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Jan. 9, 2014 | 16 beers for pot smokers

Federal law requires that beer labels meet a lengthy list of standards enforced by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It prohibits labels that are, among other things, obscene, misleading or “contain any names of drugs, drug terms or slang associated with drugs or any depiction of drug paraphernalia.”

Either the TTB is overworked or it’s hopelessly uncool.

Kind Ryed IPA – The Kind

“The Kind” is slang for marijuana, but even if the narcs didn’t know that, these labels might’ve provided a clue: Long-hair, tie-dyed hippie… Acoustic guitar... VW bus... Dog behind the wheel...

Sniff-sniff… What’s that stank?

Both ales are distinctively hopped with varieties that smell remarkably like grass. If you’re really into that, check out Three Heads’ other weed-like beer, Skunk. Or just chill out, mon, and cue up Otter Creek’s promotional video, set to a reggae soundtrack.

Pineapple Express - Wake ‘N Bake Coffee Oatmeal Stout

Clearly, the feds aren’t familiar with the Seth Rogan/James Franco stoner oeuvre. Nonetheless, Terrapin’s brewers in Athens, Georgia, must be paranoid, because they quietly changed the wording on its stout label from Wake ‘N Bake (the favorite morning routine of drowsy potheads), to just “W ‘N B.”

Oh, and for the record, Wake ‘N Bake is a local coffee.

Baked Pumpkin Pie

You know why Lancaster’s Amish make so much good food, don’t you? Munchies.

420 Extra Pale Ale – Dank Tank

At least a half dozen other beers (including Wisconsin’s unambiguous 420 Smokin’ Hemp Porter) have copped Sweetwater’s flagship brand name. The brewery’s lawyers are slowly shaking off their late-afternoon haze and springing into action with cease-and-desist legalese.

These would be the same attorneys, evidently, who successfully convinced the feds that Sweetwater’s Dank Tank series is named after one of the brewery’s fermenting tanks – not the well-known slang for moist weed.

Orange Shush

Give the TTB credit on this one. It didn’t buy the argument from Ale Industries of California that this witbier – originally called Orange Kush – was named after some ancient Egyptian kingdom. The obvious drug reference, the feds ruled, was “socially unacceptable.”

You can still see remnants of the original name on its label.

Joint Effort – Olde Bongwater Porter

When Red Hook and Hilliard’s breweries celebrated the legalization of marijuana in Washington by collaborating on Joint Effort hemp ale, they had to know the TTB would never let that pun slide. So they avoided the feds’ rules altogether by declining to send the beer past state lines. Then they went all-in with an imaginative bong-shaped tap handle.

Meanwhile, Olde Bongwater just sounds positively awful – but Kettlehouse Brewing in pot-friendly Missoula, Montana, brags it’s an award-winner.


The cans at Oskar Blues of Colorado say this imperial ale is BIG, RED and STICKY – just like premium Panama Red. As if that weren’t clear enough, the other side promises “can’o bliss.”

Say it fast, Barney Fife.


When federal label authorities belatedly learned that “kronik” is drug slang for grass, they were not amused. When California-based Lagunitas replied by renaming its popular amber ale, “Censored,” the feds really were not amused.

In 2005, state alcohol authorities shut down the brewery after agents raided one of its popular 420 parties and discovered (shocking!) that a few guests were toking up. Lagunitas replied by creating a new beer, Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale.

Leafer Madness

“Tell your children,” the campy 1936 anti-drug propaganda film “Reefer Madness” advised filmgoers. Evidently, no one bothered to tell the feds.

From Beer Valley Brewing in Ontario, Oregon.


Strangely enough, it wasn’t the name that got Lost Coast of California in trouble; it was the label depicting the Hindu elephant god, Ganesh. After religious protests and threats, the brewery ditched the diety.

But its IPA is still named after one of the primary THC-rich species of cannabis.

Miller High Life – Bud

Miller’s logo was born, according to company “legend,” when an advertising manager – lost and alone in the woods – had a crystal-clear vision of the High Life Girl perched on the crescent moon.” Right. No doubt, in the distance he also heard the faint sound of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” High Life, indeed.

Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch gets credit for the universal stoner slogan, “Don’t call me a Bogart. This Bud’s for you.”






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