A man has won a judgment in small claims court in the United Kingdom against Scottish brewer BrewDog, on the basis of sex discrimination over how he was sold the brewery’s Pink IPA.
The beginning of this story goes back to early 2018, with BrewDog’s launch of the “Beer For Girls” campaign which debuted in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Per the brewery’s website, Pink IPA targets not only the gender pay gap but also targets how some breweries rely on sexist marketing to sell their beers. On International Women’s Day, the beer was sold for 20% less to anyone that identified as a female. Men paid more for the beer. Furthermore, Brewdog wrote on their website: “Men? You pay full price. Reality really is that harsh.”
In the case, 27-year-old Dr. Thomas Bower stated he attempted to purchase Pink IPA at the BrewDog location in Cardiff, Wales and was charged the more expensive price until he was “forced” to identify as a female. Once he self-identified as female, he was charged the cheaper price.
According to Bower, charging different prices for the beer dependent solely on whether you were female or male violates the UK Equality Act of 2010, enacted by Parliament.
BrewDog stated the price difference was not discrimination, but “a part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the gender pay gap,” the Independent.co.uk reports.
Apparently, Bower would have dropped the entire thing, had BrewDog just apologized publicly for the incident. BrewDog did not, and allowing the case to proceed.
Ultimately, the court didn’t see the same virtue in the Beer For Girls/Pink IPA pricing move, finding that simply that BrewDog discriminated against Dr. Bower based on his sex, and awarded him $1,200 (USD).
A sum he donated, minus court costs, to both women’s and men’s charities.