Illinois' attorney general joined state lawmakers this week in criticizing Pabst Brewing Co. for a new, colorfully packaged malt beverage called Blast by Colt 45.
Lisa Madigan says the beverage's fruit flavors and campaign featuring Snoop Dogg markets directly to kids. Madigan sent a letter to Pabst along with representatives from 17 other states, urging the Woodridge-based beer company to lessen the beverage's alcohol content. She says the alcohol in Blast equals six beers.
“A product like this only serves to glamorize alcohol abuse and promote binge drinking, threatening the safety of those consuming it,” Madigan says.
The line of beverages features strawberry lemonade, raspberry watermelon, grape and blueberry pomegranate flavors.
Other attorneys general echo Madigan's concern over the "binge-in-a-can." Lawmakers in Arizona, California, Maine and Massachusetts, among others, say the 12-percent alcohol content of a 23.5-ounce bottle puts minors in danger.
In 2008, Madigan and fellow attorneys initiated investigations of alcoholic energy drinks from MillerCoors Brewing, maker of Sparks, and Anheuser-Busch Inc., manufacturer of Tilt and Bud Extra. The companies agreed to reformulate the drinks.
Last year, Four Loko came under fire after the hospitalization of several college students, and Illinois and other states banned the sale of the beverage.
Blast does not contain caffeine. In December, Pabst said it abandoned a trademark for an energy malt beverage experiment called RIZE.