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Beer cans with erotic reindeer poses pulled by brewery after complaint to regulators

Screengrab WCNC – Sycamore Brewing owners, husband and wife Justin and Stacy Brigham.

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A brewery in North Carolina is feeling the heat over a holiday beer can featuring erotic reindeer doing the dirty.

Sycamore Brewing had to pull the 2019 version of their Christmas Cookie Winter Ale from the shelves after an anonymous complaint led to a visit from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, Fox 46 reported.

Turns out, the naughty reindeer depicted on the cans were a little too merry, being displayed in various sexually suggestive positions.


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✨?ℂ???????? ❄️ ℂ????? ?✨ Can release today at 12 noon! VERY limited cases! Cheers! ??????

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“Christmas Cookie (after receiving an anonymous complaint) has requested that no more cans be sold with the reindeer label,” the brewery explained in a Facebook post. “There is a little bit left, and we’ll be bringing all remaining cans back to our facility and re-labeling them with last year’s G-Rated Christmas Cookie can art ? and it will only be available in our taproom!”

An updated post would later be posted featuring the safer cans, along with a message that the product has been sold out until next year:

The cans were reportedly never intended for the grocery store shelves or wide-scale distribution, the Fox affiliate reported. This allowed Sycamore Brewing to think they could be a little more risqué with the holiday design.

The label is designed to look like a tacky Christmas sweater.

“Then on a second look, you get a smile on your face and laugh a little bit,” co-owner Justin Brigham told the Charlotte Agenda.

ALE Special Agent in Charge Omar Qureshi told the newspaper that there were two overriding problems with the cans — he was not the agent who visited the brewery.

More from The Agenda:

The first issue: Sycamore didn’t get approval for the reindeer label, Qureshi says. That’s considered an administrative violation. The second: Regulators likely would have found the look obscene anyhow.

“Something’s telling me the ABC Commission probably would err on the side of caution and not approve that label,” Qureshi says.


Qureshi said Sycamore Brewing will be issued a notice of violation in the near future and will likely face a fine of around $500-$1,000.

Citing current events, to include the Democratic Party’s partisan attempt to remove a duly elected president, Brigham said the whole idea was supposed to be fun and make people smile.

Adding a little perspective to their demise, he said all you have to do is turn on the news and you will see depressing things.

“We’re in a moment in our country where the president is up for impeachment, there are school shootings, there’s all this horrible stuff going on,” he said. “And ya know, seven-and-a-half percent beer that tastes like cookies, with pixellated reindeer? That’s a nice reprieve I think.”

Tom Tillison


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