Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get Off My Kilt!

There are times, when I am in my more grumpy and sarcastic moments admittedly, that I get annoyed by some of the naming choices and subsequent marketing efforts that breweries put in to promoting their beer.

One of my favourite websites highlighting the horrors of sub-par naming and branding is the magnificent Pump Clip Parade, a veritable litany of the ribald, obscene and downright offensive. Were a visitor from outer space to visit that website to get an idea of British drinking culture, they would likely conclude that British drinkers are only interested in third rate puns, naked women and frequent references to World War 2.

Sadly, the American craft brewing industry is not averse to indulging in national stereotyping in order to sell beer. As you quite possibly are aware, I am Scottish and happily so, though I feel no compulsion to run around in a Tam o'Shanter with bits of ginger hair sticking out the side, whilst swinging a Claymore and yelling 'Wha's likes us?' at all and sundry. Forgive me then if I am being a tad touchy at the number of beers sold in this country which have some form of kilt elevation in their name; Kilt Lifter, Kilt Flasher, Kilt Raiser, Naked Under Me Kilt, Lift Your Kilt and so on and so forth. It simply bugs my head that many brewers of 'Scottish' ales have decided that the one part of Scottish culture to focus on for their naming conventions is the kilt, and I say that as someone who loves wearing his kilt, often just around the house when trousers simply don't go the job.

There is far more to Scotland than a few metres of worsted wool and the legendary absence of undies, so brewery marketing departments, how about engaging in some innovative thought (rather than just thinking that chucking the word 'innovative' in your marketing copy makes you beer 'awesome') when branding your 'Scottish' ales? How about making reference to the many aspects of the modern world that have their roots in Scotland? How about referring to eras of Scottish history other than William Wallace?

So while beer is supposed to be fun, resorting to lazy national stereotyping is the mark of ultimately crap marketing and detracts from the beer itself.


  1. I think the only thing for it is to brew a beer called "Baws Hingin' Oot", and label it appropriately literalistically.

  2. A beer version of Truck Nuts!

  3. I think the kilt is quite well suited to "Scottish Ales", as both are things that hardly anyone in Scotland actually wears, brews or drinks.


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