Brewery apologises after consent joke causes uproar

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Not funny: a brewery has been forced to apologise after joking about consent
Not funny: a brewery has been forced to apologise after joking about consent

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A brewery has been forced to apologise after suggesting in a tweet - intended to be about beer - that "only wussies ask for permission".

The tweet, made by Stone Brewing Co's California-based Arrogant Brewing brand, was to share the company's "technique that will help wash away the ordinariness of your day (or for rare few, cap off a day of significance".

It said: "Put me in your mouth, make an *mmm* sound, swallow. Express appreciation and ask permission to do it again. Hint: Only wussies do the 'ask permission' part".

The tweet, which has since been deleted, caused an angry reaction.

One person said: "I know your branding is supposed to be cheeky/mean/macho, but I am disappointed and troubled to see this type of joking about consent. The last line, "Hint: Only "wussies do the 'ask permission' part" seems especially inappropriate."

Another said: "You'd think we were starting to get past this sort of draining s**t by now. How many times do we have to say it's not acceptable before somebody listens?"

Seriously gutted

The brewery apologised, and said it was "seriously gutted" that the intended reference to a beer was linked to a "much wider and problematic issue in our society".

"Again, I get it and appreciate folks pointing out my head was in my ass. It’s out now and I don’t plan on putting it back," it said.

However, beer writer Melissa Cole is not convinced by the apology.

"Look, we all get things wrong, it’s a fact of life," she said. "And although issues around sexual violence and consensual sex do disproportionately affect women, it is something that affects everyone and should never, ever be made light of.

“However, it’s not just the initial tweet, or the rather limp apology, that I find unpleasant, it's the fact that the account then went on to pander to men who attacked people who raised the issue, instead of outright shutting them down, the desire to keep these kind of folks onside means everything else is just words."

The fight continues

Last month, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has announced it is making plans to create a marketing code of practice​ for its members to ensure responsible marketing.

SIBA has already stated "there is no place in the beer industry for sexist or offensive marketing" and it claims staff members are screening all competition entries at its UK-wide Independent Beer Awards for offensive labelling.

A new venture dedicated to promoting and celebrating the work of women within the beer industry​ has also been launched.

The project, run by freelance photographer Nicci Peet, is aimed at increasing the visibility of the diverse range of women (including those who identify as transgender and genderqueer) working in beer, and who help make the industry tick.

The Morning Advertiser​ has contacted Arrogant Brewing but did not receive a response by the time of publishing.

Related topics: Beer

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