HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR VETO OF HB 122 relative to advertising of liquor and beverages.
HB 122 would have given our Liquor Commission additional discretion it does not currently have, to allow beer with labels obviously not intended to appeal to minors to be sold in New Hampshire. The bill passed both the House and Senate in overwhelming voice votes, after being recommended by the House and Senate Commerce Committees unanimously. There are at least two beers that will be affected by the governor's misguided veto:
1) Founder's Breakfast Stout from Michigan is the nation's highest rated beer, and is currently sold in 38 other states, including Massachusetts and Maine. The label has a Rockwell-esque painting of a baby eating a bowl of oatmeal. No reasonable person would believe that this label is intended to appeal to minors in any way. The Liquor Commission denied the label on the basis of the current prohibition in the law, explaining that it lacks the discretion to make common sense exemptions. This bill allowed that discretion.
2) Smuttynose Baltic Porter, made right here in New Hampshire, features a label with a baby and Father Time. Interestingly, this label was previously approved by the Liquor Commission in violation of current law. Now, due to the governor's veto, this beer will no longer be available in the state in which it is made.
“Governor Hassan's veto message contains language every reasonable person will agree with in terms of discouraging minors to consume alcohol,” stated Rep. Keith Murphy Bedford and prime sponsor of the bill.  “However, her contention that a label with an artistic painting of a baby somehow encourages minors to drink alcohol indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of the issue at hand, and it is unfortunate that the governor failed to contact me, the sponsor of the legislation, to seek the facts regarding the bill.
“The governor failed to even attempt to understand the issue addressed by HB 122, and never even contacted the sponsor nor, as far as I know, any of the legislators who worked on the bill.” Not only will our residents not have access to the highest-rated beer in the United States, our workers will be harmed by forcing a made-in-NH product off the market. No doubt Governor Hassan didn't know that, but she would have if she had taken the time to understand the matter instead of issuing a knee-jerk veto,” said Murphy.
"HB 122 overwhelmingly passed both House and Senate, and makes sense for the people of New Hampshire.  It is pro-business and would allow a very popular beer, Founder's Breakfast Stout, to be sold in retail stores.  Consumers should not have to drive to Maine or Massachusetts to buy this beer.  This veto is unfortunate and will hopefully be overridden," commented Rep. Laura Jones, Vice chair of the Commerce Committee.