Speedball beer pulled from shelves


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GLASGOW, Scotland, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Scottish regulators said Speedball beer is being removed from stores after complaints that the name glamorizes illegal drug use.

The Independent Complaints Panel of the Portman Group sided with Alcohol Focuses Scotland in ruling that the marketing of the 7.1 percent alcohol beer is associated with a famous cocktail of illegal drugs with the same name, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

The Portman Group, an alcohol industry-funded organization aimed at promoting responsible drinking, said its ruling to remove the brew from shelves is dependent on retailers voluntarily abiding by the decision. The group said Speedball was purposefully named after a potentially lethal combination of heroin and crack cocaine that was tied to the deaths of Hollywood actors River Phoenix and John Belushi.

"BrewDog is profiteering from the scourge of illegal drugs, mocking the misery caused by misuse," said David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group. "The company is seriously misguided in its claim to be educating and preventing people from misusing drugs. We are taking urgent action to protect the public from exposure to such negligent marketing."

BrewDog director and head brewer Martin Dickie said the company is changing Speedball's name to Dogma to ensure it remains available to consumers.

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