Judge: Regulators wrong to ban beer label that had naked man

May 17, 2022, 3:57 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators were wrong to reject a beer label that featured a silhouette of a naked man standing next to a campfire, a federal judge has ruled.

The owners of Maryland-based Flying Dog Brewery argued that the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission violated their First Amendment rights by rejecting the label for its Freezin’ Season Winter Ale. The commission had said the label was in “bad taste,” but later allowed the beer to be sold. Flying Dog proceeded with the lawsuit anyway, hoping to get the regulation struck down.

U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle ruled in favor of the craft brewery last week, finding that the regulation was vague and overbroad, violating the free speech rights of Flying Dog and its competitors. The ruling requires North Carolina to remove the current regulation.

Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso said it was “heartening” to see such a court decision.

“The First Amendment is the last defense against authoritarian and arbitrary government and it must be protected against any and all threats,” Caruso said in a statement Monday.

“The NC ABC Commission respects Judge Boyle’s decision and appreciates his time and consideration in hearing this case,” commission spokesperson Jeff Strickland said in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday. “NC ABC Commission staff are reviewing the decision to determine the appropriate next steps.”

This is not the first time Flying Dog has gone to court over its labels. A federal appeals court ruled in favor of the brewery in 2015 regarding a ban of the sale of its Raging Bitch beer in the state of Michigan, news outlets reported. The dispute began in 2009 when a board determined the label to be “detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the general public.” The label featured a drawing of a female dog with accentuated features, bared teeth and a tongue covered in blood.

Both of the labels were created by artist Ralph Steadman, who frequently collaborated with Hunter S. Thompson, the founder of “gonzo” journalism.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Today in History: July 6, Richard III is crowned

Today in History Today is Wednesday, July 6, the 187th day of 2022. There are 178 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 6, 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey […]
21 hours ago
FILE - An electronic cigarette from Juul Labs is seen on on Feb. 25, 2020, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. ...
Associated Press

FDA temporarily suspends order banning Juul cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration issued an administrative stay Tuesday on the order it issued last month for vaping company Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the market. The agency said on Twitter that the stay temporarily suspends the marketing denial order while it conducts further review, but does not rescind […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Chrystul Kizer sits in the Kenosha County Courthouse on Feb. 6, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisco...
Associated Press

Wisconsin court to rule on immunity in sex trafficking case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s Supreme Court is set to decide Wednesday whether a sex trafficking victim accused of homicide can argue at trial that she was justified in killing the man who trafficked her, a ruling that could help define the extent of immunity for trafficking victims nationwide. Prosecutors say Chrystul Kizer traveled to […]
21 hours ago
Brooke and Matt Strauss, who were married Sunday, pause after leaving their wedding bouquets in dow...
Associated Press

Parents of boy, 2, found alone at parade shooting among dead

Aiden McCarthy’s photo was shared across Chicago-area social media groups in the hours after the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, accompanied by pleas to help identify the 2-year-old who had been found at the scene bloodied and alone and to reunite him with his family. On Tuesday, friends and authorities confirmed that the […]
21 hours ago
FILE - A truck arrives to pick up a shipping container near vessels moored at Maersk APM Terminals ...
Associated Press

West Coast dockworkers still talking after contract expires

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A contract between shipping companies and 22,000 West Coast dockworkers expired over the weekend. But both sides continued to talk and said they want to avoid a strike that could savage an economy already stressed by soaring inflation and supply chain woes. The contract that expired last Friday covered workers at […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Bradford Freeman, last “Band of Brothers” survivor has died

CALEDONIA, Miss. (AP) — Bradford Freeman, the last survivor of the famed Army unit featured in the World War II oral history book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” has died at the age of 97. Freeman died Sunday at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, according to Lowndes Funeral Home in Columbus, Mississippi. Freeman was born in […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Judge: Regulators wrong to ban beer label that had naked man