Imagine a wonderful, magical world where you could walk up to a soda machine and buy a bottle of malt liquor. That paradise on earth (for the underage) briefly existed in the Trinidad neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Since the booze cost $3, more than at nearby retail outlets, its customer base were all either underage or had exceptionally poor math skills. [More]
Earlier this month, an employee at a Brooklyn bodega was arrested for selling alcohol to a minor in an undercover sting operation. On the advice of his lawyer he entered a guilty plea and paid the $120 fine, but that was before he found out that there is in-store video footage that appears to vindicate him. [More]
Anheuser-Busch is pouring Spykes down the drain less than a week after twenty-nine state attorneys general asked the brewer to warn customers that mixing Spykes with caffeinated beverages could be dangerous. The AGs also expressed concern that the colorful alcoholic flavor shots encouraged underage drinking.
“Due to its limited volume potential and unfounded criticism, we have ceased production of Spykes,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement, in which it added that Spykes was the lowest alcohol content product in its market segment.
The decision, announced by Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV, was heralded by Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal as a “significant victory in the fight against underage drinking.” Sorry, kids. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Twenty-nine state attorneys general have asked Anheuser-Busch, makers of the alcoholic flavor shots called Spykes, to warn consumers that it may be dangerous to mix Spykes with caffeinated beverages. The AGs also expressed concern that Spykes might encourage underage drinking with its “tiny, attractive, brightly colored containers that can be easily concealed in a pocket or purse.” That couldn’t possibly appeal to underage drinkers, who, we are told, prefer their 40 oz beverages concealed in sober tan paper bags.
Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman Francine Katz said the St. Louis company does not endorse underage drinking and does not target minors. She said Spykes shots, which are sold in 2-ounce bottles and have as much alcohol as a third of a glass of wine, are less likely to appeal to minors, who typically “drink for instant impact.”
Controversy is practically Spykes’ mistress. The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms already ruled that the Spykes’ teeny-tiny government mandated warning label was “out of compliance” for being too teeny and tiny. We don’t see Spykes becoming less controversial anytime soon, leading us to wonder: is Spykes the new Cocaine? — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER