Pubs selling Brewdog’s Tokyo beer have been told to remove it from sale following complaints that a message on the label encouraged excessive drinking.
The Portman Group's independent complaints panel ruled that the 18 per cent ABV beer broke its Code of Conduct, which sets minimum, mandatory standards for drinks producer marketing, after receiving complaints from Alcohol Focus Scotland and a member of the public.
David Poley, Portman Group chief executive, said: “We don’t regulate the alcohol content of drinks but we do control how they are promoted. It’s obviously unwise for any company to urge consumers to drink to excess. We won’t allow any irresponsible marketing whether it’s for a big brand or a niche product. That’s why we’re taking action to restrict future sales of this beer.”
The Panel did dismiss complaints that the product’s packaging unduly emphasised its strength and that the expression 'intergalactic fantastic' on the label was a reference to the effects of illicit drugs.
Scottish brewer Brewdog, who also complained about the product itself to highlight 'flaws' in the drinks watchdog’s complaints procedure, will be able to sell the beer again if the marketing message is changed.
Last week the brewer broke the world record for producing the world's strongest beer with its new brew, Tactical Nuclear Penguin, which contains an ABV of 32 per cent.