‘Sexist’ beer has been banned from a CAMRA festival - here’s why

The decision is designed to make women at the event feel more welcome (Photo: Shutterstock)The decision is designed to make women at the event feel more welcome (Photo: Shutterstock)
The decision is designed to make women at the event feel more welcome (Photo: Shutterstock)

In an effort to combat discriminatory attitudes at the Great British Beer Festival, The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has banned beers that feature sexist names or imagery.

The event kicked off yesterday (Tue 6 Aug) and runs until Saturday at London’s Olympia.

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Banned beers

The sale of a number of drinks has been banned by CAMRA, like those named Dizzy Blonde, Slack Alice, Leg-Spreader and Village Bike.

With over 1,000 beers, ciders and perries available at the festival, they’ve all been checked to make sure that they adhere to CAMRA’s charter and code of conduct.

A YouGov survey found that 68 per cent of female drinkers said they would be less likely to buy a beer if they saw an advertisement for it that they felt was sexist.

The announcement from CAMRA said, “The findings suggest that British women are actively boycotting products reflecting out of date and discriminatory attitudes and images associated with the beer industry.”

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Abigail Newton, the CAMRA national director, said, “We have already been refusing to stock sexist beers at the Great British Beer Festival for several years now, but this is the first time we’ve made such a bold statement.”

With a code of conduct that details a commitment to inclusivity and diversity, CAMRA has chosen Stonewall as its festival charity, and will be collecting proceeds throughout the week to support their work.

Making women feel more welcomed

Newton, said, “Consumer organisations like CAMRA have an important role to play in making women feel more welcomed within the beer world.”

“It’s hard to understand why some brewers would actively choose to alienate the vast majority of their potential customers with material likely to only appeal to a tiny and shrinking percentage.

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“We need to do more to encourage female beer drinkers, which are currently only 17 per cent of the population, despite the fact that they make up more than 50 per cent of the potential market.

“Beer is not a man’s drink or a woman’s drink, it is a drink for everyone. There is a huge amount of work that needs to be done to overcome outdated stereotypes.”

Sexism and discrimination in beer marketing

CAMRA isn’t the only organisation to take a stance against discriminatory attitudes surrounding beer.

In February last year, The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) announced their plans to create a code of practice for marketing for its members. SIBA have stated that “there is no place in the beer industry for sexist or offensive marketing”, and have staff members screening all the competition entries at their UK wide Independent Beer Awards for offensive labelling.

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These plans aim to formalise the approach of stamping out sexist and discriminatory marking and provide guidance for other breweries.

Wild Card Brewery’s head brewer, Jaega Wise, has also called for the beer industry to reassess its approach to women in beer.

As a Brewers Congress in London, Wise said, “You are completely alienating about 73 per cent of your market, but you also run the risk of patronizing the 25 per cent.”

“I would like to see a marketing code of practice. The US Brewers Association has issued a code of practice that breweries sign up to and you commit to not using sexist branding in your company.”

This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News

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