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Home | News | Craft Brewers | Slater’s defends Top Totty beer

Slater’s defends Top Totty beer

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Top Totty: just cheeky humour, says brewer

UK micro stands by name and design after MP complaint

Stafford brewer Slater’s has defended the name and pump clip design of its Top Totty beer after the brew was withdrawn from a House of Commons bar.

The blonde ale was listed as a guest beer at Strangers' Bar on Tuesday, but was withdrawn two days later after Labour MP Kate Green, the party’s equalities spokeswoman, complained in Parliament.

Yesterday, at a House of Commons questions session, Green said: “Will the Leader of the House arrange a debate on dignity at work in Parliament? 

“Last night I was disturbed to learn that the guest beer in the Strangers Bar is called Top Totty, and that there is a picture of a nearly naked woman on the tap. As well as arranging a debate, will the Leader of the House join me in asking for that beer to be withdrawn from the bar immediately?”

The beer was withdrawn soon after, sparking a slew of coverage among bloggers and in national media. But the family-run micro is standing by its 15-year-old brand. 

Fay Slater, who looks after bottle sales, said: “We’re a British company, we support British farmers and the economy. We’ve got a bit of British humour, and that’s what the pump clip is. 

“It’s light-hearted and not meant to cause offence. [Green] is the equalities minister, so you can expect her to feel that way and that’s her view…but at the brewery, we like it and stand by it.”

Slater said the coverage had boosted sales of the blonde beer, with the brewery fielding calls from across the UK.  “It’s been positive to us, it’s in our favour and expectedly so,” she said.  “We need to put it into perspective. We don’t think it’s an offensive pump clip or name, it’s just a little bit tongue-in-cheek. And pump clips are a bit cheeky, aren’t they?”

Top Totty secured its Strangers' Bar listing thanks to the efforts of Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy. In a statement on his website yesterday, Lefroy said: “These guest ale slots offer a very welcome opportunity for small, independent breweries like Slater’s to reach a wider audience with their products, some of which have cheeky names.

“However, I can understand that some people may take offence to the marketing, which I am sorry about.”

Slater said the brewer wouldn’t rule out seeking future listings at the House of Commons. “We’re bringing out a beer for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee,” she said. “Who knows, we might get that down there.”


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