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Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's the End of the Trail for Hop Obama

A small Brooklyn brewery may have a better case for receiving some of the massive stimulus pork than some of the big banks that have been using the funds for corporate jets and lavish Super Bowl parties.

Six Points Craft Ales, located in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, has been ordered by the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau to stop producing Hop Obama. The popular beer was first brewed last year during the Presidential primaries and the brewery donated money from each beer sold to Project Vote, a group that works to register low-income and minority voters.

While it appears all was good during the campaign, Six Points did not have permission to use President Obama's likeness on the label. Every opportunistic corporation from magazine publishers to collector coin marketers appears able to ride the wave of Obama popularity, but the feds are drawing the line when it comes to beer.

The interesting thing is that a TTB spokesperson is quoted in news reports as saying that the agency had given approval for the product, which it now says was done in "error." So Six Points followed the rules, but they have had to shutdown production and destroy any inventory they had of the product.

Hop Obama was released on March 12, 2008, by Six Points. It was sold in New York and Massachusetts. The beer was made with five different European malts, three different types of Pacific northwest hops and a Scottish yeast.

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