Moon Gazer Ales, in Hindringham, has changed the name of its White Face beer to Cheeky Jack after some customers commented that the name could be “misunderstood” and considered racist.
Brewery owner David Holliday explained the name was not intended to have any racist connotations and was named after a hare in a centuries-old poem.
The brewery has a variety of beers named after the old English poem, called Names of the Hare, including Jigfoot, Pintail and Nibbler.
Holliday added the team were conscious the name change could be seen as an “overreaction” but was concerned the original name could also diminish enjoyment for customers.
The new name was chosen as a play on the American name for hare, Jack Rabbit, as the beer is an American style IPA that uses lots of American hops to give it its “fruity and biscuit flavours”.
Moon Gazer first became aware of the issue after winning awards for the beer, which increased the brewery’s distribution in pubs, resulting in the company receiving some negative feedback.
Stop and reflect
Holliday said: “We became aware that the name White Face just wasn’t sitting entirely comfortably with some people, especially with those who were not familiar with our wider links to hares.
“Some people did not know the connection to the hare’s name, and the white mountain hare, which, sadly, in some cases, gave rise to the feeling that there was an undercurrent of racism.
“[My wife and I] were recently sitting in a pub beer garden and overheard a man showing his pint to his friend, saying ‘this beer is totally lush. Names a bit racist though’, and this really made us stop and reflect.
“This is, of course, a complete misunderstanding, but the fact it created that impression was of genuine concern to us.”