WASHINGTON — "PowerMaster" cannot be used as the name of G. Heileman Brewing Co.'s new malt liquor because it sounds too much like an advertisement for its high alcohol content, the government said Monday.
The decision by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is a reversal of the agency's earlier approval of the name.
Spokesman Tom Hill said the bureau decided that the name alludes to the beverage's 5.9% alcohol content, compared to the 5.5% of most malt liquors and considerably higher than that for regular beer, which is about 3.5% alcohol.
Federal law prohibits brewers from citing the alcohol percentage of their products in advertising or on their labels--a rule designed to eliminate any chance of competition on that basis.
Hill said the earlier approval had been made by a specialist who did not realize the name PowerMaster connoted the alcoholic content.
He said the bureau is investigating other malt beverages.