Bad Elf headed to Connecticut

State reverses decision to ban beer label with elf, Santa on it

Nov 8, 2005 - Connecticut beer drinkers can look for a Seriously Bad Elf in their stockings after all.


The state Department of Consumer Protection announced Tuesday it would approve the sale of Seriously Bad Elf ale in Connecticut, reversing an earlier decision to ban it.

The department determined that although state regulations bar alcohol advertising with images that might entice children, including images associated with Santa Claus, the regulations do not apply to beer labels.

The state first notified Shelton Brothers, the company that distributes the beer in the U.S., that it would reject the labels for Seriously Bad Elf and one for Warm Welcome ale based on the state regulation.

The label for Seriously Bad Elf shows an elf with a slingshot firing Christmas ornaments at Santa's sleigh as it flies overhead. Warm Welcome's label depicts Santa coming down a chimney into a lit fireplace.

At a hearing last month, a lawyer for the distributor argued the state would be violating the distributor's free speech rights by banning the labels.

The state Department of Consumer Protection ordered a formal hearing for Nov. 22 before the state Liquor Control Commission.

The hearing was canceled on Tuesday and a ruling was issued in favor of Shelton Brothers.