As Adelaide celebrates 21 years of the Feast Festival and Australia as a nation celebrates the resounding YES result of the marriage equality postal survey, it seems like the right time to introduce you to Gayle: Australia’s first LGBTIQ+ beer and cider, made right here in South Australia.
Brainchild of experienced publican Virginia Buckworth, Gayle is not only just a fun and fabulous beverage brand, it’s also fighting for a very special cause. It aims to keep the conversation around marriage equality and inclusivity at the forefront of people’s minds.
A conversation which is gaining more traction than ever now that Australia has made their voice known, and it was this conversation that was also the beginning of Gayle. “I was sharing a glass or two with my nephews [and] we were discussing the inequalities that the LGBTIQ community endure,” says Virginia.
“I thought the idea of a unique can of cider and beer to acknowledge the LGTBIQ community had merit so I pursued it by making contact with members of the board of Feast and Sydney Mardi Gras to see if my idea had legs,” she continues. And unsurprisingly, both organisations were incredibly impressed by the idea and jumped on board straight away.
For Virginia though, the issue of inequality also runs a lot deeper than just community support as she identifies as a lesbian herself. “This is very important to me and has been since I was a teenager but even more so now,” she says. “I feel that as time goes by our community seems to be stepping backwards, not forwards with regards to having our rights acknowledged, a person’s sexuality is just a word, how a word can determine someone’s happiness and fundamental rights is beyond me”.
Despite only being launched last Thursday night, Gayle have committed to their cause and have massive support from the LGTBIQ community, coming on board as a major sponsor the Sydney Mardi Gras as well as for Feast. They have also donated 1,000 cans to the Melbourne Marriage Equality street party today to celebrate Australia’s vote.
Made right here in our own backyard, the pale ale and cider are brewed by McLaren Vale favourite Swell Brewing Co – co-owner Daniel Wright is Virginia’s nephew – and the latter even features Pink Lady apples from the Adelaide Hills, where she is based. “[It is] extremely important [to keep things local], I love living in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, and to keep our product local fills me with pride,” says Virginia. “It is a great feeling that the first gay ale and cider is all Australian and has been created and launched in South Australia”.
Gayle’s main aim is to keep paying it forward to LGTBIQ community, the proof in the pudding being their significant work with Feast, Sydney Mardi Gras and Melbourne Marriage Equality before they’ve even secured distribution. “I hope our paying forward will help us give various charities an opportunity to grow and in turn provide resources to help them give support to members of the LGBTIQ community,” says Virginia.