When the idea for The Queer Brewing Project was first conceived, much of the rationale and meaning behind it was to use a medium I know and love to further advocate an area hugely important to me: LGBTQ rights, understanding, and the surrounding conversation.
Some people maintain that politics has no place in beer. No doubt worn down by the seeming insanity of the current political climate, and perhaps driven by a frustration and lack of understanding about the way we now view identity, the accompanying politics, and the rising swell of calls for fairer treatment, these people see discussion of anything political within beer as either ‘political correctness’, or simply an unnecessary overlap.
Speaking one’s mind and standing up for what you believe in is, to my mind, an absolute imperative of living authentically, not to mention being an epithet of living fairly. With what feels like an aching chasm between those brands and companies who refuse to engage with anything remotely political in fear of alienating potential customers and those who favour the often ‘faux woke’ approach—clambering aboard political movements and ideologies to appear de rigueur—it’s always brilliant to spot one who tirelessly wear their hearts on their sleeve. It’s these brands that I have a particular affinity with.
As such, it made complete sense for The Queer Brewing Project’s first collaboration to be not only with a brewery that do exactly that, but also one with which I feel a particular alignment. Affinity Brew Co’s anti-Trump beer signalled an intolerance of intolerance, and their Labour Party-branded beers Social Seduction and For The Many, aside from being delicious, are very much signposts that not only do they believe in and want a fairer society, but they are also unafraid of speaking their mind, and taking a stand for what they believe in.
I’m really proud to be working with Affinity for this beer, Queer Royale. We’ve worked together to make something utterly delicious, and hugely drinkable—something that we’re both immensely pleased with. It’s light-hearted, it’s fun; it’s everything that the first beer should be. The gorgeous artwork by Tida Bradshaw draws you in, and the beer will keep you there. It’s a conversation sparker, it’s a starting point, it’s important. It’s tasty.
It’s also working towards a great cause. 10% of the beer’s sales will be donated to MindOut, a brilliantly worthwhile charity that do vital work in supporting LGBTQ people with mental health difficulties. Through support, counselling, and crisis prevention, they support vulnerable people, and work to make mental health a community concern. This year, they’re aiming to raise £20,000 for their twentieth anniversary. I hope we can make a good contribution to that through this beer.
Finally, I’d like to thank Ben, Steve, and Stirling from Affinity, Tida for her artwork, all of the venues across the UK who’re helping to launch this beer and make noise about the cause, all of the generous Patreon supporters, and everyone who’s offered support for the project. It means the world.
Queer Royale launches tonight! We’re launching both the beer and the project at Affinity’s taproom, as well as at 40+ venues across the country. More information can be found here, and a map can be found here.