The LCBO’s Social Responsibility group is in the news again, this time for the rejection of the Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA. Torontoist has an article posted today about the story, with examples of some of the past controversies of other products that aren’t on LCBO shelves due to similar issues. Over at The Bar Towel there is a discussion forum thread where beer lovers in the province have piped up, including Flying Monkeys owner Peter Chiodo himself. Both are worth a read to learn about this important issue and how the LCBO continues to flex their muscle in the beer world in Ontario – when beer itself isn’t even concerned. I’ve said it before folks, don’t forget the “C” in LCBO stands for “Control”. Extra shout out to Torontoist for recalling and linking to our Buffalo/Blue Monk bus trip article, in which Free Our Beer was discussed.
In similar news, and which shows a total contrast in brewery attitude in the United States, the Flying Dog brewery of Frederick, Maryland has sued the Michigan Liquor Commission over their banning of their Raging Bitch brand, citing freedom of speech rights. Looks like numerous flying animal breweries are having issues with the regulators this week.
As much as we applaud the efforts of Ontario brewers to push things further, the moves by Flying Dog are certainly ballsy and we probably wouldn’t see this kind of manoeuvre by a brewer here. As the LCBO is the only (realistic) channel for craft beer, if bridges are burned in Ontario, which could be entirely possible with a Flying Dog strategy, a brewer here could be out of luck with no other options. And that’s really the core problem with our retail system in this province.