Maryland’s attorney general (AG), joined by the AGs of 17 states and the territory of Guam, have expressed to Pabst Brewing Co. concerns over the company’s “new flavored malt beverage, Blast by Colt 45,” characterizing it as a “flavored ‘binge in a can.’” In his April 21, 2011, letter, Attorney General Douglas Gansler alleges that selling a fruit-flavored beverage with an alcohol concentration of 12 percent in brightly colored 23.5 ounce cans, “poses a grave public safety threat and is irresponsible.” He contends that the target market includes underage consumers, “in violation of state law.”
According to Ganlser, each can contains 4.7 servings of alcohol and, if consumed quickly as intended, an individual “will have engaged in binge drinking, putting himself or herself at risk of serious injury and other health and safety problems.” The AGs call on Pabst’s CEO to “take immediate steps to significantly reduce the number of servings of alcohol presented to consumers in a single serving container . . . [and] take steps to ensure that the marketing of this product does not expressly or impliedly target an audience that is under the legal drinking age.” The company is reportedly promoting the new product with a popular hip-hop celebrity. See Maryland Attorney General Press Release, April 21, 2011.