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Are these beer labels sexist? Eye brewery under fire from Norfolk counterpart

PUBLISHED: 15:27 02 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08 03 December 2017

Launch of two new beers from Station 119 at the Arcade Tavern in Ipswich.

Launch of two new beers from Station 119 at the Arcade Tavern in Ipswich.

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A brewery in Eye has been accused of using sexist imagery to sell its beer.

Launch of two new beers from Station 119 at the Arcade Tavern in Ipswich.Launch of two new beers from Station 119 at the Arcade Tavern in Ipswich.

Station 1-1-9 has defended its use of 1940s style artwork labels to sell its range of American hopped beers after the accusations by a Norfolk counterpart.

In a post on Twitter, West Acre-based Duration Brewing - run by Derek Bates and Miranda Hudson - flagged up the Suffolk brewery in a discussion over sexist labelling on bottles and cans.

The tweet said: “Interesting to learn about @PortmanGroup and regulatory standards in beer. Two questions. 1. No policy on sexism in alcohol labelling - will this change soon? 2. Has station 1-1-9 been flagged to you as flouting the #sexualsuccess clause?”

The post attracted comments from people agreeing with Duration Brewing.

Launch of two new beers from Station 119 at the Arcade Tavern in Ipswich.Launch of two new beers from Station 119 at the Arcade Tavern in Ipswich.

One said: “It’s lazy, outdated and shows a complete lack of imagination in terms of creating your own brand and telling your story as a brewery.”

Another commented: “It’s about time breweries realised that this type of puerile marketing will damage their business.”

But Station 1-1-9 says its branding is based on the USAF Horham American air base that used to be based near the brewery.

A spokesperson for Station 1-1-9 said: “The whole theme, from the Vargas style nose-art, tongue in cheek names, based on aircraft that flew at the time, and even the fonts used, hark back to the style of the ‘40s.

“Each work of art is commissioned by us, creating beautiful original paintings, for each new beer. Embracing the vibe that can be found within hot-rod, tattoo and pin-up culture today.”

But Derek Bates, co-founder of Duration Brewing said a beer should be judged on its taste, not the branding.

He said: “We tend to judge breweries on the merit of the liquid - what’s inside the packaging - but branding matters more and more these days.

“Station 1-1-9 are using the female body and a lot of nudity to sell their product. Women adorning planes may have seemed celebratory or liberating following the reserve of the Victorian era but today - to sell beer - really?”

The Station 1-1-9 spokesman added: “These are works of art, paying tribute to an era where men and women bravely fought for our right to freely enjoy beer, nothing more. There are so many more important issues in todays society for people to be ‘outraged’ by, our brand is certainly not one of them.”


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