a blog about this very protest, supporting Chad’s desire for Raging Bitch to be distributed in New Hampshire again.
http://www.flyingdognews.com/2010/03/04/fighting-for-his-right-to-the-bitch/

For those of you in the other 49 states, this 8.3% ABV ale smells quite floral, and imparts some spiciness within. The hop bitterness dominates the palate - like an IPA - but with a little Belgian sweetness, citrus and pine hop in the background. Rich and bold flavors abound with this anniversary ale.  It’s highly recommended with strong cheeses, spicy Thai food, dark chocolates, lamb or mussels.  

We here at The Beer Goddess sincerely hope that Edwards and his cohorts see the light and realize that withholding a beer because of the name is just plain wrong.  

[blockquote] I am lately become a brewer for family use, having had the benefit of instruction to one of my people by an English brewer of the first order. [/blockquote]Jefferson to Joseph Coppinger, April 25, 1815

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