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Craft beer has become a hugely profitable industry, with the Brewers Association reporting over $14 billion in annual sales for craft beers in 2013, and the overall beer market exceeding $100 billion.
Incredibly, despite the size of the industry, any brewery that wants permission to attach their label to beers for sale in the country needs to go through one man. Kent “Battle” Martin, a one-man dynamo to some, and a heartless tyrant to others, is responsible for approving beer bottles and labels for the Tax and Trade Bureau, a section of the Treasury Department.
According to Business Insider, Battle, as he prefers to be called, is an enigmatic and secretive character that is almost a legend in the brewing community.
In 2013, Battle approved over 29,500 beer labels himself, with no record available of how many labels he has rejected. And according to the source, he can be a particularly difficult man to please.
Battle received criticism for rejecting a beer label for the King of Hearts, on the grounds that the hearts on the playing card on the label could imply that that the beer has health benefits. He also rejected a Danish beer label that had an image of a hamburger on the label, arguing that the image could lead to consumers to believe there was a meat ingredient in the beer.
If your organization needs to have labels approved by the Tax and Trade bureau, it would be wise to invest in an in-house printing equipment that allows you to experiment with multiple label designs, in case one or more options are rejected. As the article suggests, pleasing Battle can be difficult, and it is best to be prepared for all eventualities.