It has not been a great year so far for beer giant Anheuser-Busch or its conservative customers. Bud Light, one of the company’s flagship brands, ignited a national firestorm after it partnered with transgender activist and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney back in April. Since the boycott began, Anheuser-Busch has reportedly lost almost $16 billion in market value as cases upon cases of the once-iconic beer languish on store shelves across the country. The situation is so bad that the company is practically giving away 15-packs for Memorial Day in an effort to unload product.
Molson Coors, the producer of brands such as Miller Lite and Coors Lite, has profited significantly from Anheuser-Busch’s plummeting sales, but the company also suffered backlash after a feminist commercial, released in March to honor Women’s History Month, resurfaced online.
In response, many conservatives have switched to a less publicly woke brand of beer such as Yuengling, the nation’s oldest operating brewery, or to a different kind of alcoholic beverage entirely — liquor.
Anheuser-Busch’s parent company, AB InBev, and Molson Coors own the top 10 best-selling beer brands in the country, and a similar situation exists in the liquor market. You may see hundreds of different brands on display if you walk into a relatively large liquor store, but odds are the vast majority of them are owned by five companies.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly at this point, the biggest liquor companies in the world have used their brands to push transgender ideology and promote drag queens.
Diageo, a British company created in 1997 by the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan, is the largest liquor company in the world not owned by the Chinese Communist Party. It produces 40% of the world’s Scotch whiskey and owns the world’s best-selling vodka (Smirnoff) and liqueur (Baileys Irish Cream).
One of Diageo’s top scotch brands, J&B, released an ad in Spain around Christmastime last year featuring an elderly man who secretly learns how to apply makeup. He then uses his newfound skills to make up his trans-identifying grandchild. The grandfather then shows off the now-feminine grandchild to the rest of the family, who happily embrace the two and celebrate by imbibing J&B.
A message in Spanish at the end of the commercial read, “The magic is not only in Christmas. It’s also in us.”
Another massive Diageo brand, Smirnoff, bragged about its “decades of commitment to the LGBTQUIA+ community” when it announced its “Show Up. Show Off!” drag queen competition in June 2022. Shea Couleé, described by Smirnoff as “drag royalty,” kicked off the competition in Chicago, and the winner received a $50,000 talent contract with the brand as well as an invitation to serve as an ambassador at Smirnoff Pride 2023, according to the press release.
One participant in that competition, drag queen and transgender activist Maxine St. James LaQueene, protested in the Texas state capitol earlier this month against a bill that would ban transgender surgeries for minors. LaQueene allegedly exposed his backside and genitals to bystanders as he was being taken into custody for disrupting the legislature. Smirnoff denied any official partnership with LaQueene in an email to Fox News.
Transgender actor Laverne Cox has also appeared in multiple Smirnoff ads over the years.
Diageo also hired “three of the UK’s most popular drag queens” as part of a Halloween ad campaign for Baileys Irish Cream.
Some of Diageo’s best-known brands include:
- Whiskey: Johnnie Walker scotch, J&B scotch, and Crown Royal Canadian whiskey
- Vodka: Smirnoff, Ketel One, and Cîroc
- Rum: Captain Morgan
- Tequila: Don Julio
- Gin: Aviation Gin, Gordon’s, and Tanqueray
- Liqueur: Baileys Irish Cream
Pernod Ricard is a French company founded in 1975 and second only behind Diageo based on overall production. Its premium vodka brand, Absolut, has frequently partnered with drag queens, including an annual event in Canada called Empire’s Ball featuring drag queens from around the country. In the press release for the 2022 Empire’s Ball, the Absolut brand was described as a “long standing LGBTQ2S+ ally,” and the brand promised to donate money to LGBT organizations.
Pernod Ricard even produced a documentary film in 2021 about the drag queen ball, entitled “Underneath the Empire.”
Absolut also collaborated with “drag icon” Tayce for a fashion campaign designed to create “a world where what you wear isn’t tied to the binds of gender, seasonal trends, religious expression, or function,” according to a press release from Pernod Ricard.
Absolut has also sponsored several seasons of the popular drag queen competition show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Some of Pernod Ricard’s best-known brands include:
- Whiskey: Chivas Regal scotch, Glenlivet scotch, Jameson Irish whiskey, Redbreast Irish whiskey, and Jefferson’s bourbon
- Vodka: Absolut
- Gin: Beefeater and Seagram’s
- Rum: Malibu and Havana Club
- Liqueur: Kahlúa coffee liqueur
Johannes “Jacob” Beam began selling his homemade whiskey in 1795 and became one of the earliest bourbon distillers in the U.S. The whiskey brand went through several names until it settled on Jim Beam in 1943 in honor of James Beauregard Beam — who led the company through Prohibition. Meanwhile, Suntory was founded in Japan as a wine shop before its founder opened the country’s first malt whiskey distillery in 1923. Beam Suntory was created after Suntory Holdings purchased Beam Inc. in 2011.
In 2020, Jim Beam advertised an event called “Bring It To The Ballroom!” that featured several drag queens, including “Jimbo the Drag Clown,” according to a post from iHeart Radio. The event was ultimately postponed due to concerns over COVID.
Beam Suntory brand Hornitos tequila awarded a series of grants to LGBT activists in June 2022, including one to Maria Louise Roman-Taylorson of the TransLatin Coalition. Each of the grantees received $10,000, and Hornitos noted that it had already given over $100,000 to the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD.
Suntory hosts several Pride events around the world every year for Pride month, including Drag Trivia Quizzes in its Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia, offices last year.
Some of Beam Suntory’s best-known brands include:
- Whiskey: Jim Beam bourbon, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Old Crow bourbon, Basil Hayden’s bourbon, Knob Creek bourbon, Ardmore scotch, Laphroiag scotch, Suntory brand Japanese whiskeys, and Canadian Club whiskey
- Tequila: Sauza and Hornitos
- Vodka: Pinnacle
Bacardi is the largest family-owned liquor company in the world. Founded in Cuba in 1862, Bacardi fled the country after communist guerrillas led by Fidel Castro overthrew the government in 1959. The executive of the company at the time, Jose Bosch, became an ardent opponent of the Castro regime.
Nevertheless, the company has become the proud sponsor of leftist social policies in recent years.
Chris Cabrera, a transgender activist and bartender who also identifies as nonbinary, became the New York City brand ambassador for Grey Goose vodka, owned by Bacardi, in 2018. Cabrera facilitated Grey Goose’s sponsorship of the annual drag queen pageant at the Stonewall Inn in 2019 — the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Bacardi then promoted Cabrera to the position of national LGBTQ+ ambassador in 2020.
Bacardi hosted its inaugural drag ball in New Orleans in July of last year, and the company hosted another drag queen event in Canada back in February dubbed “Cowboys Bacardi Carnival.”
Bacardi, along with Diageo, is one of the biggest sponsors of Sydney’s annual Pride celebration, with the main Bacardi brand and the company’s gin brand, Bombay Sapphire, hosting several drag queen events.
Some of Bacardi’s best-known brands include:
- Rum: Bacardi and the U.S. rights to Havana Club
- Whiskey: Dewar’s scotch
- Tequila: Patrón
- Gin: Bombay Sapphire
- Vodka: Grey Goose
The Brown-Forman Corporation was founded as a whiskey company in 1870, but only became one of the world’s largest liquor companies after it acquired Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey in 1956. More than the other companies in this article, Brown-Forman depends on a single brand for its high position in the liquor market — Jack Daniel’s is the second best-selling whiskey in the world after Diageo’s Johnnie Walker.
However, the company received increased scrutiny after a Jack Daniel’s ad campaign featuring drag queens resurfaced in the wake of Bud Light’s Dylan Mulvaney debacle. Two years ago, the whiskey brand partnered with three drag queens for a series of videos promoting its Tennessee Fire brand. The partnership, referred to as “Drag Queen Summer Glamp,” showed the drag queens plan a Pride celebration.
“Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire is honored to partner with Bebe, Trinity, and Manila on a campaign that reaffirms our commitment to the LGBTQ+ community,” Jack Fire Brand Manager Lauren Richmond said in a press release. “This series demonstrates our brand’s holistic approach to engaging the consumers we serve through culture and unexpected partnerships.”
One of the drag queens, who performs under the moniker Trinity the Tuck, said, “Jack Daniel’s gets drag culture—which is all about celebrating individuality and inviting others to accept you as you are.”
Jack Daniel’s Canadian branch also partnered with a drag queen to promote its apple-flavored whiskey.
Brown-Forman’s vodka brand, Finlandia, sponsored a December 2022 event in Louisville, Kentucky titled “Drag Queens on Ice,” according to the Louisville Downtown Partnership.
Some of Brown-Forman’s best-known brands include:
- Whiskey: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, Woodford Reserve bourbon, Old Forester bourbon, and GlenDronach scotch
- Vodka: Finlandia
These are by no means exhaustive lists of the brands owned by these companies or the trans- and drag queen-themed events they’ve sponsored. Well over 100 different brands are owned by these five companies combined.
There is slightly more competition in the liquor market compared to the beer market — just two companies own the top 10 best-selling beer brands in the country — but it is evident that there is no ideological competition in the alcohol industry. Practically every major company has expressed its support for transgender ideology and hosted drag queen events through one or more of its brands.
And while discerning consumers can turn to microbreweries as a non-woke substitute for corporate beer, the home production of liquor is still strictly illegal according to the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Producing your own liquor can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a hefty fine.
The dominance of the liquor companies by a handful of firms ensures that consumers have only the illusion of choice in the market and that their dollars will go to supporting leftist social policies.