If you have kids and are in the beer business, there’s precious few things you can buy for them with beer logos or graphics on them. Which is shame, I say. When Porter was born, Anchor Brewery presented him with a cool onesie. A year or so later, a friend at Deschutes gave him a logo shirt just his size.
I don’t understand why people are so squeamish about this nowadays. When we were kids and iron-ons were all the rage, especially down the shore at Wildwood, Ocean City or any of the other New Jersey resort towns we’d drive to for a weekend getaway in high school. Tourist shops were littered with countless iron-ons, many of them beer themed and they had no qualms selling them to us. And why should they? You can’t drink a shirt. There’s no law so far as I know that prohibits minors from wearing the image of a product that they aren’t allowed to buy. It’s the same bullshit thing with websites claiming that you must be 21 to read their brewery website. Why? Since when is reading about anything restricted?
One of my favorite painters — Rene Magritte — famously reminded us of this in his iconic The Treachery of Images, though you probably know it by the translation of its text, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” which is “This is Not a Pipe.” The painting, you’ll recall, is simply a tobacco pipe on a blank canvas with the text beneath it. And the point Magritte was making is that images are not the objects, just representations. And so it is with brewery logos and words on a page (or computer screen). They’re not the beer themselves, which is prohibited for kids, but merely images. They have no intrinsic power, only what we assign to them.
But our society is so in thrall to the screeching minorities that believe they know best how you should raise your children that almost no company can offer such products for fear of these groups’ reaction, effectively curtailing what would otherwise be legal products that harm no one, unless you count the delicate sensibilities of the neo-prohibitionists (okay, I’m tired of writing that word and so will start using Lew Bryson’s preferred term, the New Drys, just to break it up). Heaven forfend that children see beer, beer brand logos or worst of all, beer on clothing. They might become familiar with them and/or not afraid of them, and we can’t have that. Because of this, I personally love finding shirts for my kids that will drive the New Drys nuts.
So I was mightily bummed yesterday when I came across this shirt, “B is For Beer,” because it’s only available is size up to 36 months, well past my urchins. I first stumbled on it from a UK website, but happily there is an American retailer carrying it, Baby Dagny.
It’s available in white, light blue and hop green. If my kids were younger, I’d buy two.