In the case of State of Connecticut vs. Santa Claus, the defendant pleads . . . bewildered. “I never meant to hurt anybody,” an obviously shaken Claus told reporters, after posting bail at a Hartford-area police station.Claus, also known to authorities as Kris Kringle and Father Christmas, was taken into custody after alert analysts at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection noticed his likeness on the label for an imported English ale (bottle-conditioned, 9% abv, bloody delicious) known as Seriously Bad Elf.Connecticut regulations prohibit the use of images of Santa Claus, children or children’s toys, the Easter Bunny, and even dear old Mom, on beer labels because they could appeal to youngsters, who, in Connecticut, it seems, routinely cruise the aisles of their local liquor store for appealing packaging. These fiendishly precocious children then purchase the products, or convince their unsuspecting parents to purchase them and leave them unattended.

The wayward youths, investigators believe, then spirit the bottles to their rooms for consumption, typically ignoring the brewers’ recommendations for proper serving temperature, glassware, and food pairings.
Also banned in Connecticut is Warm Welcome, a delicious brown ale with a label portraying the accused attempting to enter a private domicile by way of the chimney, only to be greeted by a blazing fire that warms his very cockles.

Shelton Brothers, importers of these delightful ales (craft-brewed in England by the Ridgeway Brewing Co.), vow to support Claus until he has his day in court. Brother Daniel Shelton (a somewhat out-of-practice attorney, but still rather a clever fellow) believes that the Connecticut law is flagrantly un-Constitutional — and the American Civil Liberties Union agrees. Brother Daniel suggested further that “the sight of Claus in cuffs” will prove far more damaging to the youth of Connecticut than any beer label could ever be.

While the Brothers Shelton are wholeheartedly in favor of consumer protection, and especially of preventing underage drinking, they argue that the offending labels are designed to appeal to adults, who, it seems, are as impressionable as their youthful counterparts: both Seriously Bad Elf and Warm Welcome are selling briskly in all other parts of the country.

Leave a Reply


Email Address (will not be published)