Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bud or Weed? Big or Small?

Who knew that someone named Abner Weed, a timber baron who opened a lumber mill and named the town for himself, would set off a controversy with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Federal Government? The town which sits along I-5 in northern CA is the most recognized name along the interstate according to Siskiyou County Supervisor Michael Kobseff.

I’ve been to Weed several times in the past six months and found it to be a wonderfully quaint town with a historical downtown. It also is the site that a Milwaukee craft brewer, Vaune Dillmann, decided to start Mt. Shasta Brewery in 1999, after cleaning up a badly contaminated industrial site. His brews, Abner Weed Amber Ale, Lemurian Lager; Mountain High IPA, Shastafarian Porter; and Weed Golden Ale all promote the fact that they are made with 100% Pure Mt. Shasta Spring Water.

It was the last brew, Weed Golden Ale that got Dillmann in trouble with the Feds which is threatening to impose fines and/or sanctions against the brewer for promoting a beer named Weed with bottle caps that say Try Legal Weed. Evidently, they feel that the bottle caps tell consumers to support an illegal drug.

Dillmann feels that he is being unfairly singled out and that if the Feds wanted to go after someone they should go after Anheuser-Busch for their use of the word “Bud”, another name for marijuana, rather than a little brewer like him.

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