The Western Australian brewing company is reportedly considering a name change after receiving backlash.
Blackhearts & Sparrows, a string of boutique bottleshops based in Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT, have announced they will no longer stock Colonial Brewing Co beers as they believe the company’s name to be problematic. The bottleshop will also be donating any profits from remaining stock to the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance.
“[It] speaks to a broader history of colonialism and colonisation that has caused irreversible harm to the First Nations people in Australia and Indigenous populations around the world,” Blackhearts & Sparrows owners Paul and Jessica Ghaie said in a statement.
“While we appreciate that the people behind Colonial Brewing had no malicious intent in their choice of brand name, words have power,” they added. “We’ve had discussions with Colonial in the past with concerns about their name.”
The Ghaies said they hope their decision makes Blackhearts & Sparrows a more inclusive space for all customers.
The Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan addressed the matter in a press conference, deeming the decision “unnecessary”. “I think it might be taking it a bit far, but that’s a matter for the company,” he said.
However, Managing Director of the Margaret River-based brewing company, Lawrence Dowd, told Channel 9 News that they are “part-way into” a reviewing process in which they will assess their branding and next steps.
CEO of the Liquor Store Association Peter Peck hit back, calling the move “absolutely ridiculous”. “What’s going to happen when someone decides that ‘Blackhearts’ is offensive? Are they going to change their name,” he said.
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