Alex Blaze

Gay Beer

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 02, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: beer, LGBT, Mexico, purple hand, salamandra

I know I worry about the queerness of the beer I drink:

gay-beer.jpgTo compete with these giants, smaller breweries such as Minerva have started to target their products, and produce specialized beer.

Jalisco based Minerva is producing its second lot of Salamandra and Purple Hand, their "Artisan Honey-Ales" brewed with 100% organic honey and malt, a mix that according to Dario Rodriguez Wyler infuses the beer with a citrus flavor that appeals to the taste of the LGBT ( Lesbian Gay Bi, Trans) community.

"We've received alot of criticism about whether we were excluding heterosexuals, and yes, it is a product directed exclusively to the LGBT community," said Rodriguez. It's been a great challenge, they tell us we are very brave for developing in Mexico the first drink directed exclusive for such an interesting and badly tended to community."

Both beers have been a success, completely selling out their first lot of 500 cases in a week.

Yeah, I know it's just a marketing ploy, but does beer infused with citrus really appeal "to the taste of the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi, Trans) community"? Is there something about feeling different, keeping a secret, and breaking gender and sexual rules to find freedom that just makes someone want honey and malt?

Anyway, something to think about the next time you read an article that starts with "LGBT people like/do/can/think/dislike/will/were X," because apparently it's really easy to make something like that up and get free publicity.


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Dael Sumner | February 2, 2011 6:30 PM

I dont understand how you remove a barrier by building another one??? Is it really needed to make a gay beer? I am all for making a buck and exploiting a situation to make another but, really???

This story is like "Pop Rocks" for one's brain—exploding in a dozen different directions, most of them idiotic and ignorant.

One example of the latter, Senor Rodriguez might have attempted some due diligence before talking about "the first drink" directed at 'mos. In 1984, Wilde's beer, as in Oscar, and in long-neck bottles, went on sale, developed by some gays in San Diego. Expecting it not to last, I kept a bottle for my amateur gay history collection; still in a box somewhere in my apartment. In fact, its life was so brief that a Google search found only a couple of references to it.

And twenty years later, "Gay Fuel" was launched, trying to capitalize on the gay bar crowd spending big bucks on Red Bull. It was also short lived, after sponsoring a number of gay events around the country, and promising 5% of its proceeds to AIDS charities. But thanks to the Wayback machine, part of its long-dead Website can be seen at:

http://web.archive.org/web/20050924030733/http://gayfuel.com/

I also found two other "energy drinks," "Gay" and GWay. Their current status unknown.

Just a small but, I think, important point:

"Senor Rodriguez's" actual name is Dario Rodriguez Wyler. Wyler is of German origin. But it's interesting that he gets referred to as "Rodriguez" and "Senor Rodriguez." Is it too much for the media and its readers to grasp the idea of a Mexican man with a German last name?

dharmapupil | February 3, 2011 1:28 AM

@Yasmin - In Lusophone (Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking) culture it is usual that the second/middle name is the patronymic and the last name is the Mother's maiden name. I would guess Dario had a German mother and Hispanic father.

Hm. I'm wondering if certain folks with no social skills and an ax to grind have to use "senor rodriguez" to talk about someone to simply underline that person's ethnicity in a bizarre attempt to undermine what they're saying, and maybe that's what Yasmin was referring to even though, yes, he'd probably be referred to with "rodriguez" in general and with "rodriguez wyler" on formal occasions.

Aubrey Haltom | February 3, 2011 10:47 AM

Or the use of 'Senor Rodriguez' could have been simply due to the internal quote ending with "...said Rodriguez."
That, and the fact that Jalisco is a Mexican state, might have been the reason behind the 'Senor Rodriguez'.
I don't know, but still it could be a little presumptive to assume someone has "no social skills and an ax to grind..." and "yes, what Alex said...". This person could have just been responding to Alex's post.

Hmmm...I just don't generally see parallels like Herr or Monsieur if people are perceived as German or French, unless it's in a mocking style.

@dharmapupil, that's interesting and good to know.
But yes, what Alex said.

After living in Los Angeles for 20 years, I would never guess that referring to a Mexican and/or Latino man as "Señor" would suggest any possibility of an insult -- so if anyone here has made that mistake, I can only say that I might have made it myself.

Secondly, I am baffled about why the man being quoted is referred to as "Rodriguez" in the blockquote appearing in Alex's main post, instead of referring to him as "Wyler" -- if the quote appeared in an Anglo source, then would not Anglo rules of journalism apply?

I was thinking the same thing. There must be this notion that gay people like fruity-tasting things (like cosmopolitans).

I'll stick with my European dark ales and Tom Collinses :b

I had no idea my like for citrus-tasting products was connected to my lesbianism! Wow! Now, if only I liked beer...

Michael@LeonardMatlovich.como | February 3, 2011 8:54 PM

The ONLY reason I'm responding to the turista in a teapot stirred up by two of my favorite camps is that I realized I'd totally missed the actual last name of the brewery rep. Thus, my attempt to show cultural respect for what my bumpy speed reading led me to believe was his last name.

Some people miss things that are there, and some people see things that aren't. "Bizarre" indeed.

Aubrey Haltom | February 4, 2011 12:09 AM

Sorry to reply so late, I had a young son at home ill today.
Anyway. It is possible you're right, Yasmin. But when I read M@LM's comment, the mocking tone I noticed had to do with the claim of being the "first drink" marketed to the lgbt community.
The use of the 'faux formal' ("Senor Rodriguez") did not read to me as a slight towards Rodriguez's perceived ethnicity. The comment could have read "Mr. Rodriguez", or "Herr Wyler" for that matter, and still had the same effect.
It is possible that a comment could simply be mocking the article's quoted content, rather than engaging in some socio-cultural slander. However poorly constructed that comment might be.
And Alex's addendum (which you affirmed) was fairly cutthroat - "no social skills and an ax to grind..."
It was a strange article, anyway. I was thinking as I read Alex's post (pre-comments) 'what's so new about an alcoholic beverage marketed to the lgbt community?' That fact (the targeted marketing to minority communities) and the final note that this 'gay beer' sold out its initial production so quickly was what caught my eye.

Hi Aubrey,

I'm glad you bring it back to the OP, which is indeed about a strange marketing ploy, which is Alex's point.

As for comments - Alex wasn't being cutthroat, just referring to patterns of commenting behaviour that have been established by some commenters. You can check any of my blogs or any blog here that has been critical of the focus on DADT, for example, for examples of truly "cutthroat" commenting.

My own point is to consider that language speaks to frames of power, and I stand by it. In the context especially of a larger and prevalent mockery of all things and people Mexican, "Senor" is quite, quite different from Herr or Mr. (and even those, in contexts, can be quite insulting). I do think it's useful for us to keep cultural contexts and power relations in mind.

If M@LM says this was due to "speed reading," we can take that at face value. But the point still needed to be made.