Why You Can’t Buy Bottles of One of America’s Best Beers in New Hampshire

By Mike Pomranz |

© Founders Brewing Co.

Good luck grabbing a bottle of Founders Breakfast Stout in New Hampshire. Despite being considered a seminal craft beer with a perfect 100 out of 100 rating on Beer Advocate, the state wants nothing to do with four-packs of the stuff. It has nothing to do with Founders—the Michigan-based brewery’s beers are readily available across the state. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the beer. The problem is the bottle.

Founders Breakfast Stout’s label features a baby eating oatmeal, and New Hampshire law strictly prohibits images of minors from appearing on alcohol labels. Republican state Representative and tavern owner Keith Murphy sponsored a bill that would have turned approval of this type of beer packaging over to the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, effectively giving beers like Breakfast Stout a chance at approval, specifically because he wanted to buy the product. But despite passing the local legislature, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed the bill. This is why we hate partisan politics.

The rule against including pics of youngsters on booze is intended to prevent alcohol brands from targeting minors—a rule that’s enforced on a federal level. Murphy believes New Hampshire’s state law goes too far. “No reasonable person would believe that this label is intended to appeal to minors in any way,” WMUR quoted him as saying. Meanwhile, Gov. Hassan feels it’s still a public health issue. “Substance misuse, including alcohol misuse, continues to be one of the major public health and safety challenges facing us as a state,” she said.

The good news for Breakfast Stout lovers: There’s no law against serving the beer on draft. You just have to find a solid pub that’s open for breakfast.

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