Vice Squad
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Smirnoff Iced

If grocery stores are allowed to sell beer, are they allowed to sell "malternatives," drinks like Smirnoff Ice® that have a similar alcohol content as premium beer (5% by volume) but are "brewed using a malt base" (as the Smirnoff Ice® website mentions)? The state of Oregon has decided that, as of 2005, such malternatives will not be allowed to be sold in grocery stores, if they contain more than one-half of one percent distilled alcohol. Many malternative producers are reformulating their drinks to permit grocery store sales, but the owner of Smirnoff Ice® is challenging the Oregon rule in the courts. In the linked article, an official with Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bacardi Silver®, has stated that "Anheuser-Busch wholeheartedly supports the deadline contained in the law."


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