The War on "Supersized Alcopops"

Prohibitionists succeeded in removing the caffeine from Four Loco. Now they're targeting the alcohol.

Roughly a year ago, it looked like it might be last call for Four Loko, the notorious fruit-flavored malt liquor that was allegedly as lethal as a Mexican drug cartel. While even the strongest incarnation of the beverage contained only 12 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), or about as much as your average white zinfandel, Four Loko also contained caffeine, guarana, and taurine, and these ingredients had made the brand both a college party staple and a convenient target for critics who charged its manufacturer, the Chicago-based Phusion Products, with irresponsibly pandering to young consumers who had already turned the non-alcoholic energy drink market into a multi-billion-dollar business. On November 17, 2010, the Federal Drug administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to the company that essentially advised Phusion Projects to remove Four Loko from the marketplace or else face potential product seizures, injunctions, and prosecutions.

While Phusion had announced a day earlier that it was planning to remove the caffeine, guarana, and taurine from its products, the threat of imminent FDA action produced a substantial chilling effect in convenience-store coolers everywhere. In the wake of the FDA’s letter, Phusion’s three co-founders would later recount at the 2011 Industry Beer Summit, the company lost more than 30,000 distribution points as retailers balked at selling the product. In addition, Phusion was stuck with as much as $30 million worth of unsalable inventory, which according to Phusion vice president of communications, Chris Short, it eventually “destroyed and recycled into ethanol.”

Ironically, the FDA warning letter produced a similar quandary for Four Loko’s foes as it did for Four Loko’s creators—how to proceed when caffeine was no longer part of the mix? While Phusion Products was busy reformulating its product line, Alcohol Justice, a non-profit advocacy organization formerly known as the Marin Institute, reformulated its argument against Four Loko, Anheuser-Busch’s Tilt, and similar products. “They took the caffeine out of their drinks, but now they are fueling youth binge drinking with giant single-serving cans of alcopops,” exclaimed Alcohol Justice’s Executive Director Bruce Lee Livingston in a January 2011 press release. Eliminating caffeine from flavored malt beverages was a start, the organization suggested, but it also proposed that the container sizes of these products be limited to 12 ounces at most, and that their alcohol content not exceed 6 percent by volume.

As it turns out, both Four Loko and Four Loko’s critics have been surprisingly successful in the post-caffeine era. While Phusion faced some temporary setbacks in the wake of the FDA letter, it quickly brought caffeine-free versions of its products to market and experienced strong sales. According to Phusion’s Chris Short, 106,000 retail outlets currently buy Phusion’s products, and there are roughly 600,000 distribution points in those 106,000 accounts. “We’ve been able to regain most of those distribution points we lost [after the FDA ruling],” he says.

[article continues below video]

[In December 2010, Reason.tv explained why the feds banned Four Loko and asked whether your favorite drink was next. Click to watch.]

Having lost the cash cow that created a 2,966 percent sales revenue increase in 2009 and a 306 percent sales revenue increase in 2010, Phusion also made efforts to diversify its product line and penetrate new markets. In the caffeinated 
Loko era, its primary retail channels were convenience stores and liquor stores. In March, in an effort to obtain more placement in grocery stores, drug stores, and mass merchandisers, it introduced a new bottled version of Four Loko. The bottles are 11.2 ounces in size, they contain 8 percent alcohol by volume, and they’re sold as six-packs or twelve-packs. In September, it launched Poco Loko, a 16-ounce can version that contains 8 percent alcohol by volume. According to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm, total U.S. sales for Four Loko in convenience stores, supermarkets, drug stores, and mass market retailers excluding Wal-Mart for the 52-week period ending October 2, 2011 were $152 million, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. (SymphonyIRI does not include liquor store sales in this total.)

Earlier this month, Phusion announced that it had achieved the ultimate badge of mainstream approval—Wal-Mart will begin selling 12-packs of the bottled version of  Four Loko this fall. No doubt wary of Four Loko’s growing respectability, Alcohol Justice has ratcheted up its campaign against the brand. In an August 2011 report it published, From Alcoholic Energy Drinks to Supersized Alcopops, it suggests that “supersized alcopops” like Four Loko “may be just as dangerous  as their caffeinated predecessors because of the combination of high alcohol with sweet flavors.” In a press release publicizing this study, Bruce Lee Livingston went even further, claiming that the new “supersized alcopops” are an “arguably more dangerous product” than the alcoholic energy drinks they replaced.

Or to put it another way: By removing the caffeine that had ostensibly made Four Loko and other products like it the most dangerous elixirs ever to poison convenience-store coolers, Phusion and other manufacturers have somehow made their products even more dangerous!

While the logic of that argument may elude all but professional prohibitionists, it apparently had an impact at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In November 2010, when the FDA issued its warning letter to Phusion Products, the FTC issued one as well. In it, the FTC addressed Four Loko’s caffeine content and the fact that the FDA had warned Phusion that caffeine, as used in its product, was “an unsafe food additive” that might “present unusual risks to health and safety.” Selling a product that the FDA had deemed “unsafe,” the FTC advised, might also “constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45.”

While this warning letter noted that Four Loko was sold in 23.5-ounce cans and contained 11 to 13 percent alcohol by volume, it offered no indication that the FTC had specific concerns about these characteristics. On October 3rd, however, the FTC filed a new complaint against Four Loko. (Reason’s Jacob Sullum covers it here.) Essentially, its complaint echoes the argument that Alcohol Justice has been promoting over the last year. A 23.5-ounce, 12 percent alcohol by volume can of Four Loko has as much alcohol as 4.7 cans of regular beer, and yet the oversized cans are marketed as single-serving products meant to be consumed by one person on a single occasion. (The FTC assumes that “regular beer” comes in a 12 oz. can or bottle and contains 5 percent alcohol by volume).  And because in the FTC’s estimation a person cannot safely drink 4.7 servings of alcohol in a two-hour period, it believes that marketing 23.5-ounce cans of Four Loko as a single-serving product is deceptive.

While the chain of reasoning the FTC uses to reach this conclusion is dubious on many counts—why the two-hour cut-off period for starters?—Phusion has already agreed to change its packaging. “Even though we reached an agreement, we don’t share the FTC’s perspective and we disagree with their allegations,” Phusion’s Chris Short told me via email. “Our labeling has always clearly conveyed exactly what’s in the can…However, we take legal compliance very seriously and we share the FTC’s interest in making sure consumers get all the information and tools they need to make smart, informed decisions.”

Thus, while Four Loko’s cans already feature six different statements in 10 locations about the product’s alcohol content and the fact that an ID is required for purchase, it will add yet another message to the mix. “This can has as much alcohol as 4 1/2 regular (12 oz. 5 percent alc/vol) beers,” future cans will read. In addition, Phusion is developing a new reusable cap closure technology that will allow consumers to ration a single can across multiple drinking sessions. Short says the new caps will be the first for any alcoholic beverage worldwide and will be available in stores by Spring 2012.

While Alcohol Justice’s advocacy efforts appear to have inspired the FTC’s complaint against Phusion, the group is less than pleased with the agreement the two parties have reached. In a letter it sent to the FTC, the organization points out that the new disclaimer about a single can of Four Loko containing as much alcohol as four regular beers may actually backfire and “serve as a marketing device” rather than a warning. It also claims that “it’s absurd to even imagine how a [resealable] cap will deter youth from drinking an entire container at once.” And ultimately it concludes that “the high alcohol content in the large single-serving container is itself deceptive.” In other words, the only real way to make Four Loko and similar products fit for commerce is to pursue the course Alcohol Justice has already laid out it in its model legislation: Limit container sizes and alcohol content.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Caption Contest:

    "My name is Chuck and I am a double-fister..."

  • Apatheist||

    Damn, I was going to make a double fisting joke too.

  • WTF||

    "I have it on good authority that these drinks cause moobies."

  • rather||

    "These cans are similar to the jars that rather farts into."

  • THE END OF GROWTH||

    You might have heard the news: we're at the end of growth. Growth of the economy, of consumption, of wealth. That this would happen isn’t news to those who’ve followed the writings of Meadows, Heinberg, and many others. What’s different now is that the end of growth may have actually arrived.

    On Friday we learned that after only two years of expansion (mid 2009 - mid 2011), the U.S. economy is re-entering recession:

    Early last week, ECRI notified clients that the U.S. economy is indeed tipping into a new recession. And there’s nothing that policy makers can do to head it off.
    ECRI’s recession call isn’t based on just one or two leading indexes, but on dozens of specialized leading indexes, including the U.S. Long Leading Index, which was the first to turn down – before the Arab Spring and Japanese earthquake – to be followed by downturns in the Weekly Leading Index and other shorter-leading indexes. In fact, the most reliable forward-looking indicators are now collectively behaving as they did on the cusp of full-blown recessions, not "soft landings."

    Why is this happening so soon? What's the bigger context here?

    We're not just entering a new recession - we're at the end of growth as we've known it.

    We have passed or are near many of the peaks in natural resources, both by drawing down non-renewable resources and by hyperexploiting renewable ones.

    For example, here are some points we've passed and haven't looked back (approximate dates):

    1979: Peak per-capita gross energy production
    1986: Peak grain per capita
    1989-1995: Peak wild fish catch
    1990: Peak net energy production
    2000: Peak fresh water availability
    2005: Peak conventional oil production
    2011-14: Peak all-liquids (conventional+unconventional oil) production
    It's possible to overshoot a resource base - civilizations have done it time and again - but only temporarily. The list above is a small subset of what we've depleted or are depleting, and many of the critical ones - oil, for instance - have no real substitutes. Even if there were substitutes, we would have to have started a crash program 20 years ago to transition without economic impacts. But it's too late for that.

    What's the consequence of these constraints?

    There's a simple cycle that everyone should step back and observe, because we're going to be stuck in it for at least the rest of this decade if not the next one as well:

    A recession occurs (2007-2008)
    Demand falls due to the recession (2008-2009)
    Oil/gasoline prices fall (2008-2009)
    A recovery begins (2009)
    The recovery self-sustains for a short period of time (2009-2010)
    Oil prices rise due to increased demand (2010-2011)
    The recovery falters due to increased oil costs (2010-2011)
    A new recession begins (2011)
    When oil prices hit $90/barrel last December, those watching oil prices were worried this would cause a new recession. In a diary in May I predicted we'd see a recession within 12 months due to the persistent high oil prices we'd seen from December through May. (My prediction was nothing special - many others who were tracking oil prices came to a similar conclusion.)

    How does this lead to the end of economic growth?

    As the foundation of oil upon which we've built our industrial system crumbles, we will face direct economic impacts. Hirsch, whose 2005 study for the Department of Energy on the peaking of world oil production is still the gold standard, conducted further studies to try to understand how oil connects to GDP. He concluded that there's a 1-to-1 relationship: for every 1% oil production declines, world GDP declines 1%.

    How much does he expect world oil production to decline? Here's what he says:

    Best Case Scenario: Maximum world oil production is followed by a period of relatively flat production (a plateau) before the onset of a decline rate of 2–5% per year.

    This indicates that in the best case scenario we should expect a yearly 2-5% decline in world GDP, which is roughly equivalent to having a recession nearly yearly (though it's unlikely to be that steady).

    The trend break happened in 2005, when global oil production stopped increasing. We've been on a plateau of sorts since then. While the graph above is technically about oil, it maps directly to the economy: we've been on an economic plateau since then.

    This recently revised chart from Calculated Risk shows that the latest GDP numbers indicate that we're still below 2007-level economic activity once you adjust for inflation:


    Now that we're entering a new recession, that GDP is going to head down again before we even made it past the previous peak GDP. That is, we've hit the end of economic growth in quantitative terms.

    Going forward, as I mentioned in previous diaries, it's unlikely that this will result in a constant, smooth decline. Now that oil production is flat and soon to be declining, what happens? We hit our head on the oil ceiling, a recession ensues, and as we begin to recover, we quickly find ourselves hitting our heads on the oil ceiling because production is declining. This has two consequences:

    After a recession, the recovery that ensues will only be a partial recovery - that is, the economy won't recover to a better state than it was in before the recession
    Recessions are likely to be more frequent (maybe on the order of every 3 years)
    The right priorities and the wrong priorities.

    A good rule of thumb is that when there is consensus on an issue in Washington (or Wall Street), it's probably wrong. And there is consensus among the mainstream left and the right, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives that growth is good and should be our objective. What all of the above is indicating is that growth isn't possible any more. Doesn't matter if it's "smart growth" or "dumb growth" or growth for the benefit of corporations or growth for the benefit of the 99%. We've reached the long-forecasted Limits to Growth.

    What can be done?

    To be honest, I don't expect that much can be done top-down or bottom-up. The institutions we have, and the forms of activism we have, don't work well to address problems like this. The best approach may be individuals and communities first coming to grips with this situation, and then taking action to become more resilient.

    I'm not going to suggest a rescue remedy that will solve the problems above, because there isn't one.

    Rather, the point is that this isn't the end of the world and we can live fulfilling lives with less - something we all know, but sometimes forget to implement.

    Here are some things (far from comprehensive) that each of us can do to prepare for this new, harder era both by reducing our costs and by reducing our community's dependence upon the oil economy:

    Pick up a copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette (and similar books) from your local library and start cutting costs.
    Weatherize your home or apartment.
    Stop purchasing consumables and disposables.
    Eat only organic, local produce.
    Stop eating meat/eggs/dairy not from farms that are local, grassfed, and organic.
    Use public transportation and travel by train.
    Grow, prepare, and preserve and can your own food.
    Use only truly renewable energy sources.
    Withdraw from the money economy as much as possible.
    Few people have taken all of these steps today - I sure haven't - but I'm working on them slowly and think that there's the possibility of a simpler and fulfilling life ahead if we're willing to adapt to our new circumstances.

    Until next time...

    Update:

    I thought I should add that if you had to read one book that gets into the future we're looking at, it's Bill McKibben's Eaarth. He might be the only popular journalist today who squarely addresses the economic and ecological limits we face, and does so in easy to understand language. If you have time for another book, I recommend checking out Richard Heinberg's new book The End of Growth which goes into more depth on a number of these topics.

    Original here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....mic-Growth

  • Appalachian Australian||

    You forgot Peak Four Loko.

  • Underpants Gnome||

    It's peak EVERYTHING! Panic in the streets! lol

  • Underpants Gnome||

    It is not, however, peak environmental panic. We need more panic.

  • Grif||

    Have we reached peak big bad wolf?

  • Mainer||

    cool story, bro

  • Peak Gambol||

    Is in the house.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Daily kos. Funny joke.

  • ||

    The End of Growth poster is an obvious liberal troll. Anyone that quotes the KOS is at best brain damaged and at worst, a raving left wing loon.

    All that needs to be done to jumpstart growth is to send Obama and his Marxist thugs back to Chicago in 2012.

  • robc||

    GREAT WALL OF TEXT

  • Apatheist||

    All you have to do is scroll to the end and see that it is from dailykos.

  • George V||

    Correct. It saves one much time.

  • Anomalous||

    Markos Moulitsas IS a kos. Daily.

  • ||

    Just imagine if he had consumed a caffeinated Four Loko before posting... it would have been twice as long!

  • ||

    I have a feeling it's a she, not a he, if you know what I mean.

  • Hank||

    99% of this blame lies with Budweiser. They pulled their own caffeinated product due to consumer-group pressure, then bankrolled the legislative attacks on anyone else who tried to fill that market.

    (And psst, OWS: that ain't capitalism.)

  • That's capitalism||

    Just not your fantasy definition.

  • ||

    Certainly not your fantasy of "unregulated capitalism" though.

  • Another Phil||

    I can't speak for everyone (after all, I'm not part of the 99%), but I would let you have the word "capitalism" if you'd agree to stay the fuck away from the new word we come up with.

  • ||

    Well, according to citizen's united, it is free speech. Granted, free speech intended to squelch free choice, but still

  • ||

    Nope, not capitalism ... it's the dirty rotten stinking Belgians!

  • Some Guy||

    Alcohol Justice, a non-profit advocacy organization

    Anyone from a group called "Alcohol Justice" that isn't a band needs to have their throat punched.

  • Alcohol For Great Justice||

  • Anomalous||

    +1

  • ||

    I drank one of those once and it colored my poo.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Has anyone ever actually seen these at a party? College parties I've been around just have cheap vodka and mix in their own fruit juice.

  • Hank||

    White college kids know better. Bruce Lee Livingston is out to protect the poor ignorant negro from himself, lest he contract Malt-Liquor Madness.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Anaconda Malt Liquor gives you oooOO!

  • PantsFan||

  • Hank||

    The high alcohol level plus the sickly-sweet flavors that mask the alcohol taste is a dangerous combination, packaged in cans perfectly sized for shotgunning and drinking games.

    And the openings are perfectly-sized to allow the user to drink them! And the cans are eerily suited to the size of the human hand!

    Go fuck yourself, Bruce Lee Livingston.

  • Matt||

    Are they really the perfect size for shotgunning? Shotgunning is pretty rough even for a 12oz can; that carbonation does not sit well at all after you finish.

  • ||

    Shhhh! If we all stay quiet they may not learn about Long Island Iced Tea.

  • ||

    A classic case of "moral entrepreneurship".

  • ||

    "A 23.5-ounce, 12 percent alcohol by volume can of Four Loko has as much alcohol as 4.7 cans of regular beer, and yet the oversized cans are marketed as single-serving products meant to be consumed by one person on a single occasion."

    So what's the problem? Only drink three!

  • Matt||

    They think that's dangerous? Once I bought a bottle from a liquor store that was 1.75 liters and contained 50% alcohol by volume. By my math that could kill about 3 people if consumed in a single serving. Where is the FTC/FDA/MOMMY AND DADDY?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    You know, I hope this kind of legislation doesn't start targeting stuff like Great Lakes Christmas Ale at 7.5% or Great Lakes Blackout Stout at 9.0%.

    Oh my god, one Christmas Ale is the equivalent alcohol to two Bud Lights!

  • ||

    Or Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, at 15-20%.

    On a side note, I had an interesting beer from Lompoc Brewery in Oregon last night, but I cannot seem to find it on their website. It was good, though.

  • Hank||

    I can admit the 120 Minute exceeds my taste for hops. 90 Minute is a treat, but 60 Minute would be my eternal beer of choice, given only one.

  • ||

    120 Minute exceeds my taste for malt, not hops.

  • Matt||

    Yeah 120 minute is a bit under-attenuated. Actually I think most DFH beers would benefit from maybe a 5% drop in FG. Still delicious though.

  • ||

    Lagunitas seems to have figured out the perfect amount of hops in a number of their beers. The Hairy Eyeball and the Little Sumpin' Sumpin' are fucking delicious. All their shit is good.

  • Sparky||

    All this beer talk really has my interest piqued. Give me a few sites where I might be able to order this stuff keeping in mind that I live in MA.

  • sarcasmic||

    Better yet, make your own.

    http://www.homebrewing.org/

  • Sparky||

    Better yet, make your own.

    Too much work. I'll stick to the strictly consumer end of this market.

  • robc||

    Hauling 3 kegs to a Halloween party tomorrow...have a APA and a Strong Dark Belgian fermenting away.

    Of course, Im in the process of turning it from hobby to work.

  • sarcasmic||

    Of course, Im in the process of turning it from hobby to work.

    I looked into what it would take to do that and gave up before I started.
    I'd have to move to a different state first.
    It's fucking nuts the rules they have here.
    For example I could not sell anything directly. By law all alcoholic beverages must go through a wholesaler.
    Can't make any food or drink intended to be sold at home or in a garage. Must be a separate dedicated building. Because my lot is less than two acres the town won't issue me a building permit. That means buying or renting another property.
    And the state permits and fees? $50K.

    There are so many barriers for entry into the market it's no surprise the economy stinks.

  • robc||

    For example I could not sell anything directly. By law all alcoholic beverages must go through a wholesaler.

    True almost everywhere. Some states do have self distribution laws, but usually there is a size exception (must be small). I would love if KY had that exception though -- I dont want to seriously self distribute, but doing a little bit would be useful.

    Can't make any food or drink intended to be sold at home or in a garage. Must be a separate dedicated building.

    Federal law.

    And the state permits and fees? $50K.

    Yikes. Gonna cost me a few K for that stuff.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yikes. Gonna cost me a few K for that stuff.

    That's why I said I would need to move to another state. Our neighboring state with the motto "Live free or Die" is much more business friendly.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    COlorado is calling!

  • sarcasmic||

    COlorado is calling!

    It can keep calling. Lived there for many years, moved away and haven't looked back.

  • ||

    You gott alive props to jimmy carter for that. It's about the only thing we can thank him for

  • ||

    Just go to Yankee Spirits, dude.

  • Sparky||

    There's one of these much closer to where I live the but selection is still somewhat limited.

  • ||

    Ever go to The Student Prince? Good stuff, and good beer.

  • Sparky||

    Yes, I've been there a few times and I agree they have good stuff. I guess I'm looking for brand ideas of new things to try. I'm mostly into ales and stouts but they're not so easy to find around here.

    BBC has a decent selection but I'd like to branch out a bit more.

  • ||

    Well, I could get all kinds of stuff in the package stores when I lived in Connecticut. I suggest hopping on 91 and finding a larger store in Thompsonville or Enfield, and I think you'll find plenty of interesting stuff to try. Do not try a supermarket, of course. Their selection is worse than abysmal.

  • Matt||

    My friends live in MA, there are plenty of great liquor stores around. They have a Kappy's which is usually what we go to. As for some terminology:

    "Ale" simply means a beer uses ale yeast, which is usually fermented at warmer temperatures. This separates it from "lager" beer, which uses lager yeast and is usually fermented at cooler temperatures. Almost all beers fit into those two categories. For instance, all stouts are ales.

    Actually, pretty much every craft beer sold in the US is an ale.

  • Sparky||

    Kappy's is where I go after I've checked the small shop around the corner. Pretty much everywhere I go in the area is stocked up with Bud/Miller/Coors with the occasional one-off. Table and Vine has a bit bigger selection of the non-standard stuff but that's not saying much. And don't even mention Sam Adams, I'd rather drink warm dog piss.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you ever make it into Maine there's a shop in Portland called RSVP that has literally hundreds of different brews on the shelf.

  • Hank||

    I'm always surprised by Sam Adams hate. It's far and away the best beer available at my local Kroger or Wal-Mart, and it's cheap(ish). Plus, the variety packs can at least keep things interesting during a basketball/football party without having to stop and explain my beer to everyone (which I realize is exactly what some people get off on).

  • ||

    People rag on Sam adams for the same reason they rag on former Indy bands that go to a major label and this are no longer "cool". It has little hipster cred because it's in the big leagues. It's the same syndrome we see I music, art, etc. it's too popular airstream, etc so it's not cool.

  • Sparky||

    I rag on Sam Adams because it tastes awful. I've had at least 8 of their different brews and they all suck.

  • robc||

    Be careful with that ale defintion around Brits. It pisses them off that they dont control the english language.

  • ||

    robc, what would say is the best stocked liquor store in Louisville, specifically hard liquor and obscure liqueurs?

  • robc||

    Liquor Outlet.

    I dont really know much about obscure liqueurs, so there may be a specialty shop with a better selection, but the Outlet wins otherwise.

    I think the Hurstbourne and 64 location is the best bet.

  • ||

    Thanks. I'm sick of having to order stuff on-line. UPS is a pain.

  • Hank||

    [Adds "stop by Liquor Outlet" to my pre-Halloween party to-do list.]

  • ||

    Speaking. Of obscure liquors, my neighbor had some of this BUBBLE GUM flavored vodka. It speaks for itself. I liked it. It's the Michael bay vodka

  • sarcasmic||

    Bacon makes anything better -

    http://www.theagitator.com/200.....r-bourbon/

  • Apatheist||

    Little Sumpin' Sumpin' is amazing, I concur.

  • Joe M||

    I need to try their IPA again. First time I had it years ago, I had not yet become a hophead.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Get the fuck out of MA. Your life will improve if you let it.

  • Sparky||

    Get the fuck out of MA. Your life will improve if you let it.

    If only it were that simple. I have one of those lives where I'm able to live comfortably at status quo but things would get out of hand with that kind of change. I am the 99%.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    Dead Guy Ale
    Very appropriate for the next day, too

    http://www.rogue.com/beers/dead-guy-ale.php

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't like either of them.
    After spending a year trying to brew the best session ale, I just can't stomach uber-hopped beers anymore.

  • robc||

    120 minutes exceeds....everything. Blech.

    If I was forced to only drink 1 beer for the rest of my life (which would totally suck), it would probably be Bell's 2-hearted.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Dry Dock ESB for me.

  • dunkel||

    Aurora FTW....I grew up in Mission Viejo.

  • ||

    I order a Bell's 2-Hearted about once a year. And then I'm reminded why it's been a year since I ordered it. Of course, I realize I'm in the vast minority, but to each his own.

  • Hank||

    My first Bell's 2-Hearted was when I ducked into a small Chicago bar during a street music-fest. By the time I walked back out, the festival was over. Fantastic beer.

  • dunkel||

    I can't argue with this, but only because Hopslam is not a year round release.

  • Joe M||

    The only time I bought the 120min, it was 21%. Took an hour to drink one bottle.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Since when can "youth" (presumably youths are under age 21) buy and legally drink alcohol? Or are children children until age 26? Man, that's gonna really skew the "children killed by guns" statistics.

  • Brady group||

    Man, that's gonna really skew the "children killed by guns" statistics.

    Shit, they're catching on!

  • ||

    No Alcohol Justice? Know alcohol... and justice.

    Know Alcohol Justice? No alcohol... or justice.

  • ||

    but now they are fueling youth binge drinking with giant single-serving cans of alcopops

    Because binge drinking never would have occurred to college kids otherwise, eh?

    Cripes, do any of these people live in the real world?

  • Ted S.||

    If Poko Loko’s downsized cans and alcohol content are dangerous because they might convince “youth” that they can drink more cans of it without risk to their safety or health, wouldn’t an even smaller, weaker version of the product be that much more seductive and dangerous?

    Wait until the homeopathic version of Four Loko comes out.

  • ||

    Lol. Think of all the distended bladders! They could explode. Ban it now! Per-emotive ban. Even better, by executive order. For the children

  • Mainer||

    The opponents of this stuff are the ones who come up with the clever names like alcopop; remember blackout in a can ? Seems like they are more fascinated than the people actually buying it. Is this like congressman who hate teh gayz, then get caught in an airport men's room ?

  • ||

    I drink my four loko with a wide stance!

  • This is how Mass Society works||

    Dunbar, technological advances, and the failure of social structure
    Published on October 14th, 2011
    http://earlyretirementextreme......uctur.html

  • ||

    Wine bottles come in the same volume--why do they not have the same warning labels about the beer equivalent they contain?

  • Old Man with Candy||

    Because sophisticated politicians drink wine. Urban negroes and skeezy teens drink alcopop and malt liquor (I used to have a Vietnamese engineer working for me who only drank King Cobra because he believed that it would make his dick as big as a black guy's).

    I like to force-feed wine to pregnant women. That warning label is way too tempting.

  • sarcasmic||

    Back when I used to smoke I rolled my own because the warning label said that this product was known by the state of California to cause cancer, and since I don't live in California I figured I was all set.

  • $6M RoboTorso||

    Bum Wine.com
    Call them bum wines, street wines, fortified wines, wino wines, or twist-cap wines.
    Whatever you call these beverages for the economical drunkard, this page explores the top five.
    So curl up on a heating duct and enjoy....

  • Johnny Clamboat||

    An excellent review of bottom shelf wines:

    http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~o.....98_10.html

  • Mr. Mark||

    Mommy Government! Mommy Government! Can I have a Four Loko? Can I? Can I?

    Ah, geez, Mommy Government....

    But I'm so tired of carrot juice and tofu. Why did Uncle Ted get to drink Four Loko?

  • Mainer||

    Uncle Ted was American royalty, sweety.

  • Robert||

    Every steop of the way to total prohibition, a group like Alcohol Justice would insist that they're against prohibition and not against all liquor consumption, while favoring any particular anti-liquor measure they could think of.

  • Mainer||

    Just like the anti-gun people, who, of course ! respect the 2nd Amendment. They only support reasonable restrictions.

  • Sparky||

    Yeah, great idea. Let's arm everyone. As soon as you put a gun in a person's hand there's nothing stopping them from immediately going on a rampage and shooting down anyone that gets in their path. And those that don't will only because they shot themselves making sure the barrel was clean. Not to mention all the 4-year-olds that will be gunning down their whole family because daddy couldn't put his gun in a safe place. What kind of sick monster are you?

  • sarcasmic||

    The 2nd Amendment says militia, which means National Guard.

    So the 2nd Amendment protects the government's right to keep and bear arms.

    Therefor any restriction on the peoples' right to keep and bear arms, including an outright ban, is consistent with the 2nd Amendment.

    See?

    You can support banning guns and still respect the 2nd Amendment. It's all in how you interpret it.

  • rsi||

    Yes, the founders were very concerned that the government's ability to raise troop would be impaired.

  • RoboCain||

    Obviously, Four Loko should only be sold in gun shops.

  • ||

    In Nevada, that practice is condoned and expected.

  • ||

    This crap makes me so freakin mad I could drop kick a midget.

    Oh and hey Chuckie, they sell energy drinks and alcoholic drinks separately.. and, (gasp!) you can order them mixed at the bar of your choice.

    Crap, is the Applebee's where I go to watch football going to get flash-banged now?

  • WW||

    Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • ||

    Do they have chili cheese fries. If so, I'm writing a warrant and seizing me some greasy goodness! Greasy goodness always tastes better when it's seized via the barrel of a gun and enjoyed while wearing jackboots!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    If a paternalist dies in the woods, do I care?

  • ||

    I really hate these asshole nannystate morons. In our state, the push to ban four look came after some college students at a party got so drunk one or more had to be taken to the hospital! Of course they blamed the four look. God knows a college student has never engaged in binge drinking before that resulted in dangerously high overconsumption of alcohol and god forbid a college student could like read the label and see it had 12% alcohol. Furthermore, especially here in the PAC nw NOBODY has ever mixed stimulants such as caffeine and/or a red bull with alcohol. That's INCONCEIVABLE. Nope personal responsibility means nothing. When in doubt get histrionic, proclaim a crisis, weep for the vulnerable "children", who in this case are fucking college students, GODDAMIT PASS A LAW AND BAN SOMETHING (which of course fucks over at least temporarily the corp that makes the shit, although I suspect they got street cred for their next incarnation. Alcohol and caffeine are a time honored evil combination... Rumor has it they drove the Dude to a life of consorting with child rapists, PTSD suffering faux Jewish war vets, and pee happy anarchists!

  • ||

    Actually they were nihilists not anarchists iirc

  • ||

    at least binge drinking is a fucking ethos.

  • Apatheist||

    Kahlua has negligable amounts of caffeine.

    "god forbid a college student could like read the label and see it had 12% alcohol."

    In fact they did read and bought it for that exact reason. There is not other reason to drink four loko other than to get drunk. Lower the alcohol content and they'll just drink more or something else. Remove the caffein and they'll just have a cup of coffee or an energy drink. It's incredibly retarded that people are even talking about it.

  • ||

    Yea. Just like "nature will find a way" a la Jurassic park :). Teenagers who want to get fucked up will find a way. That's why red bull and vodka was fucking invented in the first place - the time honored combo of a stimulant and a depressant. Heck, what do they think speedballs were? Explain to me the difference between the two... Fuck, I put vodka in my (low carb ) energy drink sometimes. Same fucking thing. If one of these assholes gets all jacked up and shit and strives - that is their fucking fault, not four loko

  • ||

    Ugh. DRIVES not strives

  • Robert||

    Aw, I liked it better before your correction.

  • Anomalous||

    With the weather getting colder, an Irish coffee sounds good right about now. Or will that be illegal too?

  • BakedPenguin||

    There is no other reason to drink four loko other than to get drunk.

    This. I bought one out of support for the company after they started getting all this BS from scumbag pols. It's nasty stuff - SLD.

  • ||

    For many people, there's no other reason to drink (insert liquor item here) except to get drunk. And that's their fucking right. God knows in college, we weren't buying and drinking the 40 oz Shaeffer's for the taste or the cachet

  • DLM||

    It sounds almost like they just want to run the company out of business for some reason. I wonder if it's something personal.

  • Joe M||

    In a press release publicizing this study, Bruce Lee Livingston went even further, claiming that the new “supersized alcopops” are an “arguably more dangerous product” than the alcoholic energy drinks they replaced.

    Oh my god, fuck these guys in the ear. Absolute bullshit. The company preemptively complied with their old demands, which, as we all know, were just an excuse to try to destroy the entire company. Since that failed, they've changed their story in a second attempt to destroy the company. Maybe they should add the stimulants back into Four Loko to make it safer?

  • ||

    Many Belgian style brews are over 6%, are they going to ban Belgian beer too?

  • ||

    The four loko ban affected the sale of course, not the possession. There was a mad frenzy to buy the stuff before the ban here in WA. WE had a sweet four loko party afterwards. UFC and four loko (-another target of nannystaters eg john McCain who referred to it as human cockfighting). And anybody who thinks progressives are pro freedom should search for four loko threads at DU. TONS of progressives there supported the ban.

  • mr lizard||

    These clowns just reinvigorated the brand. Four loko had pretty much lost it's appeal because frankly it tastes like liquid ass.

  • ||

    Exactly. I bought some before the ban just to say fuck you to the banners and help the company out.

  • DLM||

    So just increase the "servings per container" and reduce the "serving size" on the label. Most 16 oz. energy drinks now say 2 servings per container.

  • keith||

    we should resist caffeine together.

  • Esteban||

    I'm reading this while drinking a Sam Adams Black & Brew coffee stout. Caffeine and alcohol. Mmmmmm. The hypocrisy of the Obama administration fascists knows no bounds.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Their Chocolate Bock was killer, as well. Too bad you have to buy the sampler pack to get them.

    Founders Breakfast Stout, though... double chocolate, double coffee, nine percent... God, I love that shit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fucking liberals.

  • grinding plant||

    For many people, there's no other reason to drink (insert liquor item here) except to get drunk. And that's their fucking right. God knows in college, we weren't buying and drinking the 40 oz Shaeffer's for the taste or the cachet

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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