They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Caution: Contains Explicit Images!

Where do you draw the line these days..?

A few bottles we've recently received at the shop have caused a little debate between myself and others at the shop recently. I guess it focuses on my question of; When is nudity, be it semi or full on, male or female, become appropriate to sell your product?

If you're reading this blog then you'll have no doubt heard of Pump Clip Parade.. a blog and twitter account which has set out to name and shame brewers who use scantily clad women and bad puns on their beer labels or pump clips to sell their beer. I have nothing against this movement, and I think it's something that needs to stay around. Take a look at some of the new Partizan labels though, and on a few of them you'll end up finding a bit of flesh here and there (as in the image pictured).. some a bit more full on than others.

The statement could be made here that Partizan labels are all art pieces, and should be free to display what they want. I could probably argue about the merits of art for purpose, vs art for publicity vs art in the wrong place endlessly here, but I won't. The cold hard fact is that Partizan sell beer, of which some have semi naked ladies on the labels. Art piece or not, do you think that is ok for your beverage?

Yes, yes. I know that the beer industry has come a LONG way from this...

...but when it comes down to it, Partizan are producing beers with labels that show women's breasts on the labels, be it art or not. I'm really not trying to pick on Partizan here.. I really do enjoy their beers, and think the branding on a whole is fantastically produced. It does make me wonder what would happen if another brewery came up with a label with a bit of a nip-slip in the design? If it was not seen as "craft" as others, would it get away with it? And where can the line be drawn? If we say these label images are fine because they're art, where might it stop? Might we see genitals appearing soon? True, alcohol is a adult product, but as clued up consumers are we still under the archaic notion that sex still sells?

We like to look at the world as a place that's black and white when it comes to what is appropriate, right or wrong and acceptable, but the truth is we live in a world of grey.

One man's pornography may be another man's modern art masterpiece. There is still the massive argument of wether 'artwork' like this is suitable for products for mass consumption, but that's another essay altogether.. Maybe I'm making mountains out of mole hills here, but what I see are beer labels with semi naked women on them, and no one seems to be batting an eyelid...

I guess it's up to what you think.. unless the Portman group get involved unfortunately..

Once again, I have nothing against Partizan.. I truly do enjoy their beers and wish them nothing but the best, but I think this topic should be debated..


  1. It's a difficult one, on one hand the labels which appear on PumpClip Parade are often so lacking in taste and humour that they are demeaning to both men and women. Women for the obvious and men because it is assuming they would be that childish to think it is a good label.

    On the whole I do like the Partizen labels, the ones I have seen in my OH's local are quite arty and pleasant but these ones just look like they are trying too hard. The green label one looks good but the other two are just a midge to far for me. Beer is now something that you see both sexes drinking and I wouldn't want to come back to the table with those bottles if I was out on a date!

  2. Thornbridge have had full frontal nudity (think classical boobs in statue form)on their beers for ages with no-one batting an eyelid. Partizan have got some top notch modernist art on their labels, I don't think it is being sold as a sexy beer, or is more attractive to those who like boobs because of the labelling. Great beer, great labels. Art, not porn. Cheers!

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    1. I appear to have accidentally deleted my comment, but what I tried to say was...

      I think you raise an interesting point. I have often thought this of Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, as I think it’s another one hovering around the line of acceptability. It was banned from sale in certain American states by the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement when it arrived there as it ‘depicted bare breasts’ ( The label is a watercolour painting of a naked woman sitting on a man’s lap that would not look out of place in an art gallery. Are they using sexual imagery to sell the product? Or are they creating a brand that wants to be associated classical and fine art?

      As you say it’s a grey area. I think it’s easier to scoff at Slater’s Top Totty and other beers with outdated labelling that are not deemed particularly exciting, but when beers you love and want to share with people are doing it, are you less inclined to be critical? Probably, yes. Should it be that way? Probably no. Good to see how far we have come though, can’t believe that label you posted even existed.