CAMRA investigates ‘Goat Tosser’ ale

A microbrewery in Peterborough was asked to explain the origins of its ‘Goat Tosser’ ale after the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) pledged to crack down on potentially offensive or derogatory beer labels and images.

As reported by The SunAngles Ales was asked to explain the origins of the names of its ‘Goat Tosser’ and ‘Happy Paranoids’ beers ahead of the Leicester CAMRA Beer Festival, due to take place from 7 to 10 March.

One of the organisers of the Leicester festival phoned the founder of the microbrewery, Paul Dickinson, on 19 February to express the organisation’s concerns.

According to Dickinson, CAMRA believed that the name ‘Goat Tosser’ could have potential sexual connotations, while it thought ‘Happy Paranoids’ could be offensive to those suffering from mental health problems.

Dickinson told The Sun that the name ‘Goat Tosser’ referred to an archaic Fenland practice of throwing goats over dykes when they were too scared to cross bridges.

‘Happy Paranoids’, on the other hand, relates the the side effects Dickinson experienced while taking malaria tablets on a business trip to Vietnam.

Dickinson told the paper: “I’d like to reassure people that we are ‘on message’ with this and there is nothing derogatory meant by the names at all.

“Beer is supposed to be fun – that’s why we chose two names with funny stories behind them.

“They are certainly not among the worst beer names in the country.

“This is just another example of snowflakes getting carried away with something totally harmless”.

This follows a number of complaints regarding sexism and inappropriate labels and packaging in the beer industry.

In November last year, head brewer at Wild Card, Jaega Wise, called for “a ban on beers with sexist imagery and branding entering SIBA and CAMRA festival competitions”.

When asked by the drinks business about the new policy regarding beer labels and imagery, Tom Stainer, head of communications at CAMRA, gave the following statement.

“As a consumer organisation, we need to ensure everyone feels comfortable attending our beer festivals, regardless of their background, sex, age or origin.

“Beer labels and images that are offensive or derogatory have no place in the modern beer world, and it is a credit to Leicester Beer Festival that they are taking proactive steps to make sure that all beers supplied and offered at a CAMRA festival uphold our core values and beliefs”.

‘Goat Tosser’ is described by the microbrewery as “a medium brown old English best bitter with an ABV of 4.4%” produced using Maris Otter, light crystal and cara malts and a “four-stage hopping process” using the hop variety Fuggles.

‘Happy Paranoids’ is 3.7% pale ale based on a William Younger 1851 recipe which uses “Maris Otter pale ale malt infused with Fuggles via a three-stage hopping process”.

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