A FESTIVE real ale has left a bad taste in the mouth after its brewers were accused of trivialising the plight of people who kill themselves at a local suicide spot.
Beachy Head Brewer has released a seasonal tipple under the name of The Beachy Head Christmas Jumper and, after he spotted it for sale here in Eastbourne, one angry reader got in touch with the Gazette, slamming the choice of name as “insensitive”.
The man, who asked not to be named, had lost a loved one to suicide and said the beer’s label, which carries a view of the cliff tops, brought back painful memories.
Speaking this week he said, “It is not in very good taste.
“There are lots of people who has lost loved ones to suicide and Christmas is one of the times of year when they are most in your thoughts.
“Something like this could be quite upsetting if people came across it unexpectedly.
“There are lots of other things it could have been called.”
And it was a sentiment echoed by the cliff’s resident chaplaincy team, which patrols the coastline trying to talk down anyone considering suicide.
The group’s spokesman told the Gazette, “We are seeing increasing numbers of people coming to the Head who are struggling with serious difficulties often due to current economic uncertainties.
“Beachy Head is also a place of outstanding beauty and we would encourage a more positive message in the name of the locally made ale, rather than cause genuine upset amongst those who have lost a friend or relative at Beachy Head.”
However, Roger Green, head brewer at Beachy Head, which also produces a host of popular local drinks alongside the 7.2 per cent ale, said, “There is no evil intention.
“This started with a pump clip showing Father Christmas in a big fluffy jumper but when we produced labels that did not reproduce because we have a standard shot on our labels.
“It was purely a running joke on the famous woolly jumper. [The link to Beachy Head] was unintentional certainly.
“Some people have noticed it and I am sure they will not be the last.
“We are reluctant to change the name but we definitely did not intend to offend anyone.
“We know this is a very delicate subject and have the upmost respect for the job the chaplains do.”
l What do you think of the name? Is it insenstive or a storm in a teacup? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.