Douchebag Decree: BrewDog's Royal Virility Performance

This week in the land of Douche-dom comes a palatable product that I never thought would end up here. Beer. Yes, beer! Who would’ve thunk it? But, if there’s a will, there’s a way because douche-y products come from douche-y ideas which come from douche-y people. Onward Ho!

The douche-y-idea-turned-brew comes straight out of Fraserburgh, Aberdeen, Scotland. Two dudes who jumped on the brewmeister bandwagon three years ago and made it UK-big with their BrewDog Beer and “natural” Beer For Punks brews, have jumped on another bandwagon of late: The Royal Wedding let’s-make-money-with-novelty-consumer-junk trolley. Forget the commemorative tea towel, fine China, and the collectible Kate doll, the commemorative crap Martin Dickie and James Watt, founders of BrewDog, concocted for the Royal occasion was beer brewed with Viagra. Yes, that little blue pill that was initially intended to treat angina, but did a better job of keeping up stiffies, and has since been Big Pharma Pfizer’s wonder drug since the late ’90s, has made its way into a beer bottle. And for why, you might ask? Well, to christen the Royal newlyweds’ wedding night, Silly!

Un-appropriately called Royal Virility Performance (RVP), the 1,000 limited edition bottles are filled with 7.5% ABV IPA and are slapped with a black & white label featuring unflattering sketches of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the motto: “ARISE PRINCE WILLY” Ah! What wit! What charm! Feed me more nonsense.

RVP Label

James Watt, Managing Director of BrewDog, and currently full-time Douche, had this to say about the Royal IPA:

With this beer we want to take the wheels off the royal wedding bandwagon being jumped on by dozens of breweries; The Royal Virility Performance is the perfect antidote to all the hype. A beer should be brewed with a purpose, not just because some toffs are getting married, so we created something at our brewery that will undermine those special edition beers and other assorted seaside tat, whilst at the same time actually give the happy couple something extra on their big day.

So, BrewDog Douche Dude, your “purpose” is to do what exactly? Market a beer under the guise of a drug—real or not / joke or no joke—intended to enhance male sexual performance in the bedroom? How presumptuous and in poor taste of you to think that Prince William has erecticle dysfuntion (ED). Oh, that’s not the point? Well, then it’s perhaps a marketing ploy to bring in the bucks—what was the word you used, “undermine” all other commemorative brews?—while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the comments studded to your RVP blog post, (which in another douche-y BrewDog move has disappeared altogether between the wee hours of last night and this morning). You’re just gonna have to take my word for what Ben, Johnny, and V+L said here:

Ben: In all seriousness, will this beer give me a hard-on? It’s cool if it will, I just need to know.

Johnny: Punk it up Bitch! wicked. I ordered 4 bottles. My wife is in for a hoppy treat.

V+L: Very cool. Apparently, I am purchasing your product next week. Just saw Royal Virility on the news, You guys are now the talk of the town (New York City).

Fox News even picked up the story, creating quite a buzz in its comments section. And yes, here’s the douchiest of the first thirty out of sixty comments from mre09, ilikebush, and jimi27:

Do you think it would be possible to have a sister beer brewed called “Royal Virility Prevention” in which then can be exported to Africa?

Hey, when you want to get her tanked and take advantage of her this ensures the whiskey dick will not happen, party on.

BOTTOMS UP!!!!! And ‘bottoms’ up!!!

So, perhaps the “purpose” Sir Douche Watt and Sir Douche Dickie is to perpetuate the jackass marketing antics that make it okay for conglomerates—big and small—to produce products that reinforce sexist stereotypes which reinforce sexist perspectives which beget sexist behavior and so on and so on and scooby dooby do. So, BrewDog brewmeisters… it’s NOT okay. You’ve already got the masses confused with your labeling. Case in point, Ben needing to know if he’ll actually get a “hard on.” Two days ago the selling ingredient of Royal Performance Virility was Viagra. Now, with all the buzzed it’s been magically changed to “herbal viagra.” Phooey on BrewDog’s marketing ploy!

And, one more thing about the disregard of a drug intended to treat a condition of the male body, herbal or not. UK’s Metro notes downing three RVPs is like taking one little blue pill. Regardless, it’s an abuse of what the drug is designed to do. Treat legitimate cases of ED. Doh! Instead, BrewDog equates Viagra’s drug design to a recreationl sexist show ‘n’ tell of a man’s junk while drunk in the bedroom. (The female sexual health inequities—and inaccessiblities—prevalent in the medical field is an entirely different chunky can of worms that I’ll refrain from opening up here.)

And, it’s gets doucheier. The head brew dude bro-ingly confessed to already sending one bottle by way of Royal Post to “Prince Willy” for his wedding night. Wait! BrewDog Dude got his math wrong. What about Kate!?! Where’s her specially crafted brew to, “give the happy couple something extra on their big day.” Need I say more? Actually, yeah I do, because according to the Fox News article, if the limited edition IPA is a success, which undoubtely it will be with all the hype surrounding it a week before the Royal Wedding, BrewDog plans on making more (which I recall seeing posted on the BrewDog site, but perhaps that too has magically disappeared within the last 48 hours). 

So, what’s actually in this brew? It has “herbal viagra, chocolate, Horny Goat Weed, and a healthy dose of sarcasm.” Oh! sarcasm. How nice. But not everybody gets sarcasm, which the BrewDog brew dudes are ever-so-quickly learning (having changed Viagra to herbal viagra in a period of 24 hours of its press release Monday, which “invites drinkers to celebrate their extra day off Big Willy Style”). Not so funny. Watt goes on to say:

We want to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are and products marketed according to an event rather than their flavor is an example of what’s wrong with the industry. There is more to brewing and tasting beer than putting a royal wedding label on it, so we’re showing everyone just how ludicrous it is.

Seriously? Is this for real? “[P]roducts marketed according to an event rather than their flavour is an example of what’s wrong with the industry.” Dickie and Watt’s RVP IPA intentions are what’s wrong with the industry. Sarcasm or no, beer brewed by abusing a drug marketed to males to encourage lewd behavior toward females without consideration of said females IS what’s wrong with the industry. It is ludicrous, BrewDog Brew Dudes, especially when these two Douches actually did brew the first 40 bottles of beer with prescription Viagra. Here’s the proof from The Digital Newsroom, BrewDog’s multimedia site: “Due to legalities, the first 40 made with Viagra cannot be sold, so the extra 1,000 will be brewed with herbal Viagra.”

And though these Beer Punks think they’re fullfilling their BrewDog mission of “breaking rules, taking risks, upsetting trends, unsettling institutions but first and foremost, great tasting beers,” they’re not breaking the trend of what is expected of The Royal Family by encouraging Prince William and Kate Middleton to produce an heir. What’s so “punk” about that? And, there’s nothing punk about playing along with overtly sexist stereotypes and expectations flooding the marketplace.

RVP Bottle

But, not all is lost. There is a litle bit of light at the end of this Douchebag Decree tunnel. BrewDog Brewery’s blog claims 20% of its Royal Virilitiy Beer profits will go to Centrepoint, a charity that Prince Wiliiam supports. At £10 a bottle, that’s £2000 or $3290 USD to help provide housing and social services to homeless youth in London. I guess I’ll toast my uh, er… Lady Liquid Quiver Belgian to that… Cheers?

by Nicole Morales
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11 Comments Have Been Posted

Many of BrewDog's beers are

Many of BrewDog's beers are ridiculous publicity stunts. I kind of hesitate to give them more press by linking to any evidence here, but:
Their tactics are considered douchey by many in the craft beer community, both female and male. And I feel like I have to say that the craft/micro beer industry is one of the least douchey groups out there. Fundraiser beers/festivals are common, but usually not as weird as this one :/

Brew Dog are known for being

It's actually a very nice

What's irresponsible about

I remember reading about this stunt...

I really like beer,

I really like beer, especially weird little microbrews, but from this article and the links above, it seems this company is more interested in their image than their beers. As a beer-drinker, I just can't respect that. And I really can't respect a company that would make a beer that only men can drink. (I don't know what this "herbal viagra" really is, but I sure as hell don't want to go near it.) I mean, I know a lot of beer companies market aggressively to men, often at the expense of everyone else, but this is ridiculous. Their next beer should be called PLEASE THINK WE'RE COOL.

The weird thing is that this

Fraserburgh is not in

Fraserburgh is not in Aberdeen, It is in Aberdeenshire. Aberdeen is a city, Fraserburgh is a town approximately 40 miles north. Also, this is some clever, if not particularly witty, marketing from a company that enjoys off the wall and random marketing. In addition, Brewdog is not a conglomerate. It was a small, local company that makes some very tasty, unusual and original beers and as such have found a large measure of success. People that know how to drink like a grown up can enjoy their various products and admire the ingenuity and such that went in to making them. Finally, and I do hope you'll excuse the language but it is necessary to the joke (and I am just kidding with you here ladies and gents) but i don't think Americans or Canadians can comment on beer really as I've tasted beer from the North American continent and it was like having sex in a cannoe: fucking close to water. (boom boom).

All the Best from Sunny Aberdeen.

Microbrewing and Homebrewing Need Edjicated

Hilarious! Love the title! This rant highlights something that has long annoyed me--the persistence of masculinist Stoopidery among some companies and individuals--in this case other homebrewers, microbrewers, and afficianados--who are otherwise much more with it politically. Like the radical Grrls who suddenly, shockingly go all-out on a hideously retrogressive 'shower' and wedding, there are otherwise intelligent and aware fellas who brew, and quaff brews with names that celebrate the Dum-est of DumfuckinTeenage Boydom (Monkey Butt, Yellow Snow, etc.). Check out the HuffPost's "funniest" beer names, for example:

Still, this is a topic that needs to be more productively scrutinized than it is here. I love a righteous tirade, but merely inverting lame hierarchies or recycling supposed "counter-"stereotypes is hardly progressive. I'd like to hear the more substantive arguments gestured towards with "scooby dooby doo" , or within parentheses, because what's here is somewhat flimsy: you can hardly blame someone for inciting the Moron Community to further anonymous moron speech--they will do that no matter what the story is. And it's not a safe assumption that those commenters represent the market for microbrews.

It's worth taking the BadDawgs' strongest claim head-on--i.e. that this was a facetious attack on the commercialism surrounding the wedding, and an attempt to rhetorically reduce this Hallowed and Celebrated Media Spectacle to nothing more than animal fucking. And conflate the Prince with mere penis. Most microbrewers and drinkers are hardly "Bros" and do consider themselves somewhat sub-cultural or at least to have long been at odds with 'mainstream' consumer culture, specifically macrobrewing and its control of public opinion taste law and distribution. So it's safe to assume that the boys of DumDog were sincere in entering this beer as a facetious speech act into the arena of often-ironically, cleverly, euphemistically, punningly fun-to-dumb beer label discourse aimed at members of a self-selecting, if at times dopey taste culture. Does ironic marketing somehow expose the subtexts within the game of retrograde mass marketing, and put the ironizer above it all? That's probably the best question raised here. Who the F would buy this stuff? might be the one that points most clearly to a major problem in this industry and its fans.

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