Link to article
Raging Bitch

Flying Dog Wins Raging Bitch Label Lawsuit

Share Post

Flying Dog Brewery has claimed a victory in the name of freedom of speech after a Federal court in Michigan ruled in favor of the brewery’s Belgian-style IPA, Raging Bitch. The lawsuit was over the beer label which was banned in 2009 by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission as they said it was, “detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the general public.”

Flying Dog took action against the ban by suing the state claiming unlawful censorship and infringement on the brewery’s rights.

“We didn’t take this appalling attempt at censorship laying down, “said Flying Dog’s blog. “We sued the State of Michigan and the individual members of the commission on the grounds of violating our right to freedom of speech. Now, over five years since the beer’s release, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the commissioners’ actions were a violation our First Amendment rights.”

While specific damages for the brewery were not specified, Flying Dog expects that officials will be “made to pay real money” as a result of the ruling.

Read more about the case and what Flying Dog CEO and the artist of the label, Ralph Steadman, had to say about the ruling on the brewery’s blog: Freedom of Speech Prevails in Michigan Raging Bitch Lawsuit.

Andy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association's acting editor-in-chief for Andy is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Westminster, Colorado where he is an avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.