Did we need a more open-minded beer?
"Just like humans, beer can be whatever the hell it wants to be, and proud of it."
So ends the spiel from craft-beer company BrewDog, as it introduces the world to its new "transgender" beer.
Confused? You're forgiven – this is a tricky one, so let us explain. According to the Scottish brand that's known for its Punk IPA and being the UK's fastest growing food and drink company over the past four years, it has created a beverage that it says has transitioned genders. How?
In the company's own words, by making the bottle from hops that have "changed sex from female to male flowers prior to harvest." FYI: beer is usually made from female hops, as seeds from the male plants are not so tasty for brewing.
BrewDog has previously been caught up in a controversy after its crowd-funding project was accused of making fun of trans women and homeless people earlier this year.
This "transgender" drink was perhaps a good-intentioned attempt to make amends, as it was created in collaboration with LGBTQI+ event organisers Queerest of the Queer. Significantly, all profits are also being donated to charities that work with young gay and trans people.
Charity = good. Beer = good. But there is an unmistakable feeling of discomfort around this whole concept. Conflating booze and the collective struggle of a community could seem bizarre and even undermining.
As you'd imagine, Twitter has been fast to pick up on it.
That's not to say there haven't been supporters.
When we asked LGBT charity Stonewall for their opinion, a spokesperson had this to say:
"While it’s encouraging to see BrewDog raising money for trans youth communities, and we like the ‘no label’ concept, we’re concerned about some of the language used. The trans community is diverse – many trans people do not transition, or identify with binary genders, and BrewDog’s language undermines that."
BrewDog has tweeted out that this is a "postgender beer for a postgender world". Meanwhile, the Twitterstorm continues.
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