Smashbomb beer too violent for Ontario. That’s crazy.
on 07/04/11 at 9:21 amBeer
The suds cops at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario have stamped out a popular beer made by a Barrie, Ont., micro-brewery because they deem inappropriate the name and cartoonish label of Smashbomb Atomic IPA.
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery shared the news with angry fans on Facebook and on bartowel.com, a forum that bills itself as Ontario’s premier beer resource.
“It’s things like this that makes me sad to live in Ontario. Especially when I travel to the U.S. and am faced with an entire wall of unique, reasonably priced craft-brewed beer,” one fan wrote on Facebook.
The brew, a hoppy India pale ale, has been a smash hit on tap at London, Ont.’s Morrisey House, where it quickly sold out late last year and was re-ordered for this month.
“That’s why we brought it back — people love it so much,” said Amey Lawrence, a server at Morrisey.
Customers try it for the name, but get it again for the taste, she said.
That’s a better taste than what’s been left in the mouth of Flying Monkeys’ founder, Peter Chiodo.
Chiodo couldn’t be reached for comment, but previously described the rejection by the LCBO.
“The LCBO stated the name would have to be completely changed. Smashbomb is/was too extreme and the packaging was not politically correct for what is going on in the world,” he wrote online.
“Even though it is incredibly frustrating, I know the LCBO product/category managers are supportive of the craft movement. Their hands are tied with (social responsibility officials) We could have changed the name and such but I just feel it was the wrong thing to do.”
The label shows the name inside an explosion that looks like campy graphics from the 1960s Batman television series, along with quirky captions, such as: “Go ahead, drop the bomb.”
LCBO did not immediately respond to QMI Agency’s request for comment.
A refusal by Ontario’s liquor monopoly can be a crippling blow for a winery, whose only alternative is to sell at the vinyard.
Brewers whose products have been removed from the LCBO inventory have another option: Selling at the Molson- and Labatt-owned Beer Stores. But there’s a steep price, Chiodo said.
“(Smashbomb Atomic IPA) will be released to micro-supportive Beer Stores in four to six weeks. We will be giving Molson and Labbatt $2,600 for the listing and $280 or so for each store we list at. It hurts.”
The little brewery has a history of cheeky names, including Smash Jezebel Honey Bomb, Sweet Badass Chaos Theory, Munchkin Toss Mango and Over the F’in rainbow pineapple.