The Portman Group should be scrapped for good — that's the view of irate Scottish brewers BrewDog after it won an eight-month battle with the industry watchdog over three of its beers.
BrewDog's three beer brands Riptide, Punk IPA and Hop Rocker, had come under threat following an audit of drinks packaging by the Portman's Independent Complaints Panel.
The complaints about BrewDog had been over the names and light-hearted descriptions used on the bottles. However, after lengthy discussion over most of 2008, the drinks have been cleared.
"It's incredible to think that with all the issues there are with alcohol in society, the Portman Group spent eight months chasing us over words on a bottle," said BrewDog co-founder James Watt.
"Surely the Group must be taking a long hard look at itself and wondering what its reason for existing is?
"Hopefully the Portman Group will now take a serious look at its remit and how it operates. Its case against BrewDog shows it for the ultra-expensive, out of touch, power hungry debacle it has become.
"It remains completely toothless in the face of the real issues and problems, which underpin irresponsible alcohol consumption in the UK.
He added: "We feel our victory, and the fact we were determined to stand our ground sends a strong message out about BrewDog to the rest of the sleepy, stuffy and mediocre UK brewing industry. If the result means that the Portman Group does not unjustifiably bully another independent producer then all the effort was worthwhile."
However, Portman Group chief executive David Poley said the process had proved that Portrman played an important role in insuring responsible retailing practices.
"I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. The complaints about three Brewdog products were investigated and not upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel," he said.
"It's a pity Brewdog are upset but fortunately other drinks producers recognise the importance of responsible marketing and support our Code. The system operates effectively and fairly across the entire industry, irrespective of a company's size."
Punk IPA: "This product is described on the label as an "aggressive beer" thus associating its consumption with anti-social behaviour."
Hop Rocker: "Description of the product includes 'nourishing food stuff' and 'magic is still there to be extracted from this drink' implying it could enhance mental or physical capabilities."
Riptide: "The product is described as a 'twisted merciless stout' associating its consumption with anti-social behaviour."