London, Nov 19 : The sale of an "aggressive" beer, which is under the name Punk IPA, is facing ban following a ruling that it would incite irresponsible drinking.
Made by BrewDog in Fraserburgh, Hop Rocker and Rip Tide, the drink and two others, were found to have breached marketing rules in a provisional decision by the Portman Group, a self-regulating industry body.
It decided Rip Tide's description as a "twisted merciless stout" would be linked to antisocial behaviour, while the claim that Hop Rocker was a "nourishing foodstuff" and that "magic is still there to be extracted" referred it would enhance physical and mental capabilities.
Set up 18 months ago by two former law students, BrewDog reacted angrily to the decision, insisting that it threatened to put the firm, which sells to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Oddbins among others, out of business.
The company is given the chance to respond before a final ruling.
James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog with Martin Dickie, denied the advertising would encourage irresponsible behaviour.
The label on Punk IPA, the main seller of the three, says "this is an aggressive beer, we don't care if you don't like it", which Watt said highlighted the contrast in taste with light lagers.
"Our branding, our packaging, is a little bit edgy. The word 'aggressive' is used because of the biting bitterness in it. It's a heavily hopped beer. It's not something you can drink a lot of," the Independent quoted him, as saying.
"We could [change the label] but should we be pushed into changing our approach by our competitors? I think what they [the Portman Group] are doing flies in the face of anti-competition laws," he added.
He added irresponsible drinking was more likely to occur as a result of strong lager produced by the major brewers being sold for a third of the price of his beer.