bottle release

Four Played Out

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I don’t know about you, but I am extremely offended by Upright Brewing’s bottle label for Four Play, the highly anticipated sour cherry farmhouse ale coming out on their 2nd Anniversary this Sunday at the brewery from 1-6pm. Thanks to Beervana’s commenters for pointing out that the label is clearly sexist and the product of an immature hyper-masculine boy’s fantasy. With a name and label like that and my repressed sexuality as an artist, I feel dirty drinking it. Foreplay should be performed only after holy matrimony, of course, and absolutely never ever depicted or talked about. Violence, bloodshed, alcohol, and drugs, these things don’t concern me, but when you suggest that women can be sexy and seductive, that is just in bad taste. A label like this destroys the sanctity of my ale. What’s next, two men holding hands?!
So what do you do when you want to drink this sexy beer without feeling pressured to be held to society’s questionable standards? We have came up with the answer!

uncensored label
This is why I have created a new censored version of the Four Play label and I am offering these limited edition, hand-labeled bottles depicting a woman being cleansed of her sinful ways for $50, each signed by the artist.
Offended by a beer label? Can’t stop staring at the side boob of the woman on the Cycles Gladiator Cabernet Sauvignon? We can help with that, too, for only $50!
Never be confronted with the realities that women have breasts and nipples and can be sexually attractive ever again! It’s either this or castration, you decide!

Next I call for a boycott of Burnside Brewing, with their damaging and sexist portrayal of a clearly subservient nymph or pixie of questionable gender. Let’s end the objectification of this fictional species once and for all. Email [email protected]
P.S. If you are confused by this post, you should really read this one first.
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Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]


  1. pedXer

    March 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    well played sir!

    Although when I saw your tweet, I was hoping that you decided to make me that milk stout label I had requested.

    Now you can sell four play to the masses!

  2. Big Jimmy

    March 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    The label has caused a big hype. Positive/Negative it doesn’t matter. Consumers are predictable when it comes to hype, They’ll buy that beer for the label now. Even if it’s filled with piss, they won’t care. Spread the hype! Maybe next year you should add a few pubic hairs. :-O… Call Hefner, he may want to buy a palate for the Mansion. Marketing.. GO!

  3. Shawn

    March 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    It seems that the “pro-label” contingent is more up in arms over people commenting negatively on the label then the “anti-label” contingent is complaining about the label. I, for one, as I have commented on some of the other blogs, just think it’s a bad label. Not from a sexuality/PC point of view, I just think it’s a bad label from an “artistic” point of view, as well as from a business point of view. Whatever. These bottles would sell out if you put photos of dog poop on them, since the beer inside is a highly desirable product for beer geeks everywhere.

  4. Greg

    March 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Great post.

    I’m doing a post on this later today, but let me just say: People need to realize that art sometimes evokes emotion. That’s the point, not a problem.

    I think it lacks some of the artistry and creativity of last year’s label, but it’s not bad. As Shawn said, in this case the bottles will sell no matter what, so I’d have liked to see a bit more experimentation (why not, when there’s basically no marketing downside?). Still, a good effort.

  5. vkennedy61

    March 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Well done Ezra. I’m really glad you’ve kept your sense of humor throughout this issue. The beer is great, it’s a limited edition beer. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you don’t like the label don’t buy it.

    What do these protesters do when they see a girl out and about with giant cleavage and short shorts? Or at the beach in a bikini? Do they cover them in a towel? How about construction or landscape workers working with their shirts off? Do they beg them to put on a shirt?

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