Do You Have An Issue With F’Ing Hell Beer?

German is a wonderful language. Did you know that, in German, Hell means light?  So if you make a light beer it’s really called Hell beer?  That’s great!  And if you brew a light beer in the town of, say, Berlin, it would be Berlin Hell beer.  If you did it in Frankfurt it would be Frankfurt Hell.  And if you did it in a German down that begin with an F and rhymes with Bucking well, then you’d have the best named beer in Europe.

As it happens, F’ing Hell beer is a real thing (it’s a pilsner, if you’re interested) and it’s named after the town.  This hasn’t stopped people from complaining that the name is offensive and needs to be changed.  Funny thing about language though, the name isn’t offensive.  Not in German.  In German it’s like having a beer called Springfield Light.  It’s innocuous and innocent.  It’s only English speakers that find it offensive and good luck trying to turn your disgust with the way someone else’s language sounds against them.

The result of the complaints is absolutely nothing.  The trademark was denied at first but the company took it all the way to the European Union’s top trademark authority who agreed it’s not offensive and doesn’t  meet the requirements for being upsetting, accusatory and derogatory.  It doesn’t call out a specific group or person, it doesn’t incite a specific act and you can’t even construe it as telling you to go to hell.

The upside is that F’ing Hell beer is free to be sold anywhere now despite the complaints of uptight, English speakers.  You have to wonder who it is who finds the time to be offended by German beer, though.  Let’s hope they never discover the films of Quentin Tarantino or Kevin Smith.