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Friday, April 2, 2010

Brewing scandal over F***ing beer

A cheeky brewer has won the right to market a beer named after the Austrian village of F**king.

The European Patent Office originally rejected the brand 'F**king Hell beer' saying it contained a swear word. But after the brewery proved the village of F**king actually existed, EU officials were forced to back down. Brewery spokesman Stefan Fellenberg said: "In German the word for a lager beer is a Helles Beer, so we have also patented the name F**king Hell, which means lager from F**king of course. I don't understand why the patents office think of something else. They must have dirty minds."

Stefan added that if F**king Hell beer was a success they planned to open similar small breweries in the neighbouring German towns of Kissing, Petting, W**k and Piss. The village of F**king, to the north of Salzburg, close to the German border, has been in the headlines in the past, because of its unusual name. Last year Mayor Franz Meindl complained that tourists were flocking to the village to steal the road signs. He said the council had tried fitting the signs in the ground with cement and welding them to metal posts to prevent theft. They had even installed CCTV cameras to stop them being stolen or people stripping off naked next to them, but without success.

Now it seems the village has tired of fighting its popularity and is set to cash in.

The bizarre name is understood to come from a sixth century noble called Lord Focko, with 'ing' being old German for 'family of'. The German pronunciation is different from the English. Mayor Meindl added: "I am looking forward to getting the first-crate. Until then I'm reserving judgement. But maybe it could be good for local industry." Last year Mayor Meindl said: "It is just the usual spelling of the word. I'm sure I could find many town names in Britain or somewhere else which sound funny when pronounced in German. There is nothing funny in the name to us. If other people laugh about it, there is nothing we can do. But we pronounce it differently in our dialect and it was never funny in any way."

Juergen Stoll who runs the W**k guest house has no issues with cashing in on his village's unusual name. He said: "The people in F**king should cash in on their fame. I have so many visitors here at the W**k guest house that we have the mattresses all in a line in one big room for people to sleep on. Otherwise we couldn't fit everybody in. If the name helps to bring the tourists in, then why not cash in on it? In these credit crunch times every little helps."

In summer visitors can take hikes up the 5,800ft W**k Mountain, or take the four seater W**k cable car. Tourism chiefs say they realised that although the name meant nothing in German it was a goldmine when it came to attracting English-speaking visitors. A spokesman said: "There are W**k postcards on sale although many people prefer to take their own W**k holiday snaps standing beside 'Welcome to W**k' signs."

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