Brewery forced to withdraw ‘Nazi’ beer
A Bavarian brewery has withdrawn one of its beers after critics claimed it contained hidden messages of support for neo-Nazism and Adolf Hitler.
Brauerei Röhrl, based in the south eastern German town of Straubing, found itself at the centre of controversy after it released a beer named Grenzzaun Halbe beer, or “Border Fence Half”. According to reports by The Telegraph, local student unions have called for a boycott claiming the name of the beer is an anti-migrant message referencing the refugee crisis that supports calls for a border to keep out migrants.
The beer’s 88 cents price tag meanwhile was interpreted to be a concealed nod of support for Adolf Hitler. The number “88” has long been used as a code by neo-Nazis, standing for HH or Heil Hitler, because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. Critics also pointed to its best before date, 9 November, which happens to be the anniversary of Kristallnacht. On this night in 1938, a violent wave of attacks were carried out by Nazi officials against jews in Germany and parts of Austria.
Frank Sillner, the head of the Röhrl brewery, has denied all claims that the beer was intended to carry hidden messages of support for neo-Nazism, pointing out that he has no control over best before dates which are set by the authorities. He said he had no idea about the significance of “88” in relation to neo-Nazism until a journalist pointed it out to him.
Confirming that the brewery had decided to take the beer off the market via a statement posted on its website, the brewery said claims the beer was somehow connected to the neo-Nazi movement were completely “unintended”.
It said it had taken the decision to remove the beer from the market to prevent further upset and to protect the tradition of Lower Bavarian beer, adding that as a company it distances itself “from all kinds of xenophobia”.
“We apologise strongly and formally for the resulting interpretations and misunderstandings”, it added.