This whole alcoholic energy drink thing is like the story that will not die. Following the Washington State ban, the New York State ban, the other state bans, the call for a national ban, and the FDA declaring Four Loko and other "energy beers" a "public health concern" (kind of like herpes or the McRib), we now have yet still more news about both the under and over-reaching of this hysterical reaction to a few (super) drunk morons abusing a (formerly) legal product.
First, over on the Daily Weekly, we learned about a new way for impressionable youngsters and amateur drinkers to get themselves fucked up without "hey, buddy"-ing their way into a case of MGD. Whipped Lightning is already being dubbed "the new Four Loko" because it is (wait for it...) canned whipped cream with 18 percent alcohol by volume.
"Companies like Whipped Lightning and Cream make several delicious flavors of boozy whipped goodness that have apparently topped the jello shots and baked goods of college kids in Florida," wrote Curtis Cartier on the Daily Weekly "At the center of the controversy is the products' alleged huge alcohol content (18 percent, making one can equal to about three beers). But anyone who puts away an entire can of whipped cream in one sitting--alcoholic or otherwise--likely needs to worry more about indigestion and weight gain than drunkenness."
None of these alcoholic whipped creams are available in Washington State yet (thanks mostly to the miles of Liquor Control Board red tape any alcoholic product needs to cut through before making it to the shelves here), but they're out there, just waiting to corrupt the sorority girls of America with their creamy, boozy deliciousness.
And to think, doing whip-its off those cans of Reddi Wip used to be enough for kids. How times have changed...
More recently, the New York Times has been reporting that the FDA ban on mixing caffeine and beer also looks like it might take down at least one product that no one was talking any smack about: namely Moonshot '69.
Moonshot is a craft beer, made by New Century Brewing (a company owned by Rhonda Kallman, one of the founders of the Boston Beer Company, the company that makes Samuel Adams), and distributed in just a few states. But Moonshot also has some caffeine in it (about as much as a can of Coke), and so got a letter from the FDA saying that she would have to fundamentally change the composition of her beer or face having to pull it from shelves just like the makers of Four Loko have had to do.
As a matter of fact, there are a lot of brewers out there who are getting a little skittish over the whole caffeine-and-alcohol thing right now--enough that the Brewer's Association has decided to petition the government to clarify its rules on mixing barley pop and wakey-juice. According to realbeer.com, the petition "seeks to disallow synthetic and pure caffeine additions to alcohol beverages, but allow incidental caffeine from ingredients that have a long tradition in brewing, such as coffee, chocolate and tea. The petition seeks to clarify that coffee, chocolate, herbs, spices, seeds and fruit are ingredients that should remain available to brewers to make beers for responsible enjoyment by beer drinkers."
So now I guess we'll all have that fight to look forward to as well.