A popular Baltimore beer is seeing a less-than-sweet reception from some Ohio shoppers, adding a small speed bump to the brewery’s Midwest expansion.
DuClaw Brewing Co.’s Sweet Baby Jesus brew was pulled from the shelves of Heinen’s grocery stores after customers complained about the name. Rosedale-based DuClaw released Sweet Baby Jesus, a chocolate and peanut butter porter, in 2013 and introduced it to Ohioans in April. The beer accounts for 35 percent to 40 percent of DuClaw’s sales, making it the company’s most popular beer, DuClaw founder Dave Benfield said. Heinen’s has 22 locations in Ohio and Illinois.
Benfield said this is the first time the beer has been pulled from a chain of stores, but not the first time it’s generated complaints.
“When you push boundaries and try to get one group excited about it, inevitably people are going to get upset on one side or the other,” Benfield said.
The name Sweet Baby Jesus was chosen after a test batch tasting of the winning recipe of a home brew contest held by DuClaw. Another name had been tentatively assigned — Benfield couldn’t remember the test name — but the brewmaster didn’t think it fully captured the consumer’s reaction at first taste.
“We liked the phrase [Sweet Baby Jesus], which at least to us, is a phrase of excitement or astonishment,” Benfield said.
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SOURCE: Baltimore Business Journal