My latest featured article for RateBeer’s The HopPress… posted on Saturday, November 27th.
One of the hot topics over the last several weeks has been the media storm surrounding Four Loko and other so-called alcoholic energy drinks; that is, drinks that contain both alcohol and caffeine as well as other substances intended to keep you awake/alert. In a potentially final blow to the sales of this class of beverage, the FDA has now weighed in and sent a letter to about 30 manufacturers of this type of beverage (the maker Four Loko was among those that received the letter) giving them 30 days to present evidence that their beverages are safe or face banishment. The Attorneys General of several states (Vermont among them) have gone well beyond that and issued a total ban on the sales of these types of beverages within their borders. Many colleges and universities have also either issued strong warnings or outright bans on these beverages on their campuses. Even the Brewers Association weighed in by asking the US Tax and Trade Bureau to open up public comment in advance of any rule-making that they might do.
With so much emotion from both sides of the debate swirling the factual information surrounding this issue, it is not easy for me to jump to a quick conclusion (as some obviously have) concerning the correct/proper course of action in this case.