Why Currumbin brewer pulled controversial beer

A BOUTIQUE Gold Coast brewer has copped a slap on the wrist by the alcohol advertising watchdog for an unconventional new beer dubbed "breakfast juice".

Currumbin Valley Brewing Co was last month found to be in breach of the Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) for their Hazy IPA valued at $34.00 for a four pack.

A complainant alleged the bright coloured packaging and design for the beer would appeal to minors and was not adequately labelled as alcohol.

The packaging was covered in an illustration by Brazilian artist Pedro Correa depicting fruits, plants and floating eyeballs.

"If a kid opened the fridge and grabbed a can, it is identical labelling to breakfast juice," the complaint read.

Currumbin Valley Brewing, a small family-owned brewery operated solely on a private residence and farm responded to the complaint, arguing the labelling was clear and did not appeal to children.

"Breakfast Juice was named so as to describe the hazy, orange appearance and fruity, juicy flavour characteristics imparted by the heavy use of hops in this product," the brewery said.

"The can design mentions the product is a Hazy IPA. IPA is a well known acronym for "India Pale Ale" - a common and popular style of beer sold in Australia - which we believed to be a clear alcohol descriptor."

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The packaging also had 'BEER' on the side of the case.

Currumbin Valley Brewing Co, permitted to produce a maximum 40,000L a year also said they produced a limited amount of Breakfast Juice stock, with a large proportion being sold direct to licenced premises where children would not have access to it.

 

Currumbin Valley Brewing Co.
Currumbin Valley Brewing Co.

In the last year they produced approximately 200 cases of 24 x 375mL cans, 47 per cent of which were sold to independent off-premise retailers and the remaining 53 per cent sold direct to consumers via online sales.

The brewer, which is not a signatory to the ABAC, is not bound by any decisions made by the watchdog. The Currumbin company did however agree to pull the product if it was found to be in breach, out of respect to the role of the code.

"We will retire the Breakfast Juice beer name, label and imagery once we have run through the remaining label stock in our possession (approximately 100 cases)," the company said.

"Unfortunately, as a small business, we are unable to endure the financial impact that immediate disposal of labels would have on our business, especially during this economic downturn."

Ultimately the panel found the packaging was in breach of the code stating the name 'Breakfast Juice' when combined with the stylised fruit images used on the product labelling strongly suggests that the product is non- alcoholic.

They also found the cues used on the labelling to identify the product as a beer were not visually prominent, particularly on the front of the can.

"Taken as a whole, the packaging is likely to strongly appeal to minors," the ABAC wrote.

The panel also noted that the brewing company had fully co-operated with the adjudication process.

Breakfast Juice is now listed as out of stock on the Currumbin Valley Brewing co website.

Originally published as Why Coast brewer pulled controversial beer


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