I recently put up a post here at the Crossroads expressing my disgust at the beer label being used by The Lost Abbey to promote their Witches Wit beer.
Being one who believes in practicing what she preaches, I myself sent an email to the company sharing my thoughts on their apparent lack of taste in regards to marketing their product:
As an ordained Pagan minister and long-time practicing witch, I am TOTALLY DISGUSTED with the label you are using for your Witch’s Wit beer. Not only is it an insult to me as a witch and a painful reminder of a dark time in our history when many innocent people (both male and female) were erroneously accused of witchcraft and killed as a result of often trumped-up charges; but it is offensive to women as well. Maybe we no longer burn women at the stake, but nevertheless they continue to be victims – of domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, discrimination, and other wrongful acts. To use such atrocities as a marketing tool for selling your beer is beyond my understanding.
I ask that you please take such concerns into serious consideration and change your label. The Burning Times are in the past…let’s keep them there.
Lo and behold, I received a response from Sage Osterfield, Media Liaison for Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey. Here’s what Sage had to say:
Hello and thank you for your email.
I encourage you to look at all of Lost Abbey’s beers and consider them in context. Each of the Lost Abbey beers features a label which depicts a theme of Catholic excess — good and bad — on the front, and tells a moral story on the back. (Our founder is a recovering Catholic.)
In the case of Witch’s Wit, the back label is a story of the bad consequences of religious intolerance and oppression. The woman on the front is referred to as a “healer” on the label and accuses the Church of being narrow-minded and violent, threatening the same fate to anyone who would help the woman. The label ends with a note that this beer — a light, sweet and golden ale — is brewed in honor of that woman (and all those who died for their convictions).
Our other beers — Devotion, Deliverance, Judgment Day, Inferno, The Angel’s Share, etc. — all have similar messages of morality. Unfortunately, the people who started this meme either didn’t bother or didn’t care to actually read the label and simply chose to fan the flames of ignorance and intolerance — which, ironically, is what the beer is actually against.
Hmmm. I do have some thoughts in response to Sage’s comments, but before I share mine… I would like to give my Crossroads readers a chance to share theirs without any undue influence.
PLEASE NOTE: It has been nearly two years since I posted this article. While I appreciate the comments which were left and the thought-provoking discussion which occurred, I think we can all agree that we have moved on to other topics. While I still dislike the label and would like to see it changed, it is not a significant issue in my life. I’ve got bigger fish to fry. While I will leave this post and its comments up for others to read and ponder, I am not interested in discussing the matter any further. Please refrain from contacting me regarding this post or this beer. Thank you.