CAMRA and SIBA look to ban sexist beer

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Hot topic: sexist beer marketing has been a long-standing contentious issue
Hot topic: sexist beer marketing has been a long-standing contentious issue

Related tags: Beer, Siba

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) have laid out plans to ban sexist beers at their festivals.

The organisations have issued responses to Wild Card head brewer Jaega Wise's call for a ban on non-PC beers at competitions.

Wise urged the industry to ban beers featuring sexist imagery on their pump clips or labels from beer festival competitions organised by the Campaign for Real Ale​ (CAMRA).

CAMRA national executive member Abigail Newton said: “Wise has raised an important issue and we shouldn’t overlook other points that she made in her speech, particularly that this requires a whole industry approach.

“Brewers should take responsibility for ensuring they don’t market beer in a discriminatory way. Industry publications should consider what advertising they do and don’t take."

Cross-industry support

She added: “Industry organisations such as SIBA or consumer organisations such as CAMRA also have a part to play and can apply pressure, but it is more powerful with cross-industry support.”

Newton also highlighted a point about brewers alienating drinkers with their marketing rather than widening their appeal.

She said: “She [Wise] also raises a question worthy of further debate: why do some producers alienate the vast majority of their potential customers with material likely to only appeal to a tiny and shrinking percentage, when they could help beer have a much wider appeal both in terms of age and gender?

“The Manchester Beer and Cider Festival has been trialling a proactive approach to discourage brewers from using discriminatory marketing material and our volunteers have taken action at any of our festivals when offensive material or behaviour has been drawn to their attention.

“CAMRA’s national executive has been looking at this issue for several months with a view to taking best practice developed by individual branches and festivals and turning it into national policy and guidance, which we hope to be rolling out in the new year."

Inclusivity and diversity

Newton said: “We already have a charter and a code of conduct detailing our commitment to inclusivity and diversity and the treatment and behaviour we expect to be shown between volunteers and fellow volunteers and towards visitors at our events.”

SIBA issued a statement on its Facebook page in response to the head brewer’s comments. It said: “SIBA members who promote their beers with sexist, offensive advertising have no place in our membership of responsible, professional brewing businesses.

“All entries into SIBA beer competitions across the UK go through a process of screening by our competitions team to ensure they are not sexist, racist or offensive. Any entries judged to be inappropriate are referred to SIBA’s competitions committee for disqualification from competitions.

“This process will be formally included as part of our new SIBA competition guidelines 2018 alongside general advice for entrant brewers, which will be published prior to our first regional competition in April 2018.”

SIBA also took on board suggestions on collecting data on women in the beer trade and said: “With regards to gathering data on women working in the beer industry, this is an excellent suggestion from Jaega Wise at Wild Card Brewery (a SIBA member) and we are going to expand the questions on brewing employees in the annual SIBA members’ survey to give us more data in this area for the future.”

Related topics: Beer

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