It’s time once again to pull together and support something that we may not really like.
If you’ve never heard of Four Loko, you don’t follow me on twitter.
I’ve been laughing about it since they played some of the songs available on YouTube during a Session on the Brewing Network. It’s been fun. The songs are catchy and reminiscent of the rap groups of the ‘90’s laying down lyrics about a blunt and a 40!
Touted as a “Blackout in a can” or “Change of plans in a can”, the beverage is basically an energy drink with a lot of booze! It’s available at the corner store in some locations, and cheap as hell. Basically, it’s Boons Farm wine meets Boys in the Hood.
But the point here is one of concern to craft beer lovers everywhere. While Four Loko is no more craft beer than Boons Farm is fine wine, the “Man” wants to outlaw it.
I for one, will, just because of the negative news coverage, be purchasing a Four Loko at the first opportunity. But most of you have never, and will never have a can of Four Loko, it affects our passion.
This isn’t crack. It isn’t Meth. It is caffeine and booze.
That’s nothing new!
I don’t know which came first, but Rum and Coke was my first experience with Caffeine and Booze, and I still like that particular concoction. In fact, change rum to Crown and add a sidecar of Malibu rum and you’ve got my favorite drink in a bar with no craft beer.
But my point is, they are outlawing a beverage just because it’s being perceived as being extreme. I make a very clear distinction between an extreme beer like Atomic Penguin and a can of prison hooch like Four Loko. One is consumed buy people looking for the ultimate in taste, quality and uniqueness. The other is guzzled by folks looking to erase the next 12 hours of their lives.
Either way, It’s a high intensity beverage containing 100% legal ingredients. So what’s stopping them from trying to outlaw an Imperial Espresso Stout? Or a bottle of fortified port wine? You may see the difference, and I may see the difference, but people prone to calling for legislation against alcohol…DON’T SEE THE DIFFERENCE!
The problem is that young people (Under age!) are buying and getting hammered on Four Loko, not a $25 bottle of RIS! That’s good because it’s not drawing attention to craft beer, but it is endangering the freedom to produce and market drinks that customers will want.
It’s almost like the opponents have never had a trash can full of Kool Aid and Everclear.
My point is; Kids will always figure out how to get wasted. You did it, I did it and our kids will figure it out too. It sucks, and as a parent it’s scary as hell! But outlawing a legal product will NOT help.
I am calling for everyone interested in adult beverages to come together and fight the urge to pass this issue off as a “Doesn’t effect me” issue and make your voice heard.
This issue is just hitting the USDA and it will only grow from here. It may go away, but if it doesn’t, I promise you that the ramifications to the craft beer industry will be far reaching.
And for you viewing pleasure...
and my personal favorite,