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TABC Approves "Clusterfuck IPA" During Actual, Agency-Wide Clusterfuck 


In the midst of a massive, messy, agency-wide shake-up, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission gave an Austin brewery the green light to start selling the aptly-named "Clusterfuck IPA." The timing couldn't be better.

Last week's approval of the Uncle Billy's Smokehouse & Brewery ale came after six of the TABC's head honchos were forced out of the agency (including three just last week) after light was cast in early 2017 on the agency's bad habit of lavish spending and other taboo corruption. TABC's acting director, Ed Swedberg, who had only been on the job a month, was the latest to step down Friday.

Use of the word "fuck" is usually grounds for disqualification in the world of state-issued licenses, but according to TABC spokesman Chris Porter — the decision was simply based on the law.

"In cases like these, we come up against First Amendment issues," Porter told the Current. "Because the community standard for indecent is so different across the state, we're unable to make that call."

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Trevor Nearburg, head brewer at Uncle Billy's Austin taproom, said he didn't expect the label to make the cut. "But we figured we'd at least give it a shot," he said.

Nearburg said that the name "Clusterfuck" has nothing to do with the TABC's ongoing drama, but rather the "fuckloads" of special cluster hops used in the brew. Those aromatic hops, he says, create the beer's "floral, full-bodied, easy-drinking summer" profile.

For those curious about what a "clusterfuck" looks like, read up on TABC officials here. Or, perhaps more pleasurably, give the only-on-tap summer session a taste at Uncle Billy's location near Barton Springs.

1530 Barton Springs Road, Austin, (512) 476-0100.

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