Until recently, beer drinkers who took their time to read the labels on their bottles or cans may have encountered some head-scratching fine print concerning Texas.
Underneath the name of Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager, for instance, was the note “In Texas, malt liquor.” Even closer inspection would reveal that the word “beer” did not appear on the label.
The labeling quirks were the result of a law that required all malt beverages (read: beer) containing more than 4 percent alcohol by weight to be labeled as either “ale” or “malt liquor” to be sold in Texas. The same law also prevented any drink with an alcohol content of more than 4 percent from being advertised in Texas as a “beer.”
“It made for a very awkward label,” said Eric Ottaway, the general manager of Brooklyn Brewery. “Try writing a description without using the word ‘beer.’”