What’s being hailed (by marketers, anyway) as the world’s first “transgender beer” has just been launched by British brewery BrewDog.
The beer, named No Label, is created with hops that have “changed sex,” according to the company’s promotional materials. (It’s a 4.6% ABV Kölsch; a type of beer that’s neither a lager or ale, brewed with hops that change from female to male flowers before harvest.)
It’s premiering at the brewery’s new bar in Soho, London this week. Some proceeds will be donated to LGBTQ groups like Queerest of the Queer, an events company, and Albert Kennedy Trust, a homeless charity.
BrewDog came under fire for a fundraising advertisement in September that featured the two founders of the company as transgender sex workers.
Over 25,000 people signed a petition, and yet the ad was not removed.
According to James Watt, a BrewDog co-founder who starred in the offending ad:
“No Label is a new level of innovation in beer, smashing stereotypes surrounding the brewing process and using hops discarded by the brewing industry due to their ‘gender issues.’
“Producing this non-binary, post-gender beer has been a long and careful process and we’re sure that many so-called beer purists will question its legitimacy; but we care more about freedom than labels. Diversity makes everyone and everything richer.”
On Facebook, Queerest of the Queer wrote a Facebook post defending their work with BrewDog:
“Queerest of the Queer aren’t the people you call when you want to pink wash – we don’t give you easy credits on your corporate social responsibility – we’re a collection of politically minded queers into performance and creating queer spaces.
“So when BrewDog responded to our challenge to talk about their fundraising video and how they could seriously re-engage with and make amends to the LGBTQ+ community they weren’t taking the easy track.
“We met and started to talk about levels of oppression and how cis, white, rich, gay men are not the only voice, even if they are a loud voice. There are other lived experiences. We had long animated discussions, including how charitable money doesn’t often end up going to the grass roots organizations that help LGBTQ+ youth, especially when they are supporting the homeless and refugees.”
Trans Media Watch’s Jennie Kermode discussed the ballyhoo with Gay Star News:
“We welcome BrewDog’s support for trans charities, but we hope it will show more sensitivity and awareness in promoting this beer than it did in its recent advert, which a lot of trans people were unhappy about.
We also hope the beer is good enough to do justice to its name.”
“While it’s encouraging to see BrewDog raising money for trans youth communities, and we like the ‘No Label’ concept, we’re concerned about the language. The trans community is diverse – many trans people do not transition, or identify with binary genders, and BrewDog’s language undermines that.”
h/t: Gay Star News