New Zealand’s Double Vision Brewing took a daring dive into politics with Juice Cinda, a Jacinda Ardern-themed beer and now, despite online haters and lost customers, the brewery is taking a double dip.
The Wellington brewery celebrated New Zealand’s exit from COVID-19 lockdown with a hazy IPA called Juice Cinda.
The can features an image of the New Zealand prime minister on the label with design that melds Barack Obama ‘Yes We Can’ posters with ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Second World War marketing imagery.
Brewer and founder Warren Drahota said the first batch Juice Cinda sold out within days and another batch being brewed is also completely pre-sold.
In other words, it’s been a huge success – even though the brewery has lost customers as a result and social media posts are full of disparaging comments from the political right.
Drahota knew there was a risk the beer would backfire but is rapt with the results.
“We didn’t know if it was going to be well-received or whether it would be loved or hated,” Drahota said.
“And we didn’t know if we would get a cease or desist from Jacinda.”
The beer served a double purpose – to celebrate Ardern’s leadership in bringing New Zealanders together to fight COVID-19 but also to raise funds for mental health.
Half of all profits from the beer are being donated to a mental health charity I Am Hope.
“Coming out of COVID we started hearing how a lot of people were having a hard time with the stress and pressure or being out of work.”
Drahota said the sales of the beer were in stark contrast to the political commentary alongside it.
“There’s been a few really, really mean people on Reddit but our audience dealt with that, so we didn’t have to do anything.”
A Facebook article attracted hundreds of political comments with most suggesting the beer would promise a lot but deliver little, that it would taste like vinegar, give you a headache and go quickly flat.
“I also got an email from a guy who said `I’ve been a long-time supporter of you guys, but I can’t support you anymore because of this beer’,” Drahota said.
“But you’re always going to get people who are left and right or they’re negative, or they just don’t get it. This is celebrating what we’ve accomplished in New Zealand through Jacinda Ardern’s leadership.”
Drahota, originally from California, has lived in New Zealand for seven years and still has family in Colorado and Florida.
“The rest of the world is like burning and we’re safe and cozy here. We’re so lucky to have a leader like her.
“I’m just super-proud to be a Kiwi now.”
Despite the negative comments Drahota feels the political step has “enhanced” the brand and he hoped the prime minister and her partner Clarke Gayford got to try it.
“I dropped off a case of 24 beers to the prime minister’s office with a letter saying this is our way of saying thank you and cheers for being a good leader.
“I also dropped off case for Clarke as well because he does some cool things for New Zealand as well in the mental health area.”