The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

FourLoko is officially illegal

Since all things FourLoko related have been assigned as part of my beat, I’ve got big news for you:

Convenience stores throughout Eugene received an order yesterday: pull all Four Loko. Actually, it was the same story that unfolded across the US yesterday as the Food and Drug Administration’s ban went into effect. The ban didn’t just affect Four Loko, but all caffeine-containing alcoholic drinks, such as Joose and others. The mixture of caffeine and hooch was ruled unsafe earlier this week after a year-long investigation.

So far, the controversy has done little but drive sales of Four Loko through the roof, local businesses say. Without the controversy, the disgusting elixir may have stayed palatable only to hipsters and 18-year-olds; but since it became “edgy” and “dangerous,” its popularity soared.

Phusion Projects, the unholy creators of Four Loko, have decided to reformulate their product without the caffeine, much like what their competitor, Sparks, did. They also chose to remove the guarana and taurine from the Four, making it just regular Loko.

Six other companies were also cited for making unsafe products, such as San Diego, California-based United Brands, which manufactures the Joose and Max brands; Portland, Oregon’s Charge Beverages Corp., which sells Core High Gravity HG, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked; and New Century Brewing of Boston, Massachusetts, which makes Moonshot.

At least one, so far, Moonshot, is calling bullshit on the FDA’s ruling, feeling that their product was unfairly lumped in with Four Loko and other such beverages:

New Century proprietor Rhonda Kallman told CNN she was puzzled by the FDA’s decision to include Moonshot on its list.

“I don’t know what to say except I’m really shocked about the outcome of the FDA’s inquiry, and I need more answers than what I’ve gotten,” said Kallman, who said she is New Century’s only full-time employee.

Kallman described Moonshot as a craft beer that has about 4 percent alcohol by weight, about two-thirds the caffeine of a cup of coffee and is sold in only three cities — “and yet it’s being singled out with Four Loko and Joose.”

“Those brands are neon green. They’re not beer, they’re juice, with 200 grams of sodium and artificial everything,” she said.

We’ll see if this has any effect on breweries like Oakshire and their delicious Overcast Espresso Stout, as well as the MateVeza line of beers, which are brewed with yerba mate tea. But there’s probably nothing to worry about. Seriously, when has the government ever been known to make sweeping regulations with little concern for unintended ramifications?

  1. Sophay says:

    Good thing someone figured out how to make it at home:

  2. Ellie Macallan says:


  3. Erik says:

    this is just the lobbyists for major brewing companies feeling the heat of the competition, so they run to their friends in dc and have them push to make Four Loko illegal. Thus getting rid of the compettition. Drinks that combine alchohol and caffine have been around for almost 10 years and didnt start getting attention for being “unhealthy and dangerous” until the company FOUR actually started making serious chedder. While drinking them is dangerous and very unhealthy, SO IS DRINKING IN GERERAL! this is just a bullshit war over money… and all i want is a four loko (even if it does kill my liver).

  4. Drew says:


  5. Shane Charles says:

    This is a joke. In response to Larry’s comment, the reason these drinks are singled out is due to the fact that the large beer companies were losing a large share of business. Unlike the larger companies, these guys don’t have politicians on the payroll. If this was really a healt issue, the FDA would also have to stop the Red Bull and Vodka drinks. They contain more alcohol and caffeine in every drink. I guess its allowed to be unsafe if you pay enough people off. The Four Loko’s and Joose brands were directly targeted for one reason, money. Money Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors wanted a piece of.

  6. […] Mercury (blog)Four Loko Banned? Not ExactlyGossip JackalWEAU-TV 13 -American Spectator -Oregon Commentatorall 2,245 news […]

  7. Ellie Macallan says:

    Prohibition, take two?

  8. Larry Hill says:

    After talking to Sixteen Tons owner Mike Coplin, Oakshire has already been affected. The Washington law outlawing the bottling (key word…. mixtures like Red Bull vodka and Irish Coffee are magically unregulated) of caffeine and alcohol together have made their Espresso Stout illegal in that state.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.