John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A grocery chain pulled the messianic brew after customer complaints.
What qualifies as profanity in Ohio? Try “Sweet Baby Jesus,” as a beer named just that has been yanked from grocery shelves over customer complaints.
The chocolate peanut-butter porter, made by Baltimore’s DuClaw Brewing, raised the ire of shoppers at Heinen's. So the company removed the ecclesiastical suds from its stores, 18 of which are centered around Cleveland. A Heinen's spokeswoman basically gave Cleveland.com a “no comment,” saying they “have thousands and thousands of items in and out of our store all the time." (The company didn’t respond to this reporter’s tweet Wednesday evening.)
But the brewery’s Dave Benfield explained his side of the story to the Baltimore Business Journal:
“When you push boundaries and try to get one group excited about it, inevitably people are going to get upset on one side or the other,” Benfield said.
The name Sweet Baby Jesus was chosen after a test batch tasting of the winning recipe of a home brew contest held by DuClaw. Another name had been tentatively assigned—Benfield couldn’t remember the test name—but the brewmaster didn’t think it fully captured the consumer’s reaction at first taste.
“We liked the phrase [Sweet Baby Jesus], which at least to us, is a phrase of excitement or astonishment,” Benfield said.
What’s strange is there hasn’t been such outrage over DuClaw’s other beers, which include “Anti-Venom Cluster F#@k,” “Devil’s Due,” “Dirty Little Freak,” and, ahem, “Morgazm.”