Offbeat News: Smoke ’em if you got ’em


According to the Associated Press: A brewer who tangled with federal regulators over the caps on his beer bottles said Tuesday that U.S. officials have given him permission to keep the message “Try Legal Weed.”

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau had ordered Vaune Dillmann to stop using the caps, which are a play on the name of the town where he brews his beer – Weed. The bureau said the message amounts to a reference to illegal drugs.

Dillmann appealed and was preparing for a legal fight when he received a registered letter this week saying he can continue using the bottle caps. He shared a copy of the letter Tuesday with The Associated Press.

“Based on the context of the entire label, we agree that the phrase in question refers to the brand name of the product and does not mislead consumers,” said the letter, dated July 31.

The dispute started last winter after Dillmann sent the agency Mt. Shasta Brewing Co.’s proposed label for its latest beer, Lemurian Lager.

He included the same bottle cap he’d been using on his other five brews. This time, the branch of the U.S. Treasury rejected it because of federal laws that strictly prohibit drug references on alcoholic beverages.

Dillmann started his brewery in 2004 and named the company’s first official brew for the town’s founder, Abner Weed, a timber baron who eventually was elected to the state Senate. He was only the latest resident to exploit the name of the town of 3,000, which sits beneath Mount Shasta about 230 miles (370 kilometers) north of the state capital.

Dillmann also drafted a letter thanking supporters. His message: “Weed fought the law and Weed won!”

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