Flying Dog Brewery's 'Bitch' of a lawsuit
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Maryland-based brewery is suing the Michigan Liquor Control Commission over the agency's decision to reject labels for the bottler's "Raging Bitch" beer.
Flying Dog Brewery is asking a federal judge to issue an injunction overriding the board's decision and allow it to advertise and sell the beer in Michigan.
Frederick, Md.-based Flying Dog says it has refrained from retailing the beer in the state out of fear of criminal penalty for selling without a license.
“Regrettably, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and its members have taken it upon themselves to control not merely alcoholic beverages, but speech as well,” Flying Dog Attorney Alan Gura of D.C.-based Gura & Possessky, PLLC said in a statement released by the brewery Monday. “The defendants arbitrarily imposed their personal tastes in banning Raging Bitch, clearly violating Flying Dog’s First Amendment right to free expression.”
A message seeking comment from the state Liquor Control Commission was left by The Associated Press on Monday.
The Grand Rapids Press reports Flying Dog markets approved labels in Michigan, including "Doggie Style" Classic Pale Ale and "In Heat Wheat" Hefeweizen Ale.
The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.
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