A man sued a Brewdog for discrimination after he lied about his gender identity to get £1 off a beer.
Thomas Bower won a lawsuit against the Scottish brewery after he claimed to identify as a woman to get a discount. He will receive compensation for £1,000 ($1,252, €1,118).
Bower said he will donate to the Young Women’s Trust, which aims to help women negotiate for better pay. He will also donate to the Campaign Against Living Miserably, running a male suicide prevention line.
In 2018, Brewdog launched a Pink IPA in an attempt to highlight the gender pay gap. The limited edition beer’s name was a pun on their Punk IPA.
Satirically dubbed ‘Beer for Girls’, this beer was available to buy at £4 for all women.
When Bower walked into a Cardiff bar, he ordered a Pink IPA thinking he would get the special discount. When the bartender asked he paid £5 as opposed to the discounted £4, Bower said he identified as a woman.
‘I felt forced to lie about my sex’
‘After a bit of a back and forth with me protesting this, I felt forced to identify as female and was then able to get the drink for £4,’ Bower told Wales Online.
‘I complained to the company about this and they said it wasn’t discrimination because the price difference was part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the gender pay gap,’ he also said.
He furthermore added: ‘Not satisfied with this, I complained again to Brewdog stating that I was intending to take them to court over this but would rather resolve the problem outside court. They ignored this.’
Bower then decided to take Brewdog to the small claims court. However, he stated he would drop the claim if they apologized publicly.
‘[I] felt forced to lie about my sex in order to receive the product at the lower price and told the bartender that I identified as female. The bartender then served me the drink at a price of £4,’ Bower said in the court document.
The judge said Bower felt ‘humiliated’
‘In my judgment, it is clear that in this case the claimant has been directly discriminated against by the defendant because of his sex,’ a transcript of District Judge Phillips’ judgement.
‘The fact that by identifying as female he was still able to purchase a Pink IPA makes no difference. I accept what Dr Bower says, namely that identifying as a female was the only way he could purchase a Pink IPA at a cost of £4.’
He added that Dr Bower would have felt ‘humiliated’ and it was ‘not a pleasant experience for him’.