A boozer has been branded ‘Britain’s wokest pub’ for refusing to sell a catalogue of drinks including Heineken, Polish lager, or Thatchers - for ethical reasons.
The Red Lion in Bristol has revealed a list of drinks it won’t serve due to dubious history or practices surrounding different brands.
Despite serving Thatcher’s ‘before it was big’, the Easton pub now won’t sell the brand because its makers have apparent links to Edward Colston and the slave trade.
They say Coca-Cola has a history of the misuse of water in third world countries, while Heineken has been accused of unethical practices in Africa and Bacardi has been linked with illegal attacks in Cuba.
You won’t be able to pick up a pint of Polish lager Tyskie either, after the company that owns it was linked to an anti-LGBTQ+ movement.
The pub’s stance has caused a storm on social media, with some users branding staff ‘pathetic’ and ‘hypocritical’.
But Lemmy, the pub’s landlord, is upset about the backlash and says his decision was “made purely on ethics.”
He said: “A lot of the reasons we’ve taken before in what we choose what to stock and what not to is because of land use, water use, worker’s rights - to name just a few.
“We don’t serve Coca-Cola because they have a history of seriously bad use of water in third world countries, that not a lot of people know about.
“We have been labelled ‘woke’ and all these weaponised words - which have made us feel pretty vulnerable.
“When we have taken the stance which we believe is ethical - we do not want to be made some kind of target.
“This whole thing with Thatchers has veered into politics because of the Colston thing.
“Part of it is because we publicly supported the Colston Four - one of them actually drinks in our pub - but that’s only a part of it.
“We actually stopped selling Thatchers during the pandemic, and haven’t had it on draft since, only cans.
“Thatchers did a really good job of bringing decent cider to the masses but that product is not the same product it was back then - it’s no fault of theirs.
“Like any product when you’re making millions of gallons, the product quality is bound to go down.
“Then when the Merchant Venturers thing came up, it was the final straw - and it would have been hypocritical of us to continue selling it after supporting the Colston Four.
“People prefer the other ciders we sell anyway.”
Earlier this month campaign group Countering Colston called for a boycott of the brand, because company director Martin Thatcher is a member of the Society of the Merchant Venturers.
The society has long been criticised for its historical links to the slave trade and Edward Colston.
BristolWorld took to the city’s pubs to ask drinkers if they would support a boycott on Thatcher’s, but the general consensus was that it would do more harm than good as the brand employs thousands of people.
In a Facebook post last week, the Red Lion criticised the Merchant Venturers and confirmed that it would not be buying any more Thatchers cider and “when it’s gone it’s gone for good”.
Lemmy said: “We haven’t jumped on a band wagon here - it is part of who we all are and who we have always been.
“We really didn’t expect this and don’t see it as something that should be shouted about.”