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Flying Dog Brewery Sues Michigan Liquor Control for Label Rejection

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Flying Dog Brewery Sues Michigan Liquor Control for Label Rejection

Flying Dog Brewery, a Maryland-based beermaker, is accusing the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for rejecting one of its beer bottle labels. The brewery claims that the agency allegedly is censoring its freedom of speech by rejecting the labels, which were designed for the brand's 20th Anniversary India Pale Ale, and forbidding its sale or advertisement within the state.

The Belgian IPA is named "Raging B----," and the commission claims this name is "detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public," as stated in the lawsuit.

"Regrettably, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and its members have taken it upon themselves to control not merely alcoholic beverages, but speech as well," the brewery wrote in the lawsuit filed Friday, according to The Chicago Tribune.

"Acting as a censorial board, defendants wield state authority to impose their personal tastes as a prior restraint against core First Amendment expression that happens to be placed on beer labels," it added.

According to the director of the commission's licensing division, Sharon Martin, the panel is able to lawfully turn down those beer labels that "deemed to promote violence, racism, sexism, intemperance or intoxication," the source reported.