British brewery BrewDog has launched what they call the world’s first ‘transgender beer’, using hops that have ‘changed sex’, two months after being accused of transphobia.
The beer, named ‘No Label’, will premiere at the brewery’s new bar in Soho, London this week.
A 4.6% ABV Kölsch, a beer neither definitively a lager or an ale, was brewed with hermaphroditic hops that change from female to male flowers prior to harvest.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to LGBTI groups; events company Queerest of the Queer, homeless charity Albert Kennedy Trust and worldwide poverty charity Micro Rainbow.
In September, over 25,000 signed a petition calling for BrewDog to remove a fundraising advert that featured the two founders of the brewery dressed up as trans sex workers that many considered offensive. The advert was not removed.
James Watt, a BrewDog co-founder who appeared in that ad, said: ‘No Label is a new level of innovation in beer, smashing stereotypes surrounding the brewing process and using hops discarded by the brewing industry due to their “gender issues”.
‘Producing this non-binary, post-gender beer has been a long and careful process and we’re sure that many so-called beer purists will question its legitimacy; but we care more about freedom than labels. Diversity makes everyone and everything richer.’
On Facebook, Queerest of the Queer defended working with the brewery.
A spokesperson said: ‘Queerest of the Queer aren’t the people you call when you want to pink wash – we don’t give you easy credits on your corporate social responsibility – we’re a collection of politically minded queers into performance and creating queer spaces.
‘So when BrewDog responded to our challenge to talk about their fundraising video and how they could seriously re-engage with and make amends to the LGBTQ+ community they weren’t taking the easy track.
‘We met and started to talk about levels of oppression and how cis, white, rich, gay men are not the only voice, even if they are a loud voice. There are other lived experiences. We had long animated discussions, including how charitable money doesn’t often end up going to the grass roots organizations that help LGBTQ+ youth, especially when they are supporting the homeless and refugees.’
Speaking to Gay Star News, Jennie Kermode with Trans Media Watch said: ‘We welcome BrewDog’s support for trans charities, but we hope it will show more sensitivity and awareness in promoting this beer than it did in its recent advert, which a lot of trans people were unhappy about.
‘We also hope the beer is good enough to do justice to its name.’