A Battle With Beer Labels | Devil's Peak Brewing Company | Craft beer from Cape Town, South Africa

A Battle With Beer Labels

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If power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then Kent “Battle” Martin is so twisted that he needs to screw himself into his pants every morning.

This one man controls a multi-billion dollar industry, which has earned him the nickname – Battle – and is the dude responsible for approving every single beer label in the States.

Some call him a legend, others a tyrant, most a pain in the ass…

The bespectacled and somewhat awkward man approves beer bottles and labels for the Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, a section of the Treasury Department, and is described as brusque, eccentric, finicky… tensely and formally dressed on all occasions, with an encyclopedic memory of beer labels.

While Battle has approved some 29,500 beer labels this year, here are just some of the labels that he’s rejected:

– The King of Hearts, which had a playing card image on it, because the heart implied that the beer would have a health benefit.

– A beer label featuring a painting called The Conversion of Paula By Saint Jerome, because its name, St. Paula’s Liquid Wisdom, contained a medical claim – that the beer would grant wisdom.

– Pickled Santa because Santa’s eyes were too “googly” on the label, and labels cannot advertise the physical effects of alcohol.

– Bad Elf, because it featured an “Elf Warning,” suggesting that elves not operate toy-making machinery while drinking the ale.

– A Danish beer label that featured a hamburger was turned down because the image implied there was a meat additive in the beer.

Hmm, we wonder what Battle would think of our beer labels?

We’re pretty proud of them, perhaps we should send him up a case for a giggle?

Phew, we’re just glad we don’t have censorship like that down south.


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