Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit Ale To Change Label After Complaints

Lost Abbey - Witch's WitUPDATE: Lost Abbey Responds to Incorrect Info on NYTimes.com on Witch’s Wit

An excerpt from NYTimes.com:

She was not looking for controversy. Vicki Noble was just looking for a fine ale.

Ms. Noble, who is famous in the pagan and Wiccan communities for her astrology readings, shamanic healing and writings about goddess spirituality, says she discovered Witch’s Wit last week on one of her regular excursions to 41st Avenue Liquors, in Capitola, Calif.

“I like beer,” Ms. Noble said, and as a practitioner of religious traditions that revere the earth and women’s special powers, she also feels a special connection to brewing. “It was the women who brewed beer from ancient times right up to the Reformation,” she says. She thinks some were burned as witches to destroy “the ancient traditions of shamanistic medicine, which in every indigenous culture includes the brewing of medicinal fermented beverages.”

But one does not have to agree with Ms. Noble’s interpretation of history to share her offense at a picture on the label of Witch’s Wit, a limited-edition pale ale — “wit” means “white” in Dutch — produced by Lost Abbey, a division of the Port Brewing Company of San Marcos, Calif.

It was a painting of a witch being burned at the stake.

Ms. Noble went home and wrote to her e-mail list. “Can we stop this brewer from their hate imagery?” read the subject line, in all capitals.

“Can you imagine them showing a black person being lynched or a Jewish person going to the oven?” she wrote. “Such images are simply not tolerated in our society anymore (thank the Goddess) and this one should not be, either.”

To read the rest of the original article, please follow this link : http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/us/23witch.html?emc=eta1

source: The NY Times
By Mark Oppenheimer
Published: October 22, 2010

UPDATE: Lost Abbey Responds to Incorrect Info on NYTimes.com on Witch’s Wit


  1. LilOlMe says

    Okay to all of you who don’t seem to think this is an issue…
    I’m willing to bet you don’t have to deal with the same type of criticism and such that we witches do. Just because of stories (both real and fake) that were started, or kept going, due to the Christians wanting to up their number of perishiners, we have a “bad rep”. While yes there are some who call upon the darker forces and whatnot, not all of us do. And it’s not fair to have a witch burning at the stake just because some people find it funny. It’s already been mentioned, but I’ll do it again. If this were an Aushwitz picture, or a slave picture, or anything else from our countries dark past there would be OUTRAGE, but yet it’s perfectly okay to submit this?? I think not!

    This is outrage to our community, if the African American’s can play the Black card time and again, we can play the Witch card when necessary (espacially since we don’t do it every other day)

  2. Jo Ro says

    What if the beer was called Jew’s Jest and the label depicted Jews in a furnace at an Auschwitz death camp?

    Still okay?

  3. Thomas says

    As Cat said, it’s humorous. Tomme, a lapsed Catholic, has a lot of Christian imagery on his bottles as well and I’ve never complained to him or his brewery. Some breweries make beers that could be “sacrilegious” and my only response if I don’t like it is, don’t buy it!

    As stated, if everyone changed labels because of offensive stuff, we would just have black Helvetica on bottles with the name of the beer.

  4. says

    For the record, a lot of us Wiccans think Vicky Noble and a lot of the Pagan and Wiccan correspondents with Lost Abbey overreacted seriously. I’m a lot more offended by Witches who represent our religion with poorly-spelled emails of outrage over, let’s face it, a beer label, than I am by the depiction of a victim of the medieval witchcraft persecutions.

    The copy on the back of the beer is actually rather complimentary to us, in context.

    And even if that were not true, there is such a thing as a sense of humor. I think it would be a good idea if we all grew one.

    Whether or not that happens? Here’s one longtime-Pagan who is also a microbrewery fan, who will be happy to buy from Lost Abbey. If only by way of apology for the folly of my peers.

  5. Autumn Earthsong says

    The Witch/Wiccan/Pagan Community is over a Million Strong people…there is most definitely such a being as a Witch..we are NOT make believe…I wonder how the Christian community would accept a label depicting the Christians and the lions in the Roman Colliseum???
    The label is wrong all the way around..why don’t they do a “story label” showing the witch working at her altar, or making herbal remedies, or working in her garden???

  6. Teresa says

    One more thing, witchcraft is much more of a science than it is mumbo jumbo as far as the herbcraft and belief that all things are made up of energy (we were just a little ahead of the rest of you on that one). Any science which is far more advanced than the society viewing it is percieved as “magic”. As for who/how we worship it’s no more mumbo jumbo than amy other religion.

  7. Angela says

    obviously, those opposed are thinking that wiccans are the stereotypical fairy tale image and person that was made up by christians. do your research and educate yourselves. wiccans have found humor in this forever, since we’ve been around well before christians. and, good thing. since we have NOTHING to do with what you think we are. the image is offensive, as many (maybe millions)innocent people were killed for their religious beliefs, because of other’s insecurities and self- righteousnes. EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE A BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY, minus a few half-wits and dark people whom were NOT pagan.i would probably shake off the picture on the bottle. since it’s from an ignorant point of view and for fun. but, if it’s offensive, as SO MANY THINGS ARE TO THE CHRISTIAN PEOPLE THESE DAYS, then it should be changed. harm to none. find education and love, people.

  8. Dottie says

    you ppl better stop and do research wicca is a reconigzed releigon just like christianity and others. No matter what it’s still prejudice that is being portrayed on that label.im speaking as an ordained minister and yes I’m wiccan and proud!

  9. Teresa says

    Well, Laura I beg to differ. I EXIST. There are MANY more witches like me out here than you may think.

  10. An-OMINOUS says

    Not just an EVANGILIST,CHURCHGROUPS CENSORSHIP OF ADULTRY-without adultry testing the waters in public(FORPLAY TO U)and at 1 time*WAS PROTECTECTED AS PART OF 1RST AMENDMENT FOR CENTOURIES UNTIL Hillary Clintom(Supported by chuchgroups,Nice cheating by preying on churches Hillary TO ABUSE MENS NATURE IN PUBLIC!) went postal over Lewensky and VIOLATED 1RST AMENDMENT by passing that SEXUAL HARRASSMENT IN PUBLIC LAW BS STATEWIDE BACK IN 1998 ON NATIONAL TELEVION*->She needs not just IMPEACHED-*THEN BURN HER*Hey,Somebody done failed once to assinate that B*tch,So obviously Im not wrong here-CLINTON HAS GOT TO GO!-Look at the timeline then-Y’all cant be that dumb not to see this:What happened to the FREEDOM OUR FORFATHERS PROMISED US IN WRITING FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION THAT LASTED**Untill HILLARRY NAZI CLINTON PASSED THAT HARRASSMENT LAW IN PUBLIC BS BACK IN 1998 ,THIS USA’s MEN HAS BEEN SUFFERING SINCE

  11. Bluv says

    When will people not bend to every one thats offended,, it is the brewers right to have that label and a Wiccans right not to buy it. Instead the brewery will concede and change the label… Man up 41st Ave Liquers after all thats the label YOU wanted and I am sure if the Wiccans of the area dont give you business that you will be ok financially. Geeez!!

  12. Laura says

    Well, the difference between putting a “witch” burning at the stake on it rather than a black being lynched or a Jew going into the oven is that people (other than Wiccans) stopped believing in magic and “witches” a long time ago, while I’m fairly certain we all believe there are such things as blacks and Jews. This woman is comparing something people don’t believe exists to people that we all know exist. She needs to get over herself, as do the vast majority of people in America. I swear we are the biggest nation of over sensitive cry-babies I’ve ever seen!

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