Scottish craft brewery BrewDog has this week released ‘No Label’, a beer variety that is intended to appeal to the transgender community.
The founders of BrewDog say the “non-binary, transgender beer” is made using a variety of hops that change sex prior to harvest, and is a genuine effort to help the LBGT community.
But the beer hasn’t exactly been well-received by the LBGT community, with a spokesperson for charity Stonewall telling The Independent it was “concerned about the language” and its capacity to “undermine” what the community stands for.
People have also been less than receptive on Twitter:
I fucking hate brewdog and their embarrassing “but we like trans people, so it doesn’t count if we mock them” bullshit
— Asstronaut (@anhonestdrug) November 4, 2015
.@brewdog trans people have to work so hard already to have our identities respected–to slap our identity onto your product is insulting
— -king kortney-✊ (@fakerapper) November 4, 2015
BrewDog founder and CEO James Watt told Business Insider that the beer was not a gimmick.
“People have got to look at what we’ve done here,” he said. “We’ve worked with the charity Queerest of the Queer to put this together. They co-designed the packaging, they worked with us on the project, we’re donating all the proceeds of sales of this beer to charity.”
BrewDog is notorious for using high-profile PR stunts to boost its business, from driving a tank straight down London’s main streets to dropping taxidermied vermin cats out of a helicopter.
And as if their efforts weren’t already scorned enough, the brewery was also slammed by critics over a recent promo video they claimed actually mocks transgender and homeless people.
“We’ve got a history of doing beers that help things we feel passionate about and that help minority groups such as Hello My Name is Vladimir. People need to look at this in the context. We have worked with a charity to put this project together,” Watt told BI.
The Hello My Name is Vladimir beer launched last year to protest Russia’s anti-gay laws, with 50 per cent of the profits from the beer going to charity.
“I think it was also important to make a beer that tastes fantastic but also messed about with unusual hops that have gone through this kind of gender change and in a style which is a Kolsch, which is somewhere in between an ale and a lager,” Watt added.
“The whole thing just blurs the boundaries of identity.”