(San Marcos, CA) – The Lost Abbey has found itself in the news again.
This bird is of a very different feather than the Moylan’s thing though.
About a week ago, I started receiving comments on old blog posts about Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit:
As a pagan, and a woman, I am offended by the label. What’s next, a black being chased by people in white sheets???
The cover art of “Witches Wit” is extremely offensive to women, witches, and anyone who knows history enough to remember the “Women’s Holocaust” of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe and North America. Hatred and violence toward women is still present today and is perpetuated by the prejudice and lack of sensitivity of this artwork.
I am also appalled and offended by the label of Witch’s Wit. How can the burning of a human being be considered appropriate and appealing to advertise/sell beer? It is slap in the face of many many women through out the world.
The handful of comments I got were nothing compared to the 300 emails received by The Lost Abbey by the Pagan/Wiccan community though. Their campaign finally hit the general public yesterday with a full-length piece in the New York Times.
A woman by the name of Vicki Noble led the charge and her email reached a woman named Cynthia Eller in San Marcos, also home to The Lost Abbey. From the NYT piece:
As it happens, [Ms. Eller's parents live in San Marcos]. This week, her father, Eldon, visited the brewery and had a taste of the beer — a Belgian-style ale, spiced with grapefruit zest, orange peel and coriander. He enjoyed it very much, his daughter said, and met Vince Marsaglia, one of the co-founders of the brewery.
Soon after her father’s tasting trip, Ms. Eller got an e-mail from Mr. Marsaglia, a reply to one she had sent the brewery. He wrote that he was “totally in favor” of changing the label and that he and his co-workers had been “ignorantly unaware of the mistake” they had made.
Not so fast says The Lost Abbey’s Sage Osterfeld. A decision has not been made final yet and will not be made final until after Halloween. If the brewery doesn’t change the label, it could get interesting to see what the Wiccan group does next. Could we see marching or a demonstration outside the Abbey?
Osterfeld said that they had not received a single complaint about the label before last Friday. I wrote about the beer back when it initially hit shelves in August, 2008. Also of note, it’s a summer release and is now out of stock in most markets.
The label has certainly drawn lots of thoughtful discussion among Pagans. To get the other side’s view, I would encourage you to read this blog post as well as this one which includes correspondence between the brewery and a member of the Pagan community.