Moon Gazer Ale renames award-winning ‘White Face’ beer after being dubbed ‘a bit racist’

Moon Gazer Ale said it has now rebranded the drink as Cheeky Jack

A UK brewery has decided to rename one of its award-winning beers in response to accusations of discrimination. Moon Gazer Ale says the unique way it names its beers has led to a ‘complete misunderstanding’.

The Norfolk-based brewery names its product after hares - an energetic animal commonly spotted in open arable fields of Fenland and central Norfolk. However, the brewery has noted “more frequent and vocal” feedback from drinkers, questioning the linguistic origin of their award-winning golden IPA - White Face.

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Moon Gazer Ale said it has now rebranded the drink as Cheeky Jack. Keeping with the current theme, the name is a play on the American translation of hare, known as a ‘jack rabbit’.

After being crowned the champion cask beer of Norfolk 2023 by the Campaign for Real Ale, owner David Holliday said the brewery “became aware that its name wasn’t sitting entirely comfortably with some people”.

“Some people did not know the connection to the hare name, and the white mountain hare – and sadly in some cases giving rise to the feeling that there was an undercurrent of discriminatory language,” he detailed on the brewery’s site.

“This is, of course, a complete misunderstanding – but the fact that it created that impression was of genuine concern to us.”

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Mr Holliday also highlighted a conversation he and his wife had overheard, which encouraged the owner to rename White Face.

“[We] were recently sitting in a pub beer garden and overheard a man showing his pint to his beer buddy and proclaiming ‘Now, this beer is totally lush’.

“There was a short pause before he continued: ‘Name’s a bit racist though’.  So, again this made us stop and reflect.”

He continued: “Beer should do one simple thing – that is to bring pleasure – so if the beer, or more accurately its name was moving away from that, however small, for us, it was time for a change.”

Moon Gazer Ale offers a range of ‘hare’ named beers including Jigfoot, Pintail and Nibbler, which all derive from a Middle English poem called the Names of the Hare.

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