Tags: Ben and Jerrys | beer flavored | ice cream | New Belgium | microbrewery | mix flavors

Nanny State: Don't Mix Beer and Ice Cream — Because of the Children

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 05:27 PM

Nanny State: Don't Mix Beer and Ice Cream — Because of the Children
WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT: New Belgium Brewery will produce an ice cream-flavored beer with Ben & Jerry's. Does this mean ice cream is a gateway to alcoholism now?
Ice cream is wonderful.

Beer is wonderful (as long as you’re at least 21 years old, of course).

Putting them together? Well, maybe not the most obvious of flavor combinations, but I guess I’d be willing to give it a shot.

And soon, we’ll all get the chance. Ben & Jerry’s is teaming up with New Belgium Brewery to produce an ice cream flavored beer hitting liquor store shelves later this year.

The beer, called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, will bring together one of America’s best microbreweries with some of the world’s best ice cream as part of Ben & Jerry’s ongoing effort to prove Americans will eat literally anything. And according to a news release issued by the two companies, the beer will help raise money for a nonprofit that fights global warming — thus ensuring that our beer and ice cream stay cold, or something.

Aside from being skeptical about what it will taste like, there’s really nothing to dislike about this idea.

Unless you’re a professional nanny.

"It’s a crass, corporate, greedy move to put a brand name like Ben & Jerry’s on a beer,"Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director and CEO of Alcohol Justice, told USA Today. "It’s bad for children — who will start looking at beer as the next step after ice cream."

You may not have heard of Alcohol Justice before, but you’ve seen the group at work.

It was one of the leaders of the hype campaign that got caffeine-infused alcoholic drinks like Four Loco banned in most states several years ago. The group is also pushing states to ban powdered alcohol, a debate we’ve already covered in this space and elsewhere at Watchdog.org.

And that’s why they are being featured in this column today.

Normally, this space is reserved for state lawmakers, members of Congress and other government officials who see it as their business to mind your business. Generally, we take the point of view that anyone is allowed to object to anything — disagreement and debate are the caramel (or is that "car-mel"?) swirls and salted peanuts in the ice cream of American democracy.

So, yes, Livingston is allowed to denounce the ice cream-beer mash-up all he wants.

But since groups like Alcohol Justice have successfully courted government nannies in the past, consider this a pre-emptive strike in favor of flavoring your ice cream with anything you want.

Kids are always going to want ice cream, calories be damned. When they get a little older — likely before they are "old enough" in the eyes of the law — they are going to want to have a few brewskis.

But let’s give kids a little credit. They’re able to differentiate a six-pack of beer from a half-gallon of ice cream. No amount of clever marketing is going to change that.

Imagine if we applied Livingston’s logic to everything sold in the grocery store?

The anthropomorphic cake on the front of a package of Twinkies is dressed like a cowboy. So is the Marlboro Man. Hostess snacks are obviously a gateway to smoking.

Kellogg’s is promoting the use of recreational drugs, because they market a cereal called "Special K."

And what’s to stop children from accidentally confusing a loaf of rye bread with a bottle of rye whiskey?

Ridiculous? Sure. But not any more than the idea that ice cream is a gateway to alcoholism.

If the ice cream-flavored beer isn’t enough to get the nannies of America up in arms, Ben & Jerry’s have an idea that almost certainly will.

In a recent interview, the two self-described hippies praised states that have legalized the use of marijuana and discussed, perhaps half in jest, the idea of making weed-infused ice cream.

"If it were my decision, I’d be doing it. But fortunately we have wiser heads at the company who figure those things out," said Jerry Greenfield in an interview with the Huffington Post.

You can already hear the outcry. If only we prevent marijuana ice cream from becoming a thing, no kids will ever want to try smoking marijuana, right?

Here’s a better idea. State lawmakers, federal regulators, and everyone else with a pen, a phone, a vote, or a gavel: Leave our food alone.

If ice cream-flavored beer tastes as bad as it sounds like it might, it won’t be on the market for very long anyway.

Eric is a reporter for Watchdog.org and former bureau chief for Pennsylvania Independent. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Ice cream is wonderful. Beer is wonderful (as long as you're at least 21 years old, of course). Putting them together? Well, maybe not the most obvious of flavor combinations, but I guess I'd be willing to give it a shot. And soon, we'll all get the chance.
Ben and Jerrys, beer flavored, ice cream, New Belgium, microbrewery, mix flavors
Monday, 20 April 2015 05:27 PM
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