BrewDog is offering any of its customers who support “love not hate” a free pint today in a bid to rescue itself from PR disaster.
The Scottish craft beer brewery made the gesture of serious damage limitation on Thursday after a “rogue agent” sent out a press release offering free beer in six of its branches nationwide – but only to Trump supporters.
The beer company had previously signed a partnership with the American brewery Scofflaw, which used the release to invite local Trump supporters to sample its beer as part of the brand’s rollout in the UK.
Almost immediately after the release went public, BrewDog canceled the deal with Scofflaw, labelling its actions as “fake news” on Twitter, and said that it would be sending all of Scofflaw’s beer back to the US.
BrewDog founder James Watt said on Twitter: “Just to confirm the Scofflaw release came from their agency not ours and we had zero knowledge of any of this this. And as soon as we knew, we cancelled the events... What a mess.”
Until Thursday, BrewDog had been advertising the partnership with Scofflaw on its website, but all related promotions have now been deleted from the site.
It’s not the first time BrewDog have teamed up with the American brewery – the brands released a ‘Brewdog vs Scofflaw’ beer in May – and Scofflaw hoped the latest partnership would be the a way to “crash onto” the UK beer scene.
Thursday’s release, describing the brand variously as “Jackass”, “trailer trash” and “redneck”, said its brewers were “renowned in the states for their lawless attitude and have landed in London today – their aim? To get the UK ‘beered up Redneck style’, completely free of charge! But there is a hook – you have to be a Trump supporter.”
In response to immediate customer criticism over its politics, BrewDog tweeted that it did not support Scofflaw’s position: “We care about beer and people. Not hate,” it tweeted.