Sweden Bans Microbrew's Pirate Label

A Swedish microbrewery got a little too cute for its own good and its quirky labels were banned by the Swedish alcohol authority, which did not think it was appropriate for a pirate to drive a boat while drinking beer.

According to The Local, Sweden has a state-run alcohol chain called the Systembolaget, and anyone wanting to sell alcohol in Sweden has to go through them. In an attempt to discourage excessive or irresponsible drinking, that authority bans things like two-for-one alcohol deals and labels that show people engaging in risky situations.

The Jemtehed & Brande reportedly ran afoul of those rules recently when they put a policeman wrestling a crocodile on one of their labels. Crocodile-wrestling is a "risky behavior," but that label was banned because it is not legal to show a person in a professional capacity–like a police officer–on the label. The specific police officer in question is a real guy and a friend of the brewery's owners, but the authority did not care.

Another Jemtehed & Brande label that was rejected featured a female superhero on a pirate ship hunting a sea monster, but that one was reportedly nixed because it encouraged boating and drinking.

"You're not allowed to show risk-filled situations. It is undeniably risky to look for a monster, but it's an extreme situation. I personally think that people understand that it's made-up, you don't hunt monsters in steam boats – not even here in Jämtland," laughed co-owner Jesper Jemtehed.

The hero is now looking for her monster from a safe spot on the beach, and Jemtehed is crossing his fingers that the new label will be approved.

"It's not that big a deal, really. They have a framework of rules for how a label should look and we haven't adhered to that," he said. "But it is a bit fun to test the system."