This year, Battle has singlehandedly approved over 29,500 beer labels, the only fact his press handler would provide. The TTB would not even provide basic biographical details about the famed regulator, much less make him available for an interview.
Almost every brewer of a certain size has a story about Battle Martin’s unforgiving penchant for denying beer labels, even when it goes against common sense.
“Battle Martin is really on it, and very, very thorough,” said Dan Shelton, who runs a beer importing business called Shelton Brothers, stressing that he liked Battle personally. But the system that Battle represents is a constant thorn in their side. “It gets a little perverted sometimes in that it goes too far when [he’s] looking to see if there’s any possible way for the label to [mislead]… it’s resulting in some perfectly good labels being rejected.”
Battle lives for his work. Brewers talk about receiving approvals at all hours of the day and night; notices from the federal government coming in at 5 a.m., or 1 a.m.