Alcohol body urges ban on 18% beer

An 18.2% strength beer brewed by an independent Scottish brewer is facing a ban after drinks industry body The Portman Group concluded the drink’s marketing is “irresponsible”.

Brewdog's Tokyo beer
Brewdog’s Tokyo beer

The Group is asking bars, clubs and shops to stop selling Brewdog’s Tokyo beer until its marketing is altered to comply with its code of practice on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.

An independent complaints panel ruled that a line on the label and the brand’s website that reads: “Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times” encouraged excessive drinking.

The Portman Group acted following a complaint from charity Alcohol Focus Scotland and a “member of the public”, which is understood to be Brewdog itself.

David Poley, Portman Group chief executive says it is “unwise” for a brand to encourage excessive drinking.

“We won’t allow any irresponsible marketing whether it’s for a big brand or a niche product,” he adds.

Brewdog will be bracing itself for further complaints after it launched “Tactical Nuclear Penguin”, a 32% strength beer, last week. Alcohol Focus Scotland has already dismissed the drink as a “cynical marketing ploy”.

A separate complaint, that the “intergalactic fantastic” expression used on Tokyo’s label was a reference to the effects of illicit drugs was dismissed.

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