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CAMRA faces backlash for 'disrespectful' Covid-themed pint glass decorated with virus microbes

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 02/09/2020 April Roach
a glass of wine © Provided by Evening Standard

The Campaign for Real Ale has been slammed for launching a "tasteless" and "disrespectful" Covid-themed pint glass.

Social media was flooded with complaints after CAMRA shared pictures of its limited-edition glass for this year's virtual Great British Beer Festival.

"Check out our glass design for the Virtual Great British Beer Festival," CAMRA said in a post on Twitter.

Many were confused by the design, calling it "off the mark" and "insensitive".

"More than disappointed in this," said one Twitter user. "We shouldn’t be celebrating and commemorating a virus that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives potentially including CAMRA members. Very poor taste."

Another asked: "How did this get approved?"

One social media user responded to CAMRA's tweet by saying: "I hope this is a joke. We shouldn’t be encouraging this sort of disrespectful behaviour. People have died.

"People have lost their jobs, their homes, their livelihood. This isn't funny."

One Twitter user was so upset by the design that he shared a picture of his CAMRA membership card cut in half.

Manchester brewery Beer Nouveau shared CAMRA's post on Twitter saying: "I can see what their intentions were with this. But this is a seriously bad execution of idea."

Not everyone was displeased with the design. One social media user wrote: "I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only one who finds this glass amusing.

"So many people looking for reasons to be outraged... (And yes, I've been personally impacted by Covid_19 in multiple adverse ways.)".

Hours after sharing the post, CAMRA shared an apology and explained the intention behind the design was to recognise "what was at the front of everyone's mind" this year.

Festival organiser Catherine Tonry said: "As someone who has suffered lasting lung damage after contracting COVID-19, I am all too aware how serious the illness can be and the devastating and long-term impact it has had on so many of us.

"I sincerely apologise to anyone who has taken offence to the glass theme. We choose a theme every year and wanted to ensure the design recognised what was at the front of everyone's mind.

"Covid-19 has been the defining event of 2020, and has severely impacted the beer and pub sector - as well as many of our personal lives. In fact, this is the first time we have held the festival digitally in over 40 years of hosting the Great British Beer Festival.

"We hope that despite the difficulties faced by many, the festival will give people the chance to come together over a pint and discover new brewers and cider producers to support throughout this period of uncertainty."

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