One Equal World

The World’s First Non-Binary Transgender Beer

Posted on: November 9, 2015

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

BrewDog, a Scottish craft brewery that intends to spread roots into the United States shortly (Via Columbus Ohio), has created what it calls the first transgender beer. Starting Friday, November 6th, it will be selling bottles of No Label.

“No Label is the world’s first ‘non-binary, transgender beer’ designed to reflect the diversity of the area and champion inclusivity,” according to the company’s website. And that’s not only lip service: All profits from No Label sales will be donated to Queerest of the Queer, a U.K.-based group to support charities for trans youth.

Beer, according to the company, is a natural choice for a brewer’s interpretation of non-binary identity, and that’s all due to one of the key ingredients, hops.

Like many flowering plants, hops plants come in ‘male’ and ‘female’ varieties (meaning they are dioecious). They both produce flowers but since viable seeds ruin the taste of the beer, nearly all fields are culled to only have female plants.

However, it’s far from uncommon for hop plants to change their sex, dropping their female flowers to grow male ones instead prior to harvest. Jester hopes, the varietal BrewDog uses, is naturally prone to this. Furthering the metaphor, they say they brew No Label with hop plants “that have undergone this change and grown male flowers; to add diversity, rather than restrict it.”

Since they’re harvesting the hops before seeds have a chance to form, no harm is done to the flavor.

On top of this, the beer is a Kölsch style brew, which is described as a blurring of the boundaries between lager and ale. In this way, it invokes all those who identify themselves in a similarly non-binary way, neither exclusively female or male, a largely still-invisible part of the LGBT community.

Currently, No Label can only be purchased in London, U.K., but it will soon be available in limited markets in the United States.


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