Polish brewery faces backlash over ‘White IPA Matters’ beer

·2 min read
A screenshot from the ad by the Polish brewery showing a Black bar man having a beer called ‘White IPA Matters’ surrounded by symbols from the US’s deep south (Screengrab/Video)
A screenshot from the ad by the Polish brewery showing a Black bar man having a beer called ‘White IPA Matters’ surrounded by symbols from the US’s deep south (Screengrab/Video)

An advertisement for a new beer called “White IPA Matters” by a Polish brewery has sparked a backlash after people called it racist and an attempt to “exploit” George Floyd’s death.

The ad, released by the Mentzen brewery owned by right-wing politician Slawomir Mentzen, shows a Black bar man drinking the beer, surrounded by symbols from America’s deep south, including a Confederate flag.

In the ad, the Black man can be seen performing his duties, while the camera focuses on the symbols. A person walks into the bar and slides the beer to the bar man, who takes a sip and says: “This is what I needed.”

The Polish brewery has been flooded with complaints since the release of the ad, claiming it was racist and should be taken down.

“The beer exploits the death of George Floyd and the racist backlash to the global Black Lives Matter movement,” Rafal Pankowski, a Polish sociologist and head of the “Never Again” Association’s East Europe Monitoring Centre, was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.

“The producer plays with racist history and symbolism of the US south. By getting a Black person to drink this disgusting beer for promotional purposes, they mock the victims of racism. No decent beer drinker should ever pay a penny for this far-right, fund-raising stunt,” he added.

The company has not responded to the allegations and complaints yet.

Mr Mentzen, the owner of the brand, is a member of Poland’s right-wing Confederation party and has contested two elections – local elections in Poland’s Torun city in 2018 and for the European parliament in 2019 – both of which he lost, according to the Daily Mail.

George Floyd was a Black man who was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck and back for nearly 10 minutes while responding to his arrest.

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