Opinion

Was Prohibition repealed?

Photo of Michelle Minton
Michelle Minton
Fellow in Consumer Policy Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute

After several state attorneys general sent letters to the FDA requesting a ban on the product, the agency cracked down on all caffeine-alcohol combinations and sent out the warning letter mentioned above. It was enough to convince three of them to reformulate their products to exclude caffeine. It wasn’t enough for Rhonda Kallman.

“Moonshot is water, barley, hops and caffeine — less caffeine than a half of a cup of coffee. Without that though what makes it different from the other pilsners on the market? How am I supposed to compete with the 1,600 other breweries in the U.S.?” asks Kallman. “As a citizen I’m confused…as an entrepreneur I’m flabbergasted.”

New Century Brewing company has one full-time employee — Rhonda Kallman — and is lucky if it makes $25,000 a year. Kallman says that even if she does manage to keep Moonshot on the shelves, her product’s reputation will be difficult to repair following the FDA’s unwarranted questioning of its safety.

Nearly 80 years after the 21st Amendment repealed prohibition, we are supposed to be free to make our own decisions about what we choose to drink. It’s about time the FDA got the message.

Michelle Minton is the Director of the Insurance Studies project at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

  • Pingback: Killed by Regulations: New Century Brewing, RIP

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Howchy-Kaddami/100001559894691 Howchy Kaddami

    Is this what passes for journalism these days? The problem with Moonshot beer has been it’s dismal reviews based on it’s terrible taste characteristics.
    If Ms. Minton really wanted to look into this, and not simply create a bold, and ridiculous headline, she could easily find a host of negative reviews of this poorly concieved product. Kellman was a grand marketer for Boston Beer, she never knew anything about creating a great beer, that was done by Jim Koch and Joseph Owades. With Moonshot’s poor taste and body, it is only a gimmick beer and it’s only gimmick is caffiene. While Minton enjoy’s trying to portray the government regulations as darconian, in fact they are very reasonable. Kellman herself has stated that Moonstone is a “party beer”, given this fact, it’s bad taste, it can only be reasonable to conclude that it’s created for late night drinking by people no longer aware of it’s terrible taste.
    According the the National Highway Safety Administration
    “For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3 a.m., 76 percent involved alcohol.” Minton surely knows this tragic statistics and it’s disheartening to think that an employee purported to be an expert on insurance matters would be so unconcerned for human life and suffering to advocate for such an irresponsible product. Surely she can find a more worthwhile cause than “moonshot ’69″ the failed beer.

    Enjoy the following Moonshot reviews: (look some up for yourselves)

    –>”Texture is flat and barely fizzy. Forget this one!”
    –>” The caffeine might be a good gimmick to sell the beer but the beer itself isn’t one worth drinking.”
    –>”With or without the caffeine, it’s a woefully unpleasant beer. Swap out one of the O’s in Moonshot with an I and that’s a bit more accurate”
    –>”I bought this beer in a pick 6 pack and thank god because I would not drink a second. Combines two things that do not belong together.”
    –>”Drinkability- nope. I finished 1, and won’t drink another one. This is a gimmick beer that doesn’t work.”
    –>”The taste is just awful. Skunky, dry, and pungent really.Do yourself a favor and don’t get it.”

    • Michelle_Minton

      Is this what passes for logic these days?

      So, because something tastes bad gives the government the right to ban it?

      Taste or even quality is not the issue here. The issue is to defend the right of businesses to offer their product freely to willing customers. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. But it shouldn’t be up to any government body to obliterate the right of businesses to attempt to sell their product.

      When it comes to the freedom of speech we have to defend even speech we don’t like in order to protect the right for all. The same goes for products we don’t like. If you don’t like the taste don’t buy it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Howchy-Kaddami/100001559894691 Howchy Kaddami

        Resorting to silliness in the name of defending rights. Lets create a beer mixed with nicotene! Why not? And why not add some codiene? We can make it with child labor, we must assert rights you know and the evil old stodgy government has no handle on the meaning of the constitution.

        And be sure to avoide that which you cannot defend
        “According the the National Highway Safety Administration
        “For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3 a.m., 76 percent involved alcohol.” Minton surely knows this tragic statistics and it’s disheartening to think that an employee purported to be an expert on insurance matters would be so unconcerned for human life and suffering to advocate for such an irresponsible product.

        The government is not off the mark here, this is not a rights issue, but a common sense safety issue just like stopping sales of cigarettes to minors and banning smoking in public places. This saves lifes just like so many other reasonable laws. If we need to draw a line this is not the battle, this is a fools fight. Maybe if the author ever has children she cares about, she will think more maturely and consider the implications of irresponsible juvenile journalism.

  • Supernatural Witness

    Liberals whine about social conservatives legislating morality yet it is always their agency system that oppresses freedoms; and, that, without any actual laws being passed or public votes being taken.