If you happen to have any curiosity about what can, can't, and should be on a beer label (especially if you might be considering starting a brewery), read on...
I've chalked this one up to the learning process. Much of what I learned on my submission for label approval to the TTB
(United States Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco T
ax and T
ureau) was applicable to my subsequent submissions for other labels.
The following, an adaptation of one of my homebrew labels, was nixed by the TTB:
As ruled by the TTB:
Malt beverage labels may not contain the words "strong", "full strength" or similar words likely to be considered/confused with statements of alcohol content.Code 108
The net content stated on your labels are in metric units of measure. US measure is required for malt beverages and must be stated as follows; If less than a pint = In fluid ounces, If 1 pint, 1 quart or 1 gallon = it shall be stated; If more than 1 pint, 1 quart, or 1 gallon = it shall be stated in fractions or in quarts, pints and ounces. Example: 1 pint 9 fluid ounces.
THE NET CONTENTS MUST BE STATED AS "1 PINT, 6 FLUID OUNCES".Code 63
On containers of this size, the Government Warning statement must appear in printing not smaller than 2mm. When upper and lower case lettering is used, the lower case lettering must appear in 2 MM print. 27 CFR § 16.22(b)(2)Code 15
Your statement of alcohol content must be changed to read Alc. ______% by Vol. 27 CFR § 4.36(b)(1)Code 14
Your alcohol statement may not appear in printing smaller than 1 MM or larger than 3 MM. 27 CFR § 4.38(b)(3)Code 5
The company name and address (city and state) is required to appear on your front label. 27 CFR § 4.35(a)Code 116
The text "SUCKER PUNCH" and the image of the fist touts the alcohol content of the product and the effect that the product will have on the consumer. Delete or change this text.
I thought that I was warning folks about the alcohol content, rather than touting it.
There was even a now-obscure reference to an Abbott & Costello routine on the label.
Abbott is Costello's manager/corner man for a boxing match. Costello is overmatched in the upcoming bout, but Abbott is giving him a pep talk:
Give him the old one-three, one-three.
What happened to "two"?
"Two" you get.
(Maybe you had to "be there.")
After going back to the proverbial drawing board, I submitted the following, which was approved by the TTB yesterday. Henceforth, the (Belgian style) Golden
Ale offered by The Blind Bat Brewery will be
Now all I have to do is get the label registered with the Wholesale Division of the NY State Liquor Authority, start making some sales calls, and get it out on shelves.
Oh yeah, and brew this sucker.