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The Founders breakfast stout baby has left the state

Aug 28, 2015

"You wanna sell beer in this state? You gotta go through me, kid."

While not an exact quote, that's essentially what Michigan's Liquor Control Commission said when it found that the label for Founders Breakfast Stout was in violation of its rules, which say:

An advertisement or label affixed to a container, covering, carton, or case of containers of alcoholic liquor shall not depict or make reference in any manner to minors.

The beer with the label depicting the baby had been sold in Michigan for years. That ended when a Liquor Control officer took notice.

More from Garrett Ellison of The Grand Rapids Press:

In November, an MLCC investigator discovered the Breakfast Stout label was not actually registered with the state despite the beer having been sold on shelves for about a decade. The investigator allegedly told Founders the label would be found in violation of state liquor code were it properly registered.

The brewery was fined $300 and removed all bottles of Breakfast Stout from its taproom at 235 Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids last fall. Bottles were not pulled from Michigan store shelves.

Now the baby is leaving the state. And Founders is having a bit of fun over the flap. The company released an image of the old and new labels on its website. The baby has been removed in the new label with a Post-it note that says, "left the crib for a bit, call me if you need me..."

Original Founders Breakfast Stout label on the left. New Michigan label on the right.
Credit Founders

Call the number on the new Michigan label, and this is what you hear:

This, of course, is not the first run in a brewer has had with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission over labeling.

Back in 2011, the owners of Flying Dog Brewery - based out of Maryland - sued members of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission after they initially banned the company's Raging Bitch beer over objections to its label. The members ruled the label was "deemed detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the general public."

The company eventually won its first amendment case in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

So while the baby is gone for now, it might return in the future.