Danish beer bottles 'too sexy' for Sweden
Published: 18 Apr 2013 12:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Apr 2013 12:27 GMT+02:00
A cartoon depiction of a topless woman has been deemed too sexy for Sweden's state run liquor store monopoly Systembolaget, forcing a brewery in Denmark to change the beer bottle's label for the Swedish stores.
The bottle features a cartoon image of a woman who is half submerged in what appears to be a bathtub full of water. Above her, the word "Lust" appears in capital letters.
IN PICTURES: An up-close look at the 'sexy' Danish beer bottles
The beer is part of a seven-part Sinner Series, from Danish brewers Amager Bryghus, with each of the sins represented by a cartoon image on different bottles.
But Sweden's state-run liquor retailer has decided that the picture on the Lust bottle, which contains a sweet Belgian ale with a 9.2 percent alcohol content, doesn't abide by Sweden's alcohol etiquette.
"We can't accept the label, it's against Sweden's alcohol laws," Systembolaget spokesman Lennart Agén told The Local.
"It's quite a sexual label."
As a result, Systembolaget has told the brewers to remove or edit the picture if the beer is to be sold in Sweden. The brewers responded by simply blacking out the entire label so neither the woman nor the bath is visible at all.
But it wasn't an easy process, according to the brewers.
"We had to go through ten attempts before they'd accept it," Henrik Papsø, head of communications at the brewery, told The Local.
"We were trying for a bit of humour with the text, but they wouldn't let me get away with it."
The draft bottle label told how the brewing process almost turned into something of an orgy, but this was given the thumbs down from Sweden:
"During the making of this beer the general mood in the brewhouse turned somewhat sensual if not downright erotic! And everybody involved in the brewing spontaneously engaged in heavy cheek kissing. If it wasn’t for the unexpected ring of the doorbell things could have gone even further…" the label read (click here to read full text.)
"Apparently heavy cheek kissing is too hardcore for Systembolaget," Papsø lamented.
However, a final label was eventually approved and Sweden will be stocking the beer in one month, albeit with the woman being replaced by a black space where she once bathed.
According to the Danish brewers, Systembolaget reasoned that sexual success can not be associated with drinking beer, or as Papsø put it: "You can't score a girl by drinking yourself drunk".
Lusty beer label or not, it's the Danish brewers who are having the last laugh.
"There's been a flood of calls and emails from Swedes who think the decision is ridiculous, and they've been ordering copies of the uncensored beer from here in Denmark," he told The Local.
"We've gained a major following."