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23rd February 2023

Portman Group response to Cornwall Live’s report on Unshaven Maiden

In response to Cornwall Live’s report surrounding the Independent Complaint’s Panel’s provision decision regarding Bearded Brewery’s Unshaven Maiden, Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group – the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator – said:

“A complaint was received related to Bearded Brewery’s Unshaven Maiden product. The Independent Complaints Panel (Panel) reviewed this first on 10 November 2022 and issued a provisional decision to the producer upholding the complaint on the grounds the product packaging created an indirect association with sexual activity and was likely to cause widespread offence. It is important to emphasise this is a provisional decision, not a final decision.

“On 20 February 2023, the producer was given an additional opportunity to present their response to the Panel to make the final decision. We requested that the process remains confidential until the final decision is published. We do this as it can differ to the provisional decision, so it is disappointing that the producer has assumed the result and this has been taken publicly.

“Whatever the outcome, we support willing producers where complaints are upheld through our Advisory Service. We can help them to amend designs to comply with the Code and only as a last resort issue a Retailer Alert Bulletin asking for the product not to be restocked.

“Part of the Portman Group’s role is to provide a free proactive Advisory Service and to work with producers to help them understand and comply with the Code of Practice on packaging before launch. We understand that small craft breweries sometimes seek to push the boundaries and attract the attention of customers in a competitive market; our guidelines and support are in place to ensure in doing so they do not cause offence or harm to the public.”


Press release from Portman Group.

Contact: Joseph Meadon