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Tiny Rebel rapped over ‘socially irresponsible’ craft brews

21 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Tiny Rebel

Industry watchdog The Portman Group has upheld complaints against Welsh brewer Tiny Rebel for its “flagrant” and “socially irresponsible” mimicking of four popular drinks brands.

The beers – Hywl Peanut Butter Flapjack IPA, Monstar Hawaiian Punch IPA, TinyFast Milkshake IPA and Primed Blue Raspberry IPA – launched as part of the Welsh craft brewer’s January series.

They mimicked popular non-alcoholic drink brands and were sold under the tagline “Made with love and fun to help chase away the January blues”.

The Portman Group upheld complaints against all four products for encouraging irresponsible consumption, and “in varying degrees” for suggesting they “had therapeutic qualities, could enhance mental or physical capabilities, and change mood or behaviour”.

Complaints were also upheld against three of the products for having particular appeal to under-18s, while TinyFast was rapped for encouraging consumers to drink rapidly.

All four products have been discontinued.


Nicola Williams, chairwoman of the group’s independent complaints panel, said: “It is socially irresponsible for a producer to mimic well-known non-alcoholic drink brands that are marketed on the grounds of weight loss, meal replacement and performance enhancing properties on alcoholic drinks packaging in such a flagrant manner.

“These cases set new, clear, precedents that all producers should take note of when using well-known non-alcoholic drink brands in alcohol marketing. All brands work hard to ensure that certain connotations are linked with their products and alcohol producers must remember that stricter rules apply in this space.”

Portman Group chief executive Matt Lambert said: “The Independent Complaints Panel do not consider producer intentions when reviewing product packaging, but these cases represent a continuation of concerning behaviour by Tiny Rebel.

“We have had constructive conversations with them and I sincerely hope the producer learns from this and ensures its products are compliant in the future by working with the Portman Group’s Advisory Service”.

Community fund

Tiny Rebel said: “We are proud to have raised a significant amount of money from the sale of each of these beers which went directly into our Tiny Rebel Community Fund. The money raised has already started to be awarded to community projects around the UK.

“As code signatories and an alcohol producer we take our responsibilities very seriously and have now started to use the Portman Group’s advisory service to sense check our marketing campaigns as well as can designs.”

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