More Four Loko Fallout

As Four Loko and other formerly caffeinated malternatives head for the market with the FDA off their backs, chances are they’re going to have company from another group: the lawyers.

That’s because the brand – and others like it – has been named as a factor in an increasing number of criminal complaints and lawsuits in the past year.

Last summer, four Orlando men were killed in a car crash; according to the Orlando Sentinel, they had been struck by a driver who had consumed Four Loko.

Additionally, Florida’s Department of Children and Families recently announced that it is looking into cases that involved Four Loko. A spokeswoman told the Sentinel that “about a dozen cases in recent months” involved the drink.

While at least one lawyer has made it clear that his clients’ aim is to shut the company down, another caffeinated beer maker says she is about to have to close her doors as well.

According to Rhonda Kallman, whose Moonshot ’69 caffeinated beer was also included in the notice from the FDA that forced the makers of Four Loko, among others, to remove caffeine from their products, the new regulations have taken all of the raison d’etre for her own drink.

Kallman recently sent out notice that she has ceased production of Moonshot ’69 – a product that had the alcohol of a regular beer and about 69 mg of caffeine. She has also begun circulating an online “Save Moonshot” petition.

“Moonshot, my all malt, craft-brewed pilsner, bears absolutely no resemblance to the products that brought about the FDA’s demand to reformulate,” Kallman stated in an appeal. “I stand by my product’s formula which includes a standard 5 percent alcohol by volume and 69 milligrams of caffeine (which equals about a half a cup of coffee). I also stand behind my marketing strategy and take pride in the responsibility of my loyal customers. The practice of enjoying alcohol and caffeine together is nothing new (Irish coffee, rum and Coke, Red Bull and Vodka, coffee stout…), but the abuse of the law by some brewers is a legitimate concern. It is imperative, therefore, to find an acceptable level of caffeine that all beer producers can adhere to. “