The ladies at the Midnight Sun Brewing Company in Alaska are all about kicking back and having a little fun. Barb Miller (co-founder) said that she intended the name and label of their latest product, an ale brewed with coriander and orange peel, to be “playful and eye-catching.”
She certainly got her wish in regard to the latter — the label of Midnight Sun’s “Panty Peeler” Belgian tripel features a nude woman atop a caribou tossing her just-removed lingerie over one shoulder as she rides off into the night sky.
And it recently caught the eye of a “Fulbright Distinguished Teacher,” who immediately suggested that the beer’s name and label are a promotion of “rape culture”:
— Nicole Stellon O’Donnell (@SteamLaundry) October 2, 2016
Thrillist.com also included Panty Peeler on a list of the most sexist craft beer names and labels, among other labels such as Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch, Middle Ages’s Wailing Wench, and Clown Shoes’s Brown Angel.
But Miller, who says that she takes rape very seriously, claims that the name and label do nothing of the sort:
“We never wanted or intended for it to be associated with rape or date rape. We are serious about how we design and create our beers, but on the marketing side we have fun with it, I don’t think we are crossing any lines.
It’s not just a woman who wants to have sex or a woman who is going to have sex or a woman who is going to be forced to have sex, it’s more about a woman being free spirited.”
She also noted that a woman drinking in general was not an invitation for assault:
“Just because someone is drinking it doesn’t mean they want to get raped, just because someone is drinking it doesn’t mean they can rape.
Putting the blame on Panty Peeler for promoting and condoning rape instead of the predator committing these assaults is avoiding the fact we have a problem in Alaska that involves other issues that does not involve a name of a beer.
You’re a rapist or you’re not a rapist, beer is not going to change that.”
In addition, several members of the local community have spoken out in defense of Midnight Sun. Anchorage resident Hali Gravelle noted:
“[I am a] proud drinker of the Panty Peeler, people need to pull their panties out of their ass and chill out. It’s a humorous can, nothing to be taken seriously.”
Other female fans of Panty Peeler agree:
Miller says that she has no intention of changing the name, the recipe, or the label: “These people that are lashing out at us don’t know Midnight Sun, they have not been to Midnight Sun, they don’t know our beers, they don’t know about the craft beer community.”