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Flying Dog Brewery Wins First Amendment Battle, Uses Proceeds to Promote Free Speech

The brewery will use damages from its case against the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to launch a 1st Amendment Society.

Flying Dog BreweryFlying Dog BreweryGood beer and free speech both prevail in this uncharacteristically feel-good First Amendment story. First, Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery won in its battle with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, after the agency tried to ban the sale of Flying Dog's delicious, Belgian-style IPA because of the brew's name: Raging Bitch.

The liquor commission also objected to the beer label's artwork, designed by Ralph Steadman, best known for illustrating Hunter S. Thompson's books and articles. 

Flying Dog sued the commission in 2009, but the case didn't come to a close until last year, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit sided with the brewery, saying Michigan officials could be held liable for violating the brewery's First Amendment rights, and Flying Dog could pursue damages for lost sales during the ban.

Now, Flying Dog has announced that it will use the damages received in that case to found the "1st Amendment Society," a non-profit dedicated to awareness-raising and advocacy around free-speech issues and organizing events that promote "the arts, journalism and civil liberties."

Flying Dog will launch the organization with a May 31 event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., featuring constitutional lawyer Alan Gura. Some of the society's first orders of business will be establishing a scholarship at the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism and hosting a banned-book club this summer at Flying Dog Brewery

"We don’t like ... arbitrary authoritarianism,” Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso said in a lengthy Brightest Young Things profile about his company last August. "The market should decide. If they don’t like our beer or our names, they can choose not to buy it." He added: "We do believe that freedom of speech is the last defense against tyranny."

In announcing the 1st Amendment Society's launch, Caruso said that the First Amendment "affects (and makes possible) all aspects of our lives, yet is consistently being threatened by the same democratic body that established it. It’s imperative that we continue this fight beyond the courtroom."

Photo Credit: Flying Dog Brewery/Facebook

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  • ||

    I'll be sure to pick up some Frying Dog when in the States.

    With it I will raise the middle finger in the air to salute authoritarians.

  • UnCivilServant||

    "Frying Dog"? Getting into Korean food?

  • ||

    It's a two-fer as far as Asian jokes go.

  • ||

    L.

    Damn.

  • Quixote||

    This is terrible, more abuse and yet another "free speech" organization? Hopefully they will limit themselves to advocating polite forms of expression, and do nothing to alert the public to the outrageous "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated, liberal judge in America's leading criminal "satire" case. See the documentation at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    have I become a cynic, to automatically think "We don’t like ... arbitrary authoritarianism" really means "We only like authoritarianism that benefits us!"

  • Cavadus||

    No, the very first thought I had after reading that was these people are probably anti-2A. And then "...first amendment last defense against tyranny..." all but confirmed that.

  • Mustang||

    The brewery will use damages from its case against the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to launch a 1st Amendment Society.

    Only good things can come from this.

  • Private Chipperbot||

    I wonder if Short's "Hangin' Frank" is on its way back. They had to change the name to "ControversAle" because the Michigan liquor commission didn't like the hanging thing.

  • Mustang||

    Yeah but this one has BEER!

    I assume there will be free beer.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    have you been hanging out with uncle Bernie?

  • Anomalous||

    The beer that made Frederick famous.

  • ||

    Who's Frederick?

  • Florida Hipster||

    It's pronounced Froderick.

  • brady949||

    "Good beer and free speech both prevail in this uncharacteristically feel-good First Amendment story."

    I've had their beer before. I'm not so sure about the first part of that sentence.

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    I like their beer so your opinion is wrong.

    Except this one, that one is awful and needs to be stopped.

  • Zeb||

    The name is also way dirtier than "raging bitch".

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    That might have something to do with why I do not like it.

    Visualize yourself drinking a pearl necklace.

    *Throws up in mouth*

  • ||

    Wuss.

  • sarcasmic||

    "She was gettin' bombed
    And I was gettin' blown away..."

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

  • brady949||

    That one is particularly awful.

  • PBR Streetgang||

    Interesting concept, but it isn't good.
    Tastes metallic, almost tinny.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    I kind of like the tinniness, which is a thing with a lot of Flying Dog's beers...

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    Do you prefer canned beer in general?

    I prefer beer that has not been canned (the sealants they line cans with do help), but I usually drink from the tap or from a bottle whenever possible, so maybe I'm just not used to the tinny taste.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    No, not usually.

    I like really hoppy beers, which I think tend to have a sort of metallic taste

  • invisible finger||

    I kind of like the tinniness, which is a thing with a lot of Flying Dog's beers...

    The door is open for them to open a brewery in Flint now.

  • Citizen X||

    It's alright. Beats drinking IPA.

  • PhalSe||

    I don't really care about the beer, but I was reaching for my wallet when i saw the Raging Bitch dog collar with bottle opener. Unfortunately not available in their store.

  • Rod Flash||

    Perfect example of craft brewers who think throwing a bunch of hops into a crappy beer makes a "delicious IPA".

  • Real American||

    and the more beer you drink, the less likely you are to censor yourself. It's a win-win-win!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It looks like this brewery turned out to be...

    [dons sunglasses]

    ...stout defenders of freedom.

  • Thrackmoor||

    YEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!

  • Thrackmoor||

    YEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    They certainly separated the wheat from the chaff, on this one.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And another one hops on the pun wagon.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Another rye remark.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And I barley got the first one.

  • Hugh Akston||

    That one barley qualified as a pun.

  • AdamJ||

    Hope they went after dubbel damages. That would cure what ales them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just when you yeast expect it.

  • ||

    I'm gonna write dear Abbey and see if she thinks this thread is acceptable.

  • ||

    Wort's wrong with you people?

  • UnCivilServant||

    They just like fermenting dissent

  • ||

    The thread has certainly come to a head.

  • Random Axe Of Kindness||

    I'm not hoppy with all these puns.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    We have quite a pun thread brewing here.

  • Cute Little Bunny Rabbit||

    Helles other people. Just grain and bear it.

  • Anomalous||

    I'll go against the grain on this one.

  • Zeb||

    I love Belgian beer and IPAs. But what the hell is a Belgian style IPA? I don't think Belgians make IPAs.

  • Florida Hipster||

    Let the beer snobbery...BEGIN!

  • Mustang||

    *dons Coors Light helmet box and grabs staff made of beer cans*

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    *pats Mustang on the head and takes his canned horse piss away from him*

    /just kidding, Coors Light is one of the more drinkable light beers.

  • Mustang||

    It's probably for the best.

    I'm not a snob. I like good beers but most of the time I just want to be drunk. Piss beer works just fine for that and still saves me a couple bucks.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    I'm not much of a snob either. I like good beer, but I've also got a 24 pack of Bud Light sitting in my beer fridge alongside my craft brews. There's a time and a place for cheap light beer.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    In my old neighborhood we called is lawnmower beer; just the thing to quench your thirst after pushing the grass mulcher around on a hot day.

  • Loki||

    There's a time and a place for cheap light beer.

    ...and it's called "college."

  • Anomalous||

    Thank you, Mr. Mackie.

  • Eman||

    ha I forgot about that game. only good drinking game ever.

  • Zeb||

    I just wanted to beat the anti-IPA dickheads to it. I don't give a shit if you think Keystone Ice is the best beer for you. But I am going to murder the next person who insinuates that IPAs only exist because poser hipsters think they are cool (or whatever the grand IPA conspiracy is supposed to be based on).
    People actually like IPAs. Get the fuck over it.

    Sorry. I'm done now.

  • Florida Hipster||

    *gives Zeb hug*

    I understand.

  • Citizen X||

    People actually like IPAs

    Yeah, poser hipsters. [flips bird, peels out on Honda Ruckus]

  • kinnath||

    IPAs only exist because poser hipsters

    I don't believe there is a single hipster in my local brew club. And most of those middle-aged dudes are thoroughly into Imperial IPAs.

  • Mustang||

    IPAs only exist because poser hipsters think they are cool.

  • sarcasmic||

    Probably means they used a Belgian yeast strain and way too much hops.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, that would be my guess (but I bet it has a lovely amount of hops). I just think it's funny to see how people name these things.

  • kinnath||

    But what the hell is a Belgian style IPA?

    A Belgian Trippel with too much fucking hops.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    But what the hell is a Belgian style IPA?

    You can ruin anything with enough hops.

  • RFID||

    I should point out that Belgians like hops plenty, and there are lots of hoppy Belgian beers. I'm not exactly sure how the myth that Belgians never heavily hop in their beer got started but it probably involved the BJCP.

    While were on the subject of annoying BJCP-promoted myths, Ill also point out that hitorically, "IPA" and "Pale Ale" would be no different except for one was marked for export to India and one wasn't. Any change in recipe would be in an attempt to minimize taxes and would not be for preservative purposes. Most beer going to India would be porter, not incredibly expensive pale ale anyway. British beer in the 1800s was often brewed with huge amounts of hops, and it was done because people liked hops and not because hops are a preservative.

    Also there was no historical difference between porter and stout and "mild" did not refer to the amount of alcohol in the beer.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I always heard that they beer shipped to India, via sailing vessels, was "hopped up" to preserve it on a long and often arduous voyage. Not true?

  • RFID||

    Not true. The "pale ale" and "india pale ale" coming out of the same brewery might be identical, but one would be marked for export to India and one wouldnt. The recipe might be different due to tax reasons, but there isnt any evidence that extra hops or alcohol was used due to preservative qualities. Similar stories are told about Russian Imperial Stouts, which are also wrong. Those beers were packed full of hops and alcohol as that is what the Russian aristocracy liked and wanted, not for any preservative purpose.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'd say for Michigan bureaucrats this defeat...

    [dons sunglasses]

    ...left a bitter taste.

  • Mustang||

    Instead of Drunk History we'll have Drunk Constitutional Law.

    I like where this is headed.

  • ||

    Better than the baked constitutional law we've gotten from the scholar in the WH.

  • BYODB||

    "We do believe that freedom of speech is the last defense against tyranny."


    Wrong. It is the first defense.

  • ||

    If more people used it as an offensive weapon rather than a defensive one, I believe we'd be ahead as a society.

  • ||

    I think this thread is the perfect place for us to repent for our beer sins.

    I'll start: I recently bought a 30 pack of Rolling Rock based in price.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    *PA guy shakes head*

  • Caput Lupinum||

    Hey, it could've been Yuengling.

  • Citizen X||

    I will drink the hell out of Yeungling if i am in a situation of not having much money, and i do not apologize to you or any other!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yuengling is amazing compared to "The Rock".

  • Caput Lupinum||

    I know, that was the point. If you're going to denigrate PA beers, your fine as long as you don't knock on Yuengling. Probably could have phrased it better, forgot that tone doesn't transmit well over the internet.

    Rolling Rock isn't made in PA anymore, it is now made in Jersey, so they're beverage non grata on this side of the Delaware.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Huh!

    Had no idea. Been away a long time. Well, if there is one thing that could make the Rock worse, it's making it in Jersey.

  • Eman||

    rolling rock is pretty good bad beer. national bohemian is probably the worst beer Ive ever had, but I havent seen that north of PA

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    repent for of our beer sins.

    /pedant

    My confession: My wife and I have a beer fridge filled with crappy beer that we didn't like, and we keep the good stuff in another refrigerator. We try to pawn the crappy beer off on guests when they come over.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I used to do that in my old neighborhood; kept a case or two of "Red Dog" and the garage refrigerator, because living in the neighborhood was like being in a dorm with someone always dropping in, presumably to look for their kid in my backyard [which was almost always an excuse to raid to beer fridge]; we generically termed it "lawnmower beer."

  • UnCivilServant||

    I can't stand the taste or smell of beer.

  • Mustang||

    I'm so sorry.

  • UnCivilServant||

    You're the one who spilled beer on me, weren't you?

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    I hate the taste of beer, too.

    Luckily, I discovered a few years ago that I can tolerate cider. It's not great, but it's drinkable.

    So now when somebody insists on buying me a beer, I can usually get them to substitute cider instead.

  • Eman||

    cider is much better, and it's like the real american drink. that was johnny appleseed's mission.

  • techgump||

    2nd amendment is your last defense against tyranny.
    The 1st amendment is your FIRST defense.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    Alan Gura, SUPER LAWYER, of Heller fame.

  • Anomalous||

    Hero of the 2nd Amendment. I guess he likes the 1st Amendment also.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Flying Dog sued the commission in 2009, but the case didn't come to a close until last year"

    In other words, kids who hadn't even been born when the lawsuit was filed are now doing math problems their parents can't help them with.

  • invisible finger||

    They should rename the beer. RAGING BITCH BUREAUCRAT - Brewed In Maryland For Your Safety.

  • Libertarian||

    BEER. Is there anything it can't do?

  • Loki||

    Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery won in its battle with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, after the agency tried to ban the sale of Flying Dog's delicious, Belgian-style IPA because of the brew's name: Raging Bitch.

    Named in honor of Hillary Clinton.

    "We do believe that freedom of speech is the last defense against tyranny."

    Well, maybe the last... *cleans gun*

  • HarrietTurnbull||

    I'm making over $8k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

    This is what I do.------------------------ http://www.earntimes.tk/

  • WeeBee||

    From a strictly constitutional standpoint, doesn't freedom of speech only restrict the federal government? Thereby, if Michigan bitches about the raging bitch and follows their own constitution. Then can Michigan apply any restrictions it wishes?

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Flying Dog Brewery Wins First Amendment Battle, Uses Proceeds to Promote Free Speech
    The brewery will use damages from its case against the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to launch a 1st Amendment Society.

    Good for Flying Dog Brewery!
    Is it me, or is there a glint of hope for the First Amendment slowly emerging in Amerika?

  • DC||

    Great IPA, had it before. Had to hide the case from the Missus (LOL!).

    Keep free speech alive and well!

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    One of my favorite brews

  • Damni||

    Seeing as how we spend virtually 1/3 of our entire life lying https://homefrik.com flat on a mattress-- one would believe it would certainly.

  • Natalie965||

    numerous Routers which have WPS allowed on the wi-fi routers andro dumpper purpose or for hacking others routers where really you do not have.

  • Michael777||

    A growing variety of tunes So, 4Liker apk is the best application for you. 4liker If you are looking for an all in Facebook likes and comment device.

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