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Brewer Loses in Brouhaha Over Holiday Beer Brands

(CN) - A brewer of irreverently themed Christmas beers cannot prevail on his request for damages after the state liquor authority initially refused to register brand names such as "Pickled Santa" and "Seriously Bad Elf," the New York Appellate Division ruled.

Daniel Shelton tried to register the brand names of six of his beers in New York. He said he received a call from the liquor authority informing him that his application had been denied, but the state never issued a written denial.

Shelton challenged the prohibition on the sale of his beers, claiming it violated his constitutional rights. One week later, the liquor authority approved his application.

Shelton proceeded with his lawsuit for the initial denial. The trial court dismissed his claims, a decision that was affirmed on appeal by Judge Stein.

Shelton's lawsuit failed, the judge ruled, because a recurrence of these events is unlikely.

"We find it dubious that plaintiff would allow himself to be misguided by an oral communication in the future," Stein wrote.

Shelton Brothers is based in Belchertown, Mass.

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