The Brewers Association, a trade group that serves the craft beer industry, has taken a rather harsh stance on beer names and labels that straddle or cross the line of good taste.
At a press briefing held during the Craft Brewers Conference on Wednesday, the BA it would ban breweries that use offensive or sexist names and labels from using BA intellectual property such as World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Fest awards and medals in advertising.
“We want our members to be responsible corporate citizens,” said Bob Pease, Brewers Association president and CEO. “We want to err on the side of tolerance.”
The policy comes at a time when the United States is at a heightened sense of political correctness. Gender-shaming, racist remarks and innuendo are no longer acceptable in this country.
Pease does allow that there is a vast “grey area” that the move will have to navigate.
“It’s not going to be black and white,” he explained. “There’s a subjective element to that. And the Association… we’re going to find ways to be inclusive. But at the same time, we do think this step is the right thing to do and shows the leadership that is needed. But it’s gonna be sticky. It’s going to be hard.”
Breweries with names or labels that could be found lewd, offensive or demeaning will undergo a review conducted by an independent panel. The alleged name or label will be examined and a decision will be issued in a report that will be published to the BA website.
If a name or label falls outside of the BA’s acceptable policy, the brewer will be banned from using BA intellectual property in advertising of any sort. In addition, should the brewery win a medal at a BA sanctioned event such as the World Beer Cup or Great American Beer Festival, the name of the beer or brewery will not be announced publicly.