Say Goodbye to Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages

Red Bull and Vodka

The FDA's ban on caffeinated alcoholic beverages will actually make it hip to drink Red Bull and vodka.

Oh FDA.  You are breaking Siouxsie’s heart.  Now you want to outlaw beverages that combine caffeine with booze?

The New York Times reports that the FDA took its first step toward banning caffeinated alcoholic beverages yesterday.  In a letter to 30 manufacturers, the FDA warns that companies have one month to prove that their products are safe.  If they cannot do so, the FDA will yank them from the shelves.  (Notice how the FDA published its press release on a Friday.  Pretty sneaky.)

The companies that manufacture these caffeinated alcoholic beverages likely will be unable to prove that their products are safe.   Everyone knows that by itself alcohol is a dangerous drug.  (It seems that the FDA lacks any institutional knowledge of the 18th Amendment.)   Perhaps, the FDA should have asked whether these beverages are less safe than other types of booze.  The FDA did not ask this question though because its mind is already made up.   The FDA is going to ban caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

Why?  According to the WSJ one study suggests that people who drink caffeinated alcoholic beverages are more likely to suffer negative consequences such as suffering an alcohol-related injury.  People also criticized these companies for marketing their products to underage and college drinkers (which they undoubtedly were).

Siouxsie is not opposed to regulating alcoholic beverages or these companies, but thinks the FDA is going about it all wrong.

A ban doesn’t make sense here.  People have been mixing booze and caffeine long before cans of this stuff were mass marketed.  The obvious loophole in the ban is that people can simply mix the drinks themselves (or ask their favorite bartender to do so).  Why not regulate the amount of caffeine contained in the beverages instead?  Or regulate the way the products are marketed?

Perhaps what is even more interesting about the proposed ban is who stands to gain from it — Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and MillerCoors LLC.  According to a WSJ article, these two companies voluntarily agreed to remove caffeine, guarana and other stimulants from their drinks last year.   And why wouldn’t they?  These two companies have multiple brands and products, and could easily shift their share of the market back to their separate caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.  When the companies removed their products from the market, however, smaller companies stepped in and took over the conglomerates’ market.

Arguably, a ban by the FDA means that these conglomerates will recapture some of their market share.

All this talk of outlawing caffeine and alcohol has only made Siouxsie more thirsty and more determined to have this combo the next she goes out on the town.

FYI, here is the FDA’s list of the companies who received a warning letter:

  • Charge Beverages Corporation (products: Liquid Charge, Liquid Core, High Gravity Core)
  • United Brands Company, Inc. (products: Joose, Max Vibe, Max Fury, Max Live, 3Sum)
  • Phusion Projects LLC (products:  Four, Four Loko, Four Maxed)
  • Point Blank Beverages Co. (product: Torque)
  • Hard Wired Brewing Company, LLC (product: Hard Wired)
  • Mix Master Beverage Co. (product: 24/7)
  • Catalyst Beverage Company (product: Catalyst)
  • New Century Brewing Company (product:  Moonshot)
  • Melanie Brewing Co. (product:  Evil Eye)
  • Thomas Creek Brewery, LLC (product: Mobius Lager)
  • Diageo North America, Inc. (product: Smirnoff Raw Tea Malt Beverage)
  • Constellation Brands (product: Wide Eye)
  • The P.I.N.K. Spirits Company/Prohibition Beverage Inc. (products:  P.I.N.K. Vodka, P.I.N.K. Tequila, P.I.N.K. Rum, P.I.N.K. Gin, P.I.N.K. White Whiskey, P.I.N.K. Sake)
  • Delicious Brands Inc.(product: Lotus Vodka)
  • Sovereign Brands (product: 3AM Vodka)
  • Moet Hennessey/Millennium Import LLC (product: Belevedere IX)
  • Shotpak Vodka (product:  Gravity Vodka)
  • Wingard USA (Importer) (products: V2 Vodka with Caffeine, Everglo Vodka)
  • LeVecke Corporation (product: Vicious Vodka with Caffeine)
  • Rocktail Drinks/Liquid Manufacturing LLC (product: Slingshot Party Gel)
  • Cold Spring Brewing Company/Atomic Brands (product: A:M Carpe Noctern)
  • 808 Spirits Co. (product: 808 Mango Beat)
  • Gaamm Imports Inc.(product: Booya Espresso Silver Tequila with Caffeine)
  • Ithaca Beer Co. (product: Ithaca Eleven Malt Beverage with Coffee)
  • Gluek Brewing Company (product: Gruv Malt Beverage with Guarana)
  • MHW, Ltd and Niche Import Company (product: Agwa De Bolivia)
  • Rizer Spirits Inc. (products: XZO Vodka with Caffeine, Taurine, and Guarana

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhillary/ / CC BY 2.0

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~ by siouxsielaw on November 15, 2009.

8 Responses to “Say Goodbye to Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages”

  1. Will it now be illegal for a bartender to make a rum and coke or Irish coffee? Coffee liqueurs like Kahlua are still legal but a vodka with caffeine is illegal?

  2. Raw Tea? Really? How much caffeine can that really have in it anyways?

  3. The FDA hasn’t banned any of this stuff, yet. The FDA is only looking at banning beverages that contain both alcohol and caffeine. Even if they do ban these pre-mixed beverages, I am just gonna keep mixing them myself. If the ban goes through, I think some state will enact tougher penalties on drivers who are drunk and caffeinated. Hopefully, my state will not be the one that takes that step.

  4. Psshh real men do a hot rail before a night of partying anyway. :p

  5. Nothing better than a bomb buzz of alcohol AND caffeine. Gotta love the Gub-Ment for recognizing this. Maybe some Congressman’s wife got pissed when he came up all hopped up on Liquid Crack? “What did you say you drank??? Liquid what? Oh no you did-unt”

  6. Personally I think the alcohol and caffeine combo is a brilliant idea. Good times and no falling asleep or getting all groggy. What more could someone want from a night out? Ha…

    Why doesn’t the goverment stick their big fat bulbous noses out of everyone’s business?? I’ll tell you–the more in your face, the more regulated, the more restrictive laws, the more funneling of the masses = CONTROL! Listen up sheeple…. keep you ear to the ground and pay attention to what is happening. It is starting to affect every one of us on some level. Before you know it…well…who knows….!

  7. […] predicted this outcome last year, and stands by her assessment – Siouxsie is not opposed to regulating […]

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