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The beer's name feels like a relic from the past

Tim Nelson
August 30, 2018

You’ve probably heard the phrase “beer goggles” used at one point or another. In essence, it describes how tipping back a few too many could lead one to, shall we say, pursue romantic partners that they would otherwise be uninterested in under sober conditions. It’s fallen out of vogue in polite society today, and certainly isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to name a beer after if you’re hoping to attract a classy clientele.

And yet, that’s exactly what one UK brewery has done, and it’s caused quite a stir at one Sussex pub. The King’s Arms in Horsham has some pub patrons up in arms for pouring pints of “Beer Goggles,” a cheeky ale offered by Elgoods Brewery. To really drive the idea behind the name home, the tap featured a classic optical illusion image, where one sees an attractive one woman from one perspective, but an older, wrinkled one when the image is flipped.

Some of the outrage stemmed from a post by Wiki Sussex Pubs praising the cheeky humour, describing the image as “just the best pump clip I have seen in ages!" Many replies to the now-deleted tweet described the beer and associated iconography as sexist, outdated, and nasty.

That was enough to prompt a reaction from the King’s Arms, which Tweeted that the offending beer and tap art would be removed from the bar posthaste.

For their part, Elgoods Brewery doesn’t exactly see what all of the fuss is about. “This is a beer, and pump clip, that we have sold nationwide in both 2017 and 2018 and it has been well received in trade,” said a spokesperson. "The pump clip and name is based on an old, traditional image (somewhat older than the 1970s!) and is meant to be, and is generally accepted as, a little bit of fun.”

While you can understand their perspective, they failed to understand how times have changed and how such a pint may have gone over. I’m sure they’re more than capable of coming up with another perfectly fine brew that everyone can enjoy and even feel good about the morning after.  

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