Under contract with Warner Bros. to deliver an “R” rated movie in the U.S., Kubrick was forced was forced to alter the sex scene for American audiences by using computer-generated “silhouettes” to obscure the offending adult behavior. (European audiences got to view the scene in all its original naked glory.)
I mention this because Port Brewing released its holiday Russian Imperial Stout, Santa’s Little Helper, this week and it seems that brewer Tomme Arthur ran into much the same problem as Kubrick and came up with a very similar solution.
Turns out that allowing Santa Claus to appear on a beer label is a big no-no to some authorities. (No word on masked orgies.) As a result Port Brewing was forced to alter the SLR label by using a printing press-generated silhouette to obscure the offending fat man in the red suit. Take a look (click for larger image):
The “no Santa rule” exists supposedly to prevent children from being enticed into drinking 9.5% Imperial Stouts and I have to admit, now that it’s an elf, a cartoon reindeer and a mysterious silhouette, the label really is far less “child-friendly”. (More amusing, note that the blacked-out figure’s gloved hand still appears.)
I guess we Americans can once again rest assured now that our government has protected us from another scourge on society.
No word yet on whether those decadent Europeans are getting the uncensored label.