BrewDog has lost a lawsuit for discriminating men on the occasion of a campaign on last year’s International Women’s Day. The Scottish brewery launched last year a Pink IPA, a special edition of its normal Punk IPA, and sold it at a 20 percent discount to people that identified as a female. BrewDog announced the campaign on their website saying: “Men? You pay full price. Reality really is that harsh.”
What was meant as a “clarion call to close the gender pay gap in the UK and around the world and to expose sexist marketing to women, particularly within the beer industry,” violated in fact the UK Equality Act of 2010, according to a local judge.
The case has been taken to court by 27-year-old software engineer Dr. Thomas Bower who purchased Pink IPA at the BrewDog location in Cardiff, Wales. The bartender refused to sell the beer at the discounted price until Bower temporarily claimed to be a woman what he called was a gender discrimination. "[I] felt forced to lie about my sex in order to receive the product at the lower price,” Bower stated in the later court case.
He “complained to the company about this and they said it wasn’t discrimination because the price difference was part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the gender pay gap,” Bower told WalesOnline. “Not satisfied with this, I complained again to Brewdog stating that I was intending to take them to court over this but would rather resolve the problem outside court. They ignored this," he explained further.
Finally, Bower took BrewDog to the small claims court and district judge Marshall Phillips was on his side and sentenced the brewer to pay a fine of GBP 1,000 (USD 1,250) as compensation for damage. Bower said he did not want to profit from the case: “After taking into account my costs, I donated equal amounts of this award to the Young Women’s Trust, which aims to help women negotiate for better pay, and the Campaign Against Living Miserably, which runs a male suicide prevention line, among other things.”