3.8% ABV BrewDog beer falls foul of the Portman Group

By Robyn Black

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcoholic beverage The portman group

BrewDog in breach of Portman Group Code
BrewDog has fallen foul of the Portman Group code again, this time for its 3.8% ABV Dead Pony Club beer.

The body said the packaging of the beer contravened rules for encouraging both anti-social behaviour and rapid drinking.

No complaints had been received about the drink, which was investigated as part of an independent audit of drinks undertaken by research firm Campden BRI on behalf of the Portman Group.

“Dead Pony Club’s packaging was identified as being in potential breach of the Code for its association with bravado and immoderate consumption, and for placing undue emphasis on the strength and intoxicating effect of the alcohol in the product,” it said in a statement.

The Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel which investigated, said it acknowledged that the beer was of a lower-than-average strength and that one bottle was well within the recommended daily unit guidelines, but it concluded that the line on the label, ‘rip it up down empty streets’, associated the product with anti-social behaviour.

It also ruled that that the phrases “drink fast, live fast” and “we believe faster is better” could encourage the consumer to drink the product rapidly.

Portman chief executive Henry Ashworth, said: “The Code rules do not exist to prevent humourous or innovative brand marketing but to make sure that humour is used responsibly. We urge producers to exercise due diligence and consult our Code Advisory Team if they are in any doubt.”

Brewdog did not make any representations to the panel in defence of the beer.

A Retailer Alert Bulletin has been issued instructing licensees and retailers not to place orders for stocks of Dead Pony Club in its current packaging after 8 July 2014.

This is not the first time BrewDog and The Portman Group have clashed.

During an ongoing spat in 2009 over its Riptide, Punk IPA, Hop Rocker and Tokyo Stout, BrewDog launched Speedball, a beer named after the mix of cocaine and heroin that killed John Belushi and River Phoenix, to deliberately provoke the body into further action.

Last week the brewer opened the doors of its first craft beer shop in London.

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