Battle brewing: Cider activists take on Pauline Hanson’s craft beer

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is keen to get her own craft beer label. 



Renegade Melbourne brewers East 9th Brewing Unlimited say they have a protest cider ready for drinkers in response to Pauline Hanson’s recent surprise announcement that she wants to produce her own craft beer.

East 9th brewery’s Fog City cloudy cider includes a range called The People Vs, which was launched earlier this year.

Each case of cider contains a random selection of bottles bearing politically charged labels like: ‘Legalise the Green: Hempire Strikes Back’; ‘Still Hate Tony Abbott’ and ‘Shut Up Govt Of Course It’s a Yes to Gay Marriage’.

The company says the idea behind the range is to ‘positively protest the injustices of bigoted politicians, laws and prejudices’ and one of the most recently coined slogans has captured the political zeitgeist.

East 9th brewers Josh Lefers, Stephen Wools and Benjamin Cairns’ new cider label says ‘I’d Swap Pauline For A Refugee’, in protest against the One Nation leader’s strident stance towards refugees.

East 9th Brewing Director Mr Lefers says he is happy to dispatch a few bottles to Ms Hanson’s Queensland home, particularly if it helps soften her views on immigration: “Maybe it will inform her thinking.”

“Our new slogan ‘I’d Swap Pauline For A Refugee’ is aimed at lobbying Pauline Hanson, her inhumane refugee policies, and every person with beliefs like hers that create a terrible energy in the world,” he says.

“We’re happy to go head-to-head with people like Pauline – and Pauline. She hasn’t brewed anything yet, apart from a whole lot of bad ideas.”

Ms Hanson apparently came up with the idea of having her own craft beer after reflecting upon how much she enjoyed having a beer and a chat with ordinary Australians. She thought it would help her connect more with voters.

Lefers says she isn’t wrong here: “For sure. It’s about the idea of sharing moments. Social things like that connect people.”

He says he is not trying to say that everybody should have the same values, merely to present another view in the hope that positive sentiment will win out. His cider is designed to present that opposing view.

“Nobody else has played the philosophical or ideological base and that’s what we have always gone for,” he says.

“The reality is, it’s people like Pauline and Trump nobody is going up against in the commercial world.”


Fog City activist cider will take on Pauline Hanson in the pub. 


Ms Hanson is currently looking for a brewer to work with on her craft beer. Lefers says: “We won’t make it for her but if she showed some open-minded values, for sure.”

The three men designed the range after sharing stories about activists in 1970s San Francisco who challenged power and authority and lived alternative lifestyles.

“Some of our crew suggested we should jot down our own activist slogans that reflected beliefs we were passionate about. So we did, and we threw them into a hat… and what we pulled out became the bones of The People Vs. series.”

The People Vs. is billed as ‘a bitter-sweet premium cider naturally engineered from our gathered blend of apples and pears’. The makers have said they will continuously update the label slogans.

Fog City activist cider is available from independent retailers nationally.

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