By William Brand
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 at 10:23 pm in Uncategorized.
Wow, here’s a lesson in government-ese for you. If you brew beer in Weed, California, better be careful what you put on the label, not to mention the bottle cap. The feds are watching.
SACRAMENTO _ Vaune Dillmann thought the wording on his bottle caps was just a clever play on the name of the Northern California town where he brews his beer _ Weed.
Federal alcohol regulators thought differently. They have ordered Dillmann to stop selling beer bottles with caps that read “Try Legal Weed.”
The dispute started in February when Dillmann sent the proposed label for his latest beer, Lemurian Lager, to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for approval. The agency, which regulates the industry, asked for some changes to the label, along with a sample bottle cap.
Dillmann obliged, sending the caps he has been using for his five current beers.
The agency responded that the message on the caps amounted to a drug reference. In a letter explaining its decision, the agency said the wording could “mislead consumers about the characteristics of the alcoholic beverage.”
Dillmann scoffs at the notion that his label has anything to do with smoking pot.
“I’ve never tried marijuana in my life,” he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I don’t advocate that. It’s just our town’s name.”
The town of 3,000, sitting beneath Mount Shasta about 230 miles north of the state capital, takes its name from Abner Weed, a timber baron who opened a lumber mill there in 1901 and eventually was elected to the state Senate.