Catapulted alongside the explosion of the UK’s craft brewery scene, beer is evolving and diversifying along with society. In 2014, a new beer festival, Fem.Ale, launched in Norwich, serving and celebrating beers made by women.
In November 2015, Brewdog launched its ‘No Label’ beer, made with sex-changing hops in a nod to its trans clientele. And just six days ago, an IndieGoGo campaign popped up promising to produce the world’s first beer made from vaginal microbes.
Fantastic news. Right?
Unfortunately not. Far from a feminist middle finger up to what has been long perceived as a “man’s drink”, Bottled Instinct, which is pictured on the campaign’s website with red lace panties draped over it, is being marketed as a way to ‘experience a woman’ without having to actually be around one.
The campaign, which launched on 24th March, promises to distil one lucky woman’s “allure, grace, glamour [and] instincts” into each bottle by infusing the beer with her own lactobacillus, an acidic microbe found in the vagina, allowing drinkers to sub a date with this real life woman for a refreshing beverage.
And there’ll be plenty of her to go around too, with up to 100,000 bottles in the production pipeline. The woman in question will be hand selected by Bottled Instinct’s producers, who go by the name The Order of Yoni (“yoni” is Sanskrit for vagina).
Further details are thin on the ground as the campaign is still in early days, and The Order is still looking for a producer to partner with.
Whether a prank, a PR stunt or a serious effort to make beer out of vaginal bacteria, it’s a surprising phenomenon when women are actually drinking more beer than ever. A September 2015 survey by AB InBev found that 40 per cent of women choose beer as their top tipple, beating gin, cocktails and Prosecco to the top spot.
Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rihanna have all been snapped holding pints. Even Lady Gaga has been spotted buying tinnies from a Camden corner shop.
And far from simply spreading their legs and popping a nice cold one out, as The Order may have you believe, women are snagging top industry jobs too.
In 2007, Marston’s, the world’s largest cask ale brewery, appointed the UK’s first ever female head brewer. Emma Gilleland has since been described as the “most influential women in brewing today” by the BBC.
In 2013, Sara Barton, owner of Brewster’s Brewery in Lincolnshire, became the first woman to win the Brewer of the Year award in its 20-year history. Wild Card and Beavertown, two breweries at the heart of London’s booming craft beer scene, are led by female head brewers. The Order are clearly pretty backwards in their marketing.
A quick look at the FAQ page on The Order’s website gives some hints as to their view on women. When asked if the beer is disrespectful, The Order say it is far from it. By using lactobacillus and scantily clad women to advertise their product, “the beer is a tribute to our mothers and a tribute to the act of childbirth.”
Another more discerning drinker asks, “Do you check the model’s past?” “We know what you mean,” The Order responds gravely, before specifying that any women they work will be contractually prevented from engaging in sex work or adult acting. You can be sure those are the microbes of a modest woman.
Having raised just €11 at the time of writing, it appears there aren’t many sharing The Order’s views.
Whether the development of the actual beer turns out to be fact or fiction remains to be seen. But in the meantime, there are some much better campaigns that you could put your money towards.
Brewgooder, launched by two Edinburgh pals, are trying to launch a not-for-profit brewery that invests all of its gains into clean water projects. Two Fingers Brewing Co is raising money for Prostate Cancer UK.
Or go help this pub kitten who just had major surgery, to give it a more comfortable recovery.Reuse content