Michigan liquor regulators have switched their position and will allow sales of a Maryland-based beer with a name that's offensive to some people.
Flying Dog Brewery has received approval to promote and sell a popular India pale ale called Raging B---- in Michigan. Julie Wendt of the Liquor Control Commission said the agency on Tuesday followed a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that found states cannot engage in "content-based discrimination."
Flying Dog Brewery of Frederick, Md., already sells other beer in Michigan. Flying Dog Brewery's chief executive Jim Caruso told the Frederick News-Post that "Michigan surrenders!"
Flying Dog still has a First Amendment lawsuit pending in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Caruso said the company is proceeding with the case despite the liquor control commission's decision.
"That doesn't make the lawsuit go away," he said. "Most companies would take what Michigan did and say, 'Great, I can sell my beer and move on down the road.' We're not doing that."
Caruso said he knows not everyone will find the title and labeling amusing.
"But so what?" he said. "This is a huge victory for Flying Dog and beer lovers in Michigan."