There has been ongoing discussion in the beer blogosphere about Flying Fish Brewing Company’s decision to name a variety of it’s beers after exits on the New Jersey turnpike. My first thought was that for anyone who has ever driven the New Jersey Turnpike this wouldn’t be very appealing or effective marketing. Other people had more serious objections. A spokesperson for New Jersey MADD initially released a statement claiming the Exit Series Beers were endorsing drinking and driving. Most beer bloggers responded to this claim with ridicule. MADD later retracted the statement.
Yesterday,Alan McLeod, A Good Beer Blog proposed that beer bloggers take the issue of drunk driving seriously and called for a new organization, Beer Bloggers Against Drunk Driving or BBADD.
In a followup post today, Alan suggested that the interests of brewers and beer bloggers differ. “From those in the trade, there’s a reluctance to look anything like MADD or to discuss the negatives related to craft beer.”
Historically however, the brewing industry tried very hard to work with and help fund MADD and other neo-temperance organizations. While the USBA still existed they were very careful to not express an opinion on the minimum drinking age and were totally supportive of MADD’s efforts to reduce drunk driving. The Beer Institute, successor to the USBA, has pretty much followed this line. The larger brewers organizations generally save their energy for fighting taxes increases and any attempts to restrict their abilities to market their products.
I have been reading beer bloggers for about three or four years and it is my observation that beer bloggers, who are sometimes also home brewers, are the most vociferous in their complaints about neo-temperance activities. I think Alan will have an uphill battle promoting BBADD.