‘Not for gays’: Manchester’s drinkers can’t get enough of world’s first ‘protest beer’ opposing Russia’s anti-gay laws

By Michael Halpin

An ale dubbed the world’s first ‘protest beer’ made in objection to Russia’s anti-gay laws has been flying off the shelves in a Manchester bar.

Hello My Name is Vladamir, by the BrewDog Brewery, was made in protest to Russia banning homosexual propaganda during the Winter Olympics.

The tipple depicts Russian President Vladimir Putin sporting full make-up, with the tongue-in-cheek statement ‘not for gays’.

BrewDog have jokingly said that the beer should be allowed to bypass legislation outlawing supposed ‘homosexual propaganda’ in Russia.

Phil Sheldrake, Duty Manager of Manchester’s Brewdog Bar, told MM: “Customers have actually been visiting the bar just to find this particular beer.”

Mr Sheldrake, 27, added: “Visitors to the bar are picking up on the interest in the story and buying the beer because of it,” something that the Duty Manager believes is linked to the ‘warmth towards the cause.’

“It is important for breweries to take a stand on such matters. Breweries have a social responsibility towards such causes,” he said.

This weekend Manchester’s Hope Theatre Company are staging a production entitled To Russia With Love highlighting homophobia and promoting LGBT rights in Russia.

Adam Zane, the productions Artistic Director and former Queer As Folk actor supported the move. He said: “Any attention paid to the cause is good attention. The fact that there is humour in the protest is good as it encourage people to engage.”

“Although Hello My Name Is Vladimir has increased awareness beyond Manchester’s LGBT community, the movement needs to be city wide in order to increase awareness of the situation in Russia.”   

Picture courtesy of BrewDog, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles