Maryland’s attorney general (AG), joined by the AGs of 17 states and the
territory of Guam, have expressed to Pabst Brewing Co. concerns over the
company’s “new flavored malt beverage, Blast by Colt 45,” characterizing it
as a “flavored ‘binge in a can.’” In his April 21, 2011, letter, Attorney General
Douglas Gansler alleges that selling a fruit-flavored beverage with an alcohol concentration of 12 percent in brightly colored 23.5 ounce cans, “poses a grave public safety threat and is irresponsible.” He contends that the target
market includes underage consumers, “in violation of state law.”

According to Ganlser, each can contains 4.7 servings of alcohol and, if
consumed quickly as intended, an individual “will have engaged in binge
drinking, putting himself or herself at risk of serious injury and other health
and safety problems.” The AGs call on Pabst’s CEO to “take immediate steps
to significantly reduce the number of servings of alcohol presented to
consumers in a single serving container . . . [and] take steps to ensure that the
marketing of this product does not expressly or impliedly target an audience
that is under the legal drinking age.” The company is reportedly promoting
the new product with a popular hip-hop celebrity. See Maryland Attorney
General Press Release, April 21, 2011.

About The Author


For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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