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Beer Brand's Attempt At 'Beer For Women' Awkwardly Misses The Mark

Beer Brand's Attempt At 'Beer For Women' Awkwardly Misses The Mark
Updated 3 months ago

BrewDog is a craft beer brewery founded in 2007 in Scotland by James Watt and Martin Dickie. The brand has exploded, and BrewDog now has breweries all over Europe and Latin America. The company has often been known for it's 'punk' essence, which has gotten them into trouble in the past. Mostly, however, that trouble has been due to their increasingly ambitious ABV, or alcohol by volume. Most beers have an ABV between 4–6%. Many types of beer, including such favorites as IPAs, stouts, porters, and Belgians, can reach up to the 10–12%. But in 2010, BrewDog brewed a beer called "End of History" that had a 55% ABV, causing consternation across the beer drinking world. This time, it's not their exploding ABV that's causing trouble. It's their branding.

On Tuesday, the official BrewDog Twitter account tweeted this ad:

People were not amused. At all:

However, if one actually reads the article announcing the beer, they'd see this information...

At BrewDog, we have always believed that beer is for everyone, and equality is a fundamental right. So today we are launching a clarion call to end the discrimination of gender pay inequality. In the UK men earn on average 20% more than women. And that’s not ok.
So ahead of International Women's Day this Thursday, we are launching Pink IPA. A beer for women. A beer for equality.
Satirically dubbed Beer for Girls, Pink IPA is BrewDog’s clarion call to close the gender pay gap in the UK and around the world and to expose sexist marketing to women, particularly within the beer industry. This is our overt parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women.

The article continues:

For the next four weeks, we are offering Pink IPA. Inside the bottle, it is the exact same beer as Punk IPA. But on the outside, it looks different. This is a reflection of the situation around the world relating to gender imbalance – Pink IPA is our effort to raise awareness of the current, unwelcome, status quo. At BrewDog we are committed to a workplace free from inequality of any sort.
To reference the gender pay gap, 20% of the proceeds from Punk IPA and Pink IPA sold over the next 4 weeks will be donated to charities that fight inequality and support women. In the UK, we’re supporting the Women’s Engineering Society. In America, the pay gap is 19%, and the charity receiving that portion of proceeds will be 9to5. Read more about our charity partners and find the gender pay gap in your country here.
What’s more, people who identify as female will be able to pick up Pink IPA in any BrewDog bar for 20% less. The beer will launch in our bars this Thursday 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Huh. So the label is meant to be satirical, and the point is that the beer on the inside is exactly the same as their normal beer. Not to mention the fact that a fair amount of the proceeds are going to worthy causes.

Still, many didn't appreciate BrewDog's version of satire:

Many assumed that men came up with this campaign:

But a Tuesday tweet by James Watt revealed that an all-female marketing team came up with the idea for the Pink IPA:

Finally, Andy Davies calmly and succinctly explained the problem with the campaign:

And he went on to ask...

From where I'm sitting, it's not the campaign that's the issue — it's the rollout. If they had talked about the satire on their announcement tweet, acknowledged the women who came up with it, and perhaps clarified the label to make the satire obvious when the beer is just sitting in a store, it would be a whole different ballgame.


H/T: Twitter, BrewDog