South African craft brewery apologises for ‘Filthy Brunette’ and ‘Easy Blonde’ beers
A South African craft brewery which makes beers called Filthy Brunette and Easy Blonde has apologised for “sexist” marketing.
Vale Bru, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. Crass, sexist, misogynistic branding and labelling. “Moist, gushing IndiaN pale ale” (at least get the style name correct next time..) “The best head in town”, “the Blonde all your friends have had” and the “Ripe Redhead”… Really? Beer men and women all over SA -choose who you support wisely. #dontsayWEdidntwarnyou #valebru
Vale Bru promoted its “moist” and “gushing” range of beers last week.
One beer, called Raven Porra, was described as, “a porter with the best head in town”. According to South Africa’s Times Live.
“Porra” is a Portuguese expletive, and is also a Brazilian colloquialism for semen.
The “Filthy Brunette” beer was marketed with the tagline: “When gushing and moist are used to describe something, then you know.”
“Vale Bru, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves,” said Thandi Guilherme, a South African blogger who took to Instagram to condemn the brewer.
“‘The best head in town’, ‘the Blonde all your friends have had’ and the ‘Ripe Redhead’… Really?
“Beer men and women all over SA -choose who you support wisely.”
The post quickly gathered attention from consumers. While some defended the brewer for its choice of “edgy” marketing, many agreed with Guilherme.
“This is lazy and disgusting for a company trying to be relevant in an over saturated market,” said one commenter.
The Johannesburg-based brewery posted an initial apology on its Facebook page earlier this week, which said: “Our attempt at making you‚ and ourselves‚ uncomfortable‚ worked. However‚ we never meant to belittle or degrade you.”
“If those keyboard crusaders want to carry on‚ feel free,” it added.
The first, apology, which has now been deleted, only intensified the outrage. Guilherme wrote a post on her own blog calling on the brewer to change its branding.
“If you’re going to apologise, do it unconditionally. And CHANGE what you did wrong. It’s like saying “Sorry but…”, if there’s a “but”, it’s not an apology.”
Vale Bru posted a second apology on 9 June, which said: “We take full accountability for our actions and we plan on making things right.”
“Although this may sound like lip service, it was never our intention to offend or prejudice any person or industry,” it continued.
“As fathers, brothers and husbands, casting aspersions on gender was never and will never be who we are at Vale. We also understand that our first attempt at an apology was misdirected.
“Hindsight is an exact science and reflecting on the for/against sentiment of our actions, we understand now that we overlooked a deep underlying social issue. We live in a fragile society which needs nurturing rather than polarising actions, something which we have full clarity on now.”
Vale Bru said it has removed the new products from the market with immediate effect.
the drinks business has reached out to Vale for comment.