Typically, beers rarely cause this big of a fight unless there’s only one left in the fridge. But New Hampshire is currently embroiled in a battle over beer labels sparked by one man’s love of Founders Breakfast Stout.
As we reported earlier this month, New Hampshire State Representative and tavern owner Keith Murphy has been trying to change a state law forbidding kids from appearing on beer labels. The intention of the law is practical enough: to prevent breweries from marketing to minors. But not all labels are created equal, and Murphy argues that beers such as Founders Breakfast Stout, which features a painting of a baby eating oatmeal on its bottle, clearly isn’t intended to appeal to underage drinkers. He just wants to be able to sell the highly renowned brew in his pub (in bottled form; the baby-label-free draft version is perfectly legal.)
New Hampshire’s State Legislature agreed, and the beer label bill passed, only to be vetoed by Gov. Maggie Hassan. But the fight wasn’t over. Yesterday, the legislation was brought before members of the New Hampshire House again, where it received the two-thirds vote it needed to override the governor’s veto. Now it goes to the state Senate, where a similar vote could officially bypass Gov. Hassan’s ax.
However, the new law isn’t guaranteed to be a Breakfast Stout panacea; it would simply allow the state’s Liquor Commission to approve or deny labels however they like. Even if the law passes, the state agency could still decide babies on a beer is inappropriate.
It’s a lot of legal wrangling just to get a beer. I guess people in New Hampshire aren’t that into wine?