You Can't Spell Lesbian Without ESB: Redhook Brewery Promotes Marriage Equality
By Chloe Fitzpatrick
We all know beer ads to be incredibly homophobic and/or sexist. Most center around the understanding that drinking good beer is a sure way to detect true masculinity and masculinity has a directly correlation to heterosexuality. Over the last 30 or so Superbowl seasons, we’ve heard a lot of variations on the following; “Ladies, queers: Why don’t you get on out of this bar and head over to the salon. Heterosexual men are here and we are drinking beer."
It's easy to make homophobic jokes to sell beer which is why it means so much when a brewing company peaks their head out from under the gross pile of heterosexism and misogyny makes a creative step in the right direction.
To make their stance on gay marriage known, Seattle-based Redhook Brewery shaped a collection of their bottle caps to resemble the symbol of the Human Rights Campaign. What was first going to be a fun take on the social media trend became a very popular advertisement.
“Creative was all done in house,” says Karmen Olson-Stevens, Redhook’s Brand Manager. “Field Marketing Representative Spencer Czapiewski and I grabbed a bunch of bottle caps from the packaging line and put together the image that we initially shared online. It was well-received by most, with a few folks who were really mad and threatened to reject our beer. One of our accounts in New York saw a post online featuring the original image and asked us to create a poster for his bar. Spencer came up with the taglines and Redhook's graphics team pulled them together.”
Olson-Stevens reports that support for their stance on gay marriage has not been difficult to find.
“The feedback on social media has been overwhelmingly positive,” she says. “Any time you take a stand for a cause you believe in there are always going to be a few people who disagree. But we're holding firm on this one.”
Take note dudes in beer commercials: Taking a stance on gay marriage in a culture full of homophobes is actually a lot more badass than drinking a cold one and yelling about how well you fit into a rigid expectation of masculinity.
“Redhook is always pushing the boundaries; it’s part of our craft beer DNA,” Robert Rentsch, Redhook Director of Brand Marketing, explains. “We’re never preachy, but we stand up for what we believe is right. Equality is one of those issues and we’re proud to show our support.”