Blind Bat Brewery Hell Gate Rejected Label and Name, Bistro 25 Visit

Bistro 25
45 Foster Ave.
Sayville, NY 11782
(631) 589 – 7775

Blind Bat Brewery founder and head brewer Paul Dlugokencky churns out artisanal gems from within his Centerport nano-laboratory like an introverted craft beer scientist, often providing minimal information on current or future experiments (except for the notice of current or future experimentation), always creating and tinkering with a meticulous ethic.

Blind Bat’s latest, Hell Gate Golden Ale, is Dlugokencky’s interpretation of the Belgian Strong Ale (e.g. Duvel, Russian River Brewing Company Damnation) and is evidence that the scientist has developed “IT’S ALIVE!” once again.

Sunbeam dollar coin in color and gorgeous laced, Hell Gate is a smooth malt-marriage (due to the use of Vienna malt instead of the traditional Pilsner associated with the Belgian Strong style, which imparts a drier finish) between delicacy and complexity, of moderate spice and hints of floral vanilla and slight fruit.

A real joy to enjoy.

Props to Bistro 25 in Sayville and their 1/2 price Happy Hour (Tuesday – Friday, 4:00PM – 6:30PM), where the Hell consumption took place for only three dollars.

Yep, a Hell Gate for three bucks.

‘Nuff said.

Hell Gate Golden Ale, however, was not Dlugoknecky’s first choice of name. The label below, rejected by the United States Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in 2008, was designed for SuckerPunch, Hell Gate’s original moniker:

Dlugokencky: “The Feds objected to the name, the image, and the use of the word “strong” – citing Code 116, The text “SUCKER PUNCH” and the image of the fist touts the alcohol content of the product and the effect that the product will have on the consumer. Delete or change this text. They also cited:

Code 150
Malt beverage labels may not contain the words “strong”, “full strength” or similar words likely to be considered/confused with statements of alcohol content.

Code 108
The net content stated on your labels are in metric units of measure. US measure is required for malt beverages and must be stated as follows; If less than a pint = In fluid ounces, If 1 pint, 1 quart or 1 gallon = it shall be stated; If more than 1 pint, 1 quart, or 1 gallon = it shall be stated in fractions or in quarts, pints and ounces. Example: 1 pint 9 fluid ounces.


Code 63
On containers of this size, the Government Warning statement must appear in printing not smaller than 2mm. When upper and lower case lettering is used, the lower case lettering must appear in 2 MM print. 27 CFR 16.22(b)(2)

Code 15
Your statement of alcohol content must be changed to read Alc. ______% by Vol. 27 CFR 4.36(b)(1)

Code 14
Your alcohol statement may not appear in printing smaller than 1 MM or larger than 3 MM. 27 CFR 4.38(b)(3)

Code 5
The company name and address (city and state) is required to appear on your front label. 27 CFR 4.35(a)”

Find Hell Gate Golden Ale currently at Bistro 25 and Luce & Hawkins Restaurant in Jamesport.

niko krommydas

Niko Krommydas has written for Tasting Table, BeerAdvocate, Munchies, and First We Feast. He is editor of Craft Beer New York, an app for the iPhone, and a columnist for Yankee Brew News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.