Remember the hoopla surrounding Four Loko a few months ago? The source of the issue – caffeine and alcohol. Four Loko WAS an alcoholic energy drink that the FDA got all huffy about because some stupid kids drinking too much. So, the government played the “we know what’s best” card and told Four Loko to change the formula, or stop making the drink all together. In the same stroke, this opened up the scope of caffeine and energy drinks to Moonshot beer, brewed by New Century Brewing. (They also make Edison Light.) Unable to reverse the FDA ban, Rhonda Kallman has closed the brewery. The quote from the Mass Market pretty much sums up the issue:
“The FDA decided that mixing Red Bull and vodka is tantamount to drinking Moonshot and that neither is safe,” Kallman writes. “But since they have no control over mixed drinks, they decided to regulate Moonshot. … Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that the officials I met with alluded to the fact that they are not done regulating.”
There is an allusion that there could be more from the FDA beyond what we have already seen. Moonshot was available in Los Angeles, Boston, & Atlanta. Here’s a chance to sound off. Regardless of what your thoughts on the beer are (flavor-wise), is the FDA/ U.S. Government intervening too much? After all, you have to be 21 to purchase the alcohol anyway… <MassMarket>
You may have seen this on the shelves. Moonshoot Beer, a beer with 69mg of caffeine, faces ban by the FDA in the wake of Four Loko’s recent banning. Moonshot is brewed by New Century Brewing Company in Hingham, Massachusetts. They are also known for one other beer – Edison Light.
Four Loko is an alcoholic energy drink that has been in the news as of late due to the high about of caffeine mixed with alcohol. The FDA has deemed the beverage and others like it potentially dangerous. In response, Four Loko stated they will be removing the caffeine from the drink and continue producing it. This opens up the are larger question whether beer with caffeine falls under the same restrictions. Moonshot Beer is a light lager boasting a good bit of caffeine on the label.
Today Rhonda Kallman, Founder of New Century Brewing issued a press release regarding the situation.
New Century Brewing Company Supports Clarification on Caffeine from
the Food and Drug Administration
BOSTON (November 19, 2010): Rhonda Kallman, founder of the fledgling New Century Brewing Company, said she was surprised to learn that her craft beer, Moonshot, was labeled by the FDA as a “public health concern” due to its 69 milligrams of caffeine. Moonshot, at a modest 4% alcohol and about as much caffeine as less than half cup of Starbucks in each 12-ounce bottle, seemed an unlikely target. The craft-brewed pilsner-style beer is sold in bars and restaurants in only three states.
Kallman, a craft beer industry pioneer and co-founder of the Boston Beer Company, has years of experience selling and marketing premium beers in a responsible way. She introduced Moonshot in 2004, after its formula was approved by the federal agency responsible for monitoring alcoholic beverage formulas.
But in the wake of recent high profile incidents involving underage drinking and the controversial Four Loko, a high-energy drink with 12% alcohol and as much caffeine as four cups of coffee in each 23.5 ounce serving, the FDA has concluded that caffeinated beverages violate safety rules, and it issued warning letters to four companies, including New Century Brewing. Kallman has been ordered to reformulate Moonshot without caffeine or face a ban of its sales. She has been given 15 days to comply.
Kallman had worked closely with the FDA for more than a year, providing the agency with clear and factual information on Moonshot’s safety. Kallman said she expected that the result of the year-long FDA inquiry would result in the regulation of caffeinated beverages — not their prohibition. “Without clear standards — acceptable levels of caffeine to percentage alcohol, or the regulation of serving sizes — it is difficult to understand an outright ban of Moonshot Beer,” said Kallman. “Caffeinated alcoholic beverages have been around for decades. Moonshot Beer is a new twist on an established idea.
“Moonshot is a beer with character, integrity, and a pedigree,” said Kallman. “It is responsibly marketed and simply offers beer lovers a choice — a beer with caffeine. It is not marketed as an energy drink, stimulant or alcoholic alternative of any type. It clearly stands apart from the other caffeinated alcoholic energy beverages that are on the market today.”
About New Century Brewing Company
New Century Brewing Company was founded in April 2001 by beer industry veteran, Rhonda Kallman, to bring innovative American beer styles to market. The company’s two products, Moonshot and Edison Light beer were formulated by Dr. Joseph Owades (1919-2005), a world-renowned brewing expert credited with the invention of light beer in the 1960’s.