Posted: Jan 10, 2012 11:36 AM
Updated: Jan 10, 2012 11:36 AM
Source: Associated Press, The Advocate
BATON ROUGE - Plans for an LSU beer may have gone flat. The university's governing body says plans by its flagship campus to license such a beer violate its contract with the Collegiate Licensing Company.
Michael Martin, chancellor of the Baton Rouge, said the planned LSU-licensed Bandit Blonde Ale is on hold at least until later in the spring because of the legal disagreement with the LSU System that oversees all LSU institutions.
"We're not focusing on that because there's so much else going on," Martin told The Advocate. "We're not going to go to war over it."
Although the second contract appendix states that beverages can be licensed, but the first says university logos cannot include any references to alcohol, drugs or tobacco products.
In a Nov. 8 letter to Collegiate Licensing Company, LSU System attorney Ray Lamonica said the LSU Board of Supervisors would have to amend a contract running through 2020 to let the university license alcoholic beverages.
"I think it is not reasonable to conclude that when the contract was reviewed for approval by the Board of Supervisors that they were reasonably put on notice that they were authorizing CLC to license 'alcoholic beverages,' one of the most highly regulated products by state, local and national government in the history of the United States," Lamonica wrote.
Martin said the CLC interprets the contract differently, though he did not give details.
The beer named after the famed backup defenders on the 1958 LSU football championship team would be made by Tin Roof Brewing Co., a microbrewery opened last year in Baton Rouge by LSU graduates. The university would get 10 percent royalties on its sales.
Since he took over at LSU in 2008, Martin has expressed an interest in starting a university microbrewery. Martin also noticed Budweiser profiting off of purple-and-gold beer cans in the Baton Rouge area.
"Beer is going to be produced somewhere," Martin said. "It's just a question of if we try to get something out of it."
The project is not meant to condone excessive or underage drinking, he said.