Friday, June 10, 2016

Brewers use damages from lawsuit to create First Amendment Society

The Flying Dog Brewery made headlines when it first released its signature Belgian IPA-style beer back in 2009, becoming the center of a freedom of speech lawsuit.

“Some of our names, some of our artwork can be considered a little edgy,” said Erin Weston, who works at the Frederick brewery.

The name of that particular beer was perhaps a little too edgy for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, which banned its sale in the state after its release. Its members claimed that the beer and its label were “detrimental to the health, safety and welfare” of its residents.

But after a six-year legal battle, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the brewery, and the ban on the beer was lifted in Michigan.

“This, at the federal level, sets a precedent for all 50 states,” said Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso. “It puts political officials on notice – that if they have some politically correct agenda, there are consequences to imposing that agenda on businesses - whether you’re a brewery, a winery or a distillery.”

Flying Dog decided to use the damages from the lawsuit to start a First Amendment Society, to raise a glass to the arts, journalism and civil liberties.

“Whether you agree with it or not – as Americans, we have the right to say it,” said Weston, who is the nonprofit group’s executive director. “Just because it might be offensive to you, or offensive to somebody that you know - that doesn’t take away that person’s right to be able to express that.”

Public libraries in Frederick County will drink to that, and they’re organizing free events to address free speech issues.



Anonymous said...

Finally a sensible decision out of a court. More power to the Flying Dog Brewery for following on with constitutional freedom.

Bird of Paradise said...

No more liberal speech codes no more being told you cant say that becuase some whining liberal might be offended Free Speech

Anonymous said...

Should brew a "Dumb Ass" beer, dedicated to PC idiots everywhere.

Spurwing Plover the Fighting Shorfebird said...

And its tade mark should be Obama in a dunce cap

King Condor said...

Anon 4:52 And the label should show a donkey wearing a dunce cap riding by a dummy type also wearing a dunce cap and munching a stalk of celery