New drink gets rude reception in Durham

The Colt 45 Blast bus in Durham Thursday (Facebook image)

July 8, 2011 8:48:59 AM PDT
Pabst Brewing Company rolled into Durham Thursday with a brightly painted bus promoting its new Colt 45 Blast beverage and got a rude reception from community activists.

Detractors claim the drink - which packs fruity flavors and 12 percent alcohol into a single 23-ounce can - is equivalent to downing five beers. Earlier this year, attorneys general in 19 states asked Pabst to stop selling it.

While the FDA and the State of North Carolina have cracked down on beverages that mix caffeine and alcohol, high alcohol only drinks like Blast are still on the market. Opponents claim they promote binge drinking, and Durham activists went a step further Thursday - charging Blast is targeted at African-Americans.

"They push this poison, this genocide in the black community, and then they act, then they don't want to talk to us. They're a bunch of cowards," said Minister Paul Scott with the Messianic Afrikan Nation. "They ain't putting this in the white community. They're putting it in the black community. Every store in the hood, that's where they're putting this poison."

ABC11 reached out to Pabst Thursday for comment on this story and was waiting for a response.

The company has enrolled rapper Snoop Dog to promote the drink and has an active social media campaign that includes a Facebook Page dedicated to the product.

Despite the protest Thursday, the Colt 45 Blast bus made the rounds of gas stations and convenience stores mostly in east Durham stocking shelves.

ABC11 contacted NC Attorney General Roy Cooper's office. It said he is concerned the beverage contributes to unsafe drinking by young people and he's joining with other attorneys general to study it.

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