It’s been a tough year for beer names.
You have Corona, which used to evoke images of sunshine, limes and Mexican beaches—and now a sobering reminder of a global pandemic. And now, after unrest following the George Floyd protests, Dixie Brewing announced that it would change its name.
Gayle Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints and the Pelicans basketball franchise said in a statement that a name change is currently underway at her brewery.
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“With inclusive input from all of our community stakeholders, we are preparing to change the name of our brewery and products that carry the Dixie brand and these conversations will determine what brand will best represent our culture and community,” Benson said, according to WWLTV.com.
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The report said that the beer has deep roots in New Orleans, but had to briefly relocate after Hurricane Katrina. The company was established in 1907 but was nearly wiped out after a batch was tainted with cleaning supplies, the report said.
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Benson recently said that she stood with her players to help make social change in the future following Floyd’s death. Drew Brees, the star quarterback, made headlines last month when he came out in favor of standing for the national anthem. He was accused of being out of touch with the black community and was forced to issue several apologies.
Benson’s decision to rename the brewery comes a day after the country trio Dixie Chicks announced that they were changing their name to “The Chicks.”
One of the top criticisms of the current social crusade is the alleged lack of knowledge about what has been deemed offensive symbols. One Twitter user pointed out that the term “Dixi” derived “from the ‘dix’ note or ten-dollar bill issued by the French-speaking Louisiana Banque (long before the Civil War). The notes became known as Dixies.”
But those opposed to the name point out that it was used to describe the Southern States during slavery, according to 11 Alive. The song “Dixie,” one historian told NPR, “is born nostalgic. If you think about what the lyrics say, it’s something that’s already been lost. So it’s sort of mingled with this political longing of losing the ill-fated rebellion against the United States.”
The brewery said in a statement, “We look forward to listening, learning and making sure that our brewery fulfills its promise of uniting, inspiring and leading all in our community.”