Ohio bans Bad Frog beer

The old refrain, "there's no such thing as bad publicity," is proving true at Bad Frog Brewery Co., Rose City, MI. In October, the company successfully launched its Bad Frog premium beer within its home state.

The label shows a frog flashing a raised middle digit. But when the firm tried to distribute its beer in Ohio, the Ohio Liquor Control Board banned its sale, citing the label as obscene. An appeal is planned. "The ruling wasn't stunning to us," says vice president Richard DiLoreto. "In fact, it was helpful. We received considerable media attention. It's been a shot in the arm. We've sold one million bottles in less than two months, without advertising." A local microbrewery produces the beer for Bad Frog. The company plans to utilize small breweries around the country to produce the special premium blend, which is now hitting markets in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Virginia, Rhode Island and Florida. Bad Frog retails for approximately $6.50 for a six-pack of 12-oz amber glass bottles. A 22-oz bottle is also sold. Creative Label (Fairmont, WV) converts the metallized paper labels, offset printing the 3 1/2" square body label in six colors. It also die-cuts the neck labels. Basket carriers are from C.W. Zumbiel (Cincinnati, OH). These are printed offset in five colors on a 20-pt clay-coated kraft paperboard stock with built-in wet strength. Besides the improper gesture, verbiage on the risque labels describe Bad Frog as "an amphibian with an attitude," who is "mean, green and obscene." And wait, there's more. Bad Frog's initial success has prompted the company to launch two new brews, Bad Frog Lemon Lager, and BS Toad Dark. The label for the latter, says DiLoreto, shows an "ugly toad flashing the BS sign."

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