Go ahead and push your LSD beer in Minnesota. But cross into Wisconsin or North Dakota and you will have the feds making sure you follow the letter of the law.
That's the lesson learned by operators of the Minneapolis-based Indeed Brewing taproom, which wanted to market its Lavender, Sunflower Honey and Dates brew with the visual emphasis on the L, S and D.
Everything was fine selling the honey ale with the flashback-inspired acronym solely within Minnesota, said Indeed co-founder and co-owner Thomas Whisenand. But once Indeed revealed its intention to sell and market the ale across state lines in Wisconsin and North Dakota, a thin sliver of the federal government was leery of the Timothy Leary allusion.
Any out-of-state marketing by Indeed — on the cans, posters or other promotional material — could not highlight the letters L, S and D. Whisenand said that's what a bureaucrat with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau told him.
"We're not trying to promote drugs or anything like that," said Whisenand, the psychedelic artwork on the cans notwithstanding. "It's a funky beer with a funky name. We're just trying to have fun."
Fun or not, it was a bad trip back to the drawing board for the LSD cans and even the kegs' labeling in pursuit of a COLA, as in certificate of label approval.
The ale's rollout in 16-ounce cans and kegs to Wisconsin and North Dakota is imminent, so "we're up against a bit of a deadline," Whisenand said.
The approved cans still have the initials L, S and D lined up north to south, but "they are not bolded or anything like that," Whisenand said.