Brewdog’s Pink IPA — a “ironic” rebrand of its best-selling craft beer, Punk IPA — has led to a sexual discrimination lawsuit, but from a man, who won said lawsuit. First, there was the wife guy; then, there was water guy; now, there is beer guy.
The beer guy in question is Dr Thomas Bower, who sued BrewDog for sex discrimination after attempting to purchase a pint of that Pink IPA, which was branded as “beer for girls,” and was available at a discounted price for those who identified as female. According to the Mirror, Bower was refused service in Cardiff on the grounds of being a man; the beer, at the time, was priced at £4 for women and £5 for men, in a bid to highlight the 20 percent gender pay gap. There’s some philosophical whataboutery over whether the £5 pint would really be Pink IPA at all, given its differentiation from Punk IPA — the brewery’s signature beer — was the name, a change of colour scheme, and a cynically half-baked foray into gender politics; there’s the question of what exactly would possess a man to try and order this terribly branded drink so hard.
Nevertheless, he persisted.
Bower identified as female in order to receive a discounted pint of craft beer, saying: “After a bit of a back and forth with me protesting this, I felt forced to identify as female and was then able to get the drink for £4.” He continues: “I complained to the company about this and they said it wasn’t discrimination because the price difference was part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the gender pay gap.
“Not satisfied with this, I complained again to Brewdog stating that I was intending to take them to court over this but would rather resolve the problem outside court. They ignored this.” And so, Bower sued, turning a persecution complex into a litigious persecution complex.
In the text of the lawsuit, these words are printed: “[I] felt forced to lie about my sex in order to receive the product at the lower price and told the bartender that I identified as female. The bartender then served me the drink at a price of £4.” A textbook case of derailing a campaign that was never actually on the rails; rubberstamped by District Judge Phillips, who sympathised with how Bower would have been “humiliated.”
And so, this is how a man sued Brewdog for not being able to drink a pint of beer that was designed to counter sexism, but only succeeded in being sexist, on sexist grounds, and won.