Flying Dog Terminates Brewers Association Membership, Cries McCarthyism

by Alexander Frane on Jul 18, 2017 in Beer

The Brewers Association, creators of the recently reported on craft brewery logo has lost one of its members: Flying Dog Brewery out of Frederick, Maryland, Brewbound reports. The reason is BA’s new advertising code, which stipulates guidelines for marketing—in particular Article i, which prohibits advertising that “contain[s] sexually explicit, lewd, or demeaning brand names, language, text, graphics, photos, video, or other images that reasonable adult consumers would find inappropriate for consumer products offered to the public.”

In a dramatic, six page letter to the BA, Jim Caruso, CEO of Flying Dog—whose labels include titles such as Raging Bitch, Tropical Bitch, and Pearl Necklace—accuses the non-profit organization of thought policing, forced self-censorship, and of being anti-free enterprise. The letter warns of the dangers of McCarthyism, as well as communism, Marxism, and Stalinism, all of which are drawn as close parallels to the guidelines of a voluntary membership. For nearly a page, Caruso compares his brewery to comedian Lenny Bruce, famously harassed for year and eventually arrested by police for his subversive comedy, leading to a drug overdose. It ends with the effective termination date of June 1, 2017, though the brewery has paid its dues through 2018.

Brewer’s Association CEO Bob Pease told Brewhound that he was disappointed to lose Flying Dog from the roster, though he defended the guidelines as “being reasonable”. Caruso, though assured that Flying Dog’s current labels did not violate the guidelines, clearly disagrees. His company will reportedly donate the money normally invested in the BA to his own nonprofit, The First Amendment Society, an education group devoted to maintaining Caruso’s sovereign right to call his beer Doggie Style Pale Ale.

Photo via Flying Dog on Facebook

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