Chocolate beer barred from sale after child mistakes it for chocolate milk

Stout with a dash of chocolate powder – and very similar packaging – sent back to the drawing board


Poll An Australian brewery has been banned from promoting one of its beers, after a minor mistook it for chocolate milk.

The beer in question is a chocolate stout produced by the Howler Brewing Company. The stout includes "Milo" – a powdered Nestlé product popular in Australia and South-East Asia as either the basis of a hot chocolate or a way for kids to turn a glass of cold milk into confectionery. Howler's Choc Milk Stout imitates Milo's packaging.

That packaging decision, as explained by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), led to "a complaint from a concerned parent after their child thought the can of Choc Milk Stout in the fridge was a can of Nestle's chocolate milk product, Milo".

The Commission has therefore "banned the advertising or promotion of the product" until Howler changes its packaging.

"The VCGLR found the appearance of Choc Milk Stout contravened Principle 14 of the guidelines that states the advertising or promotion of liquor must not encourage under-age drinking."

The Register's take

The Register applauds the Commissioners' decision, because Milo has a weak and sickly chocolate flavour unlikely to produce a pleasant or distinct note in a stout or porter.

Your correspondent can report that other antipodean sweet, dark, brews offer extraordinary drinking. This chocolate biscuit milk stout, for example, takes its inspiration from Australia's infamous Tim Tam biscuits and has been quite a highlight of Sydney's ongoing COVID lockdowns. While it lacks an Australian ingredient, this Crème Brûlée Pastry Stout from a brewery that is dangerously close to Vulture East also goes down very well indeed. That it is 8.9 per cent alcohol by volume doesn't hurt.

We say this cognizant that dark beers – especially sweet ones – are not everyone's … err … cup of tea. Vent in the comments or poll. ®

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