Opinion

‘Sweet Baby Jesus’ beer pulled from grocery shelves after customers take offense to name

An award winning beer is being pulled from the shelves of a Cleveland-based grocery store after customers complained to management about the “offensive” religious reference on the beer’s label.

Sweet Baby Jesus!” beer, made by DuClaw Brewing Co. in Baltimore, is a chocolate and peanut butter porter that has stirred controversy in recent weeks. The name has apparently offended patrons of Heinen’s Grocery Store who have asked the chain to stop carrying the “controversial” brew.

The grocery store’s decision to pull the beer from its shelves is likely to have an impact on Duclaw Brewing’s bottom line, which claims “Sweet Baby Jesus!” is its most popular beer, accounting for roughly 35 to 40 percent of the brewery’s total sales.

Duclaw’s founder, Dave Benfield, said he’s not too surprised that some people took offense to the name.

“When you push boundaries and try to get one group excited about it, inevitably people are going to get upset on one side or the other,” Benfield said, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

“It’s not meant to be offensive, it’s not meant to be derogatory. If we thought we’d stepped over the line and offended people, we probably wouldn’t have done it in the first place.”

According to Benfield, the name was chosen when the brewmaster said that the phrase “sweet baby Jesus” was all he could think about after tasting the brew.

Seeing the common utterance on the label of a beer bottle, however, was apparently too much for some easily offended consumers to tolerate.

And in today’s world even sweet baby Jesus can be censored if enough people complain.

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Michael Schaus

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