I don’t think you’re a monster. I do think that you are comfortable with the way things are because you enjoy it (see your favorite label above) and you have no comparable experience to draw from or any desire to imagine what it might be like to be on the other side.
Its vagueish. But this has been a an ongoing problem in craft brew. Even as the category peels off market share from your beer conglomerates. From the industry associations standpoint gaining market share is all about getting into national chains, big stores. So your “adult themed, adult beverage” needs to be stocked next to bread at Walmart. Near the soda in Piggly Wiggly. Applebees needs to be willing to print the logo and feature the labels in their on table promotions and menus. Your sign needs to be able to go into the front window of the beer distributor in place of the Corona palm tree.
These companies won’t do that. And in many cases won’t carry the product at all if its labeling is crass or over sexualized. Aside from the PR problem created by so many companies having such shit labels and defending them very poorly. That is the industry association’s concern. So the wording needs to be vague enough, and punishment light enough (and connected directly to the marketing/PR concerns) to allow for some level of variation, even sexy variation, in labeling. But specific enough and harsh enough to prod more brewers to abandon this style of labeling.
For me i would say no i am not particularly offended by the women or lewd language on beer labels, but i do find them very tiresome. Though at the end of the day nothing is being disallowed here, what the brewers association is doing is if a brew has any of those elements they ask that the maker of the beer refrain from adding any mention of the association because otherwise it makes it seem like they are indirectly endorsing that kind of imagery/marketing. The brewer is free to sell as many of said sexualized beers as they want.
No thanks. I only like Stouts and Porters, I am not a pale ale fan.
From the beginning you chose to assume what my mindset has been the entire time. That’s fine. I never labeled you a raging bitch nor thought it in anyway shape or form. Yet you railed with nothing but offense taken at me for doing so. You have in fact labeled me some callous dismissive misogynist. Thanks for that.
I was in my local supermarket just last week and started a conversation with the stockperson in front of the beer cooler about the suggestive labeling. We agreed beers like “Raging Bitch” and some others along those lines were probably best not to have on view due to young children in the store who wouldn’t understand but, he was somewhat OK with the graphics himself. However, he then proclaimed himself to be a ‘christian’ and strongly objected to “Sweet Baby Jesus” labels. I asked if he’d ever tried the beer and he said something along the lines of: “absolutely not! That would be blasphemy.”
Is it sexist? It can be deemed to be yes…but is it? I don’t think it is
Sorry, but this is a blatantly sexist image. You not thinking so doesn’t change that. And I say that as a man who loves pinup imagery and has an incredibly tolerant wife who indulges me on that. The images I love are sexist, pure and simple, and to deny that is to try and justify away your enjoyment of them.
Me personally, I can see the point of having this conversation and encouraging them to change. Yes, I like the imagery… but my enjoyment of the imagery does not preclude my being able to understand how it would offend someone else. And the imagery is totally not needed to sell the product if it tastes good. The wife and I constantly try new brands to see what we like, without regard to the label imagery.
Never heard of that Sweet Baby Jesus beer but if they stocked it here i would try it out of amusement. My brewer of choice does have some beers that may seem a bit offensive, mainly their Arrogant Bastard ale and variations that they do of it. I don’t care too much for it compared to their other beers, but i do see it stocked in many places. Even grocery stores.
Coincidentally i plan on buying their giant Double Bastard ale this weekend for my bday. I’ve had my eye on it for almost a year now (not my picture)
I assume not the US because that is illegal and one wouldn’t dare do it at a restaurant they own in the US, because that is how you lose your liquor license and most of your profit.
Assuming it isn’t the US, then they have a whole different approach to drinking than kids in the US. Underage drinking in the US is for one thing - to get drunk. It is less about enjoying a beverage, it is a means to an end. Part of this is because of culture, part of this because they can’t legally just chill with a beer and so there is no point in casual drinking yet. If you are going to risk it, risk it for a buzz.
Combined with this and the fact underage drinkers are generally poor, they are going to get the cheap stuff, generally, Maybe yuppie kids can afford the microbrews. Hell, some of them probably even are young hipsters and drink for pleasure, vs getting drunk. But I am going with the “drinking to get drunk” stereotype as those are the actual problem underage drinkers.
Ciders are a different breed. Them and wine coolers make drinking easier/fun.
Q: What if said design was by a woman? Is the simple statement alone offensive, or the meaning one assigns to it?
I have no idea in that case, but the pin up style art, and the vulgarity is a common theme in a female friend of mine who does jaw dropping amazing pin striping and retro style art (think rock-a-billy, classic cars, pin up, and other throw back styles.)
I could totally see her doing art with those words in a fancy scroll with text underneath.
Honestly I see both sides of the coin here, but I am not a drink so I don’t really have a dog in the fight. They could just be white labels that say “beer” and it would affect me none.
I am absolutely 100% sure it is sexist in someone else’s eyes. I just don’t consider it something that I take offense to. I said I don’t really care one way or the other on the subject to put a line in the sand on it. If someone else wants to champion it…go for it.
Actually, I stated above that the image on the label is of a dog and the brewer is Flying Dog and the illustration is all janky and the dog itself looks wired and feral because of the style.
I am inferring on the thoughts of the brewer and artist, but I do not believe they called it Raging Bitch in reference to women. Just as their Pearl necklace oyster stout is not about the sexual act. The possibility is there is a double entendre here as someone else above mentioned and if that is the case it is in poor taste.
If a woman is holding a plastic paper rack and a man points to the plastic paper rack and says “nice rack”, he isn’t a misogynist.
I’d actually love to hear from Ralph Steadman, the illustrator who came up with the image. Ralph is the guy who created the iconic image of Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The idea for the name actually came from Flying Dog’s CEO Jim Caruso:
"One of the available names the company came up with contained a nod to the aggressive yeast and a well-known term for female dog: Raging Bitch. But the company knew the name, with its derogatory implications, might be an issue for many. So Caruso presented it to Flying Dog employees before moving forward.
“I asked all the women in our brewery about possible names and included Raging Bitch, and they said we love it and in fact if you don’t do it after all the talk about staying true to ourselves, we’ll be forever disappointed in you,” Caruso said.
Flying Dog released Raging Bitch, and not only did it start “selling like crazy,” it struck a chord with many female beer drinkers, Caruso said.
“Women could not get enough of the merchandise and they were getting together for happy hours calling them ‘bitch sessions’ and wearing the Raging Bitch T-shirts,” he said." -CNBC
The words you quoted are not my original thoughts on the name of the beer, they were part of my conversation with someone else.
To your point about the gender of the creator, no, it would not change my mind. All a consumer sees is what is on the shelf, and what it means with no familiar context. I am a make-up artist, and have worked with a lot of gay/MTF trans folks. They call each other all kinds of things that I would certainly be offended by if they were printed on a label and marketed.
An artist is free to express him or herself in any way they see fit. That doesn’t mean that I would buy it or hang it in my home, or that sexism in every arena and all of it’s history goes away because a woman does pin-up art.
Sometimes I’m pulled into watching dog shows by a housemate. If I haven’t watched any in a while, it shocks me at first until I realize they actually are talking about dogs and dog breeders actually do use the word bitch.
That said, I can’t for the life of me think of what a “raging bitch” would be if it referred to a dog. Dogs don’t really rage.
One of the higher-profile repeat offenders is Flying Dog Brewery of Frederick, Maryland, maker of many dog- and dog-plus-one-more-entendre-themed beers including Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA and Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout. Both have ready-made plausible deniability baked into their origin stories. Raging Bitch is art, because Hunter S. Thompson sidekick Ralph Steadman designed the label; plus, duh, a bitch is a female dog!
Pearl Necklace’s label shows a dog wearing a necklace made out of pearls, which are found in oysters, which are used to make oyster stout. Alas, “pearl necklace” also refers to a porny sex act and, even worse, a ZZ Top song commemorating said act.