Dezeen Magazine

BrewDog launches satirical "beer for girls" to highlight gender pay gap

Scottish brewer BrewDog has released a pink-branded "beer for girls" ahead of International Women's Day, to trigger debate about sexist marketing and the gender pay gap.

Launched yesterday, the new Pink India Pale Ale is a variation of the subversive brand's Punk IPA and boasts a "lurid fuchsia" label.

The independent craft brewer described the product as an attempt to tackle the "lazy marketing efforts targeting the female market" and pledged to donate at least 20 per cent of proceeds to charities that fight gender inequality.

Proceeds go to charity

Released ahead of International Women's Day on 7 March, the new beer will be sold for 20 per cent less than the regular blue-coloured IPA – a move intended to reflect the 18.1 per cent average pay gap between men and women in Britain.

"With the product being identical to the blue-branded Punk IPA, the brewer intends to trigger questions about why women continue to earn less than their male counterparts and offer them a discount on the beer equivalent to the gender pay gap," said a statement on the company's website.

Beer brand Brewdog has released a satirical "beer for girls" ahead of International Woman's Day on 8 March,

But some commentators felt the brand is perpetuating stereotypes. "BrewDog is trying to be clever, sarcastic and ironic but I think it may be viewed as a patronising beer from one of the big boys," said Sara Barton, director of Brewster's Brewery and founder of female brewing network Project Venus.

Speaking to the Guardian, Barton said: "I applaud the thought – it is an issue that needs highlighting in brewing and beyond – but it may be too subtle for people to understand, over their heads and therefore patronising."

Some people "might not appreciate the irony"

In response, BrewDog's global head of marketing Sarah Warman told HuffPost UK: "We always anticipated that some people might not immediately appreciate the irony of Pink IPA but that did not deter us in our mission to spark a conversation about the gender pay gap."

"Pink IPA is clearly an over-the-top ridiculing of the types of sexist marketing we often see from brands trying to engage a female audience," she said.

Pink IPA will be available for four weeks in the UK, South Korea, Ireland, Germany, the USA and the Netherlands. UK proceeds will go towards the Women's Engineering Society, a charity and a professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists.

Latest stunt by subversive brewer

BrewDog has a track record for provocative stunts. In 2010 it launched a range of beers packaged inside dead animals while last year it came up with Make Earth Great Again, a brew made of ingredients from areas affected by climate change. The tipple protested Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.