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The end of Moonshot beer?

Posted by Steve Greenlee  November 19, 2010 03:38 PM

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MoonShot_Six_pack.JPGIs this the end of Moonshot? The state's new ban on alcoholic drinks that contain caffeine -- an initiative aimed squarely at cheap, high-alcohol drinks such as Four Loko -- is effectively prohibiting sales of the locally brewed Moonshot beer. Moonshot, made by Rhonda Kallman's New Century Brewing Co., is hardly in the same league as Four Loko. With 69 milligrams of caffeine and 5 percent alcohol by volume, it's more like a Budweiser and a small cup of coffee. Four Loko, on the other hand, is a high-energy alcohol bomb that comes in 23.5-ounce cans and contains 12 percent alcohol -- making it about five times as powerful as a 12-ounce bottle of Moonshot. "It's apples and oranges," Kallman said this afternoon. "I was shocked by this." (The state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.) Kallman also received a warning this week from the US Food and Drug Administration, ordering her to remove the caffeine from Moonshot within 15 days or face a ban nationwide. That, she says, isn't an option. "I designed Moonshot around a caffeinated beer -- that's the whole premise," Kallman said, adding that she was hoping the FDA would regulate such beverages, not ban them altogether. "It's Prohibition. This is 2010." Even with a prominent role in the 2009 documentary "Beer Wars," Moonshot has never really taken off in terms of sales. So is it all over now? "I'm quite concerned," Kallman admitted, "and not exactly sure what to do."

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