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Founders Brewing Co. is forced to get rid of the baby on its label

founders_stout2.jpg

The Michigan-based brewery announced lit was changing the label after the image was said to promote underage drinking. (Founders Brewing Co.)

The baby's gone, but left a note.

Michigan has followed New Hampshire by banning the sale of Founders Brewery’s Oatmeal Breakfast Stout because a baby appears on the label

The Grand Rapids-based brewery announced last week it was changing the label after the image was said to promote underage drinking.

“As we gear up for Stout Season, we’re also saying goodbye to a dear friend. The baby of Breakfast Stout is taking some time away from his crib after being booted from the label in our home state of Michigan,” the brewer said in a statement posted to its website, reported Michigan Live.

On the new label, bowl is still on the table but the baby is no longer.  But he left a note on the refrigerator with the message, “Left the crib for a bit, call me if you need me 616-522-2720.” 

The number connects to a voicemail message that says the beer is no longer allowed to be sold in the state. “Hey! Thanks for checking up on me. I’m currently not allowed in my home-state of Michigan, so I’m hanging in the rest of the Founders distribution footprint this fall. Leave me a message to let me know how much you love double-chocolate coffee oatmeal stouts, where you’re drinking your beer, OR, how badly you want me to come home. My Founders family may even use your voicemail for something fun! Maybe I’ll see you again next year…then again…maybe not.”

Michigan Liquor Control Commission rules say “an advertisement or label affixed to a container, covering, carton, or case of containers of alcoholic liquor shall not depict or make reference in any manner to minors.”

The brewery was fined $300 and had to remove all the offending bottles from its taproom last year, though the state did not pull the beer from liquor store shelves, according to Michigan Live.

Last year, New Hampshire banned the label arguing that the image could undermine the state's efforts to fight underage drinking.  The move sparked efforts to overhaul regulations that would have allowed some images of minors to appear on alcoholic beverage labels as long as they didn't encourage young people to drink.  In June, the state's Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed the measure.