A bar in Connecticut has stopped selling the “anti-racist” beer, which is covered in a wrap designed to resemble the white hood of the Ku Klux Klan, after it was recommended to a black customer.
Here’s the deal…
Yellow Belly, a collaboration between the UK’s Buxton Brewery and Sweden’s Omnipollo, was first brewed in 2014 as part of Siren Brewing’s Rainbow Project Challenge where 14 breweries were paired up and tasked with creating a beer inspired by the colors of the rainbow.
As part of that challenge Buxton and Omnipollo created Yellow Belly, an “11% peanut butter and biscuit Imperial stout (brewed with neither peanuts nor biscuits), and packaged it white paper deliberately designed to denounce organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.”
The coveted Imperial Stout, which was discontinued due to a trademark dispute in 2018, has a provocative history and that history continues to play out today.
Yellow Belly is a slang word referencing cowardice, and as the breweries that created the cult favorite like to emphasize “particularly political cowardice.”
But no matter its background and the anti-racist thinking that went into its name and packaging, the beer will no longer be sold at a World of Beer outlet in West Hartford, Connecticut after it was offered to a black customer with no explanation as to its history or appearance.
And the black customer’s wife took to Facebook to complain….
“This is the $40 bottle of beer that was promoted and presented to my black husband and his white friend tonight at World of Beer. After researching it at home, we discovered that it was ‘created to denounce racism… promote open-mindedness… packaged in paper deliberately to denounce organizations like the KKK,'” the post read.
“None of this was explained to Damion or his friend. This KKK bottle was brought over without warning about its appearance. At best, the server was ignorant, insensitive and tone-deaf. At worst…?
According to the Hartford Courant, World of Beer let it be known that they would no longer be selling the provocative Imperial Stout…
“We have pulled this beer from further sale. Please accept our apologies for the lapse in judgment in serving. While we can’t speak for the intent of the brewer, the visual representation does not have a place at our establishment. We appreciate you bringing it to our attention and welcome the opportunity for discussion.”