CRAFT brewery BrewDog has had a libel claim brought against a PR company over an offer of free beer to supporters of Donald Trump thrown out by the High Court.

The brewer, based in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, sued Frank Public Relations for defamation over a September 2018 press release announcing a deal with US brewery Scofflaw to launch its products in the UK.

BrewDog had arranged a number of promotional events in September and October 2018 as part of the launch, which was announced by a press release issued by

Frank PR.

The press release, however, had gone out without BrewDog or Scofflaw’s approval.

The release said that “redneck US brewers Scofflaw” had partnered with “badass beer brand BrewDog to launch in the UK”, adding: “The self-confessed ‘trailer trash’ brewers are renowned in the states for their lawless attitude and have landed in London today – their aim? To get the UK ‘beered up redneck-style’, completely free of charge.

“But there is a hook... you have to be a Trump supporter.”

BrewDog says it is known for being critical of the US president, and claimed the release “prompted criticism of BrewDog for associating with Donald Trump”.

It argued people could take the meaning of the release to suggest that BrewDog is “a supporter of the policies of Donald Trump and/or right-wing politics and/or politics of intolerance and prejudice”, and that the brewer is therefore “a hypocrite”.

But lawyers for Frank PR argued that the “overall tone of the press release was light-hearted and played on Scofflaw’s redneck image”, and that “recipients of the press release would recognise the offer of free beer for Trump supporters for what it was: a publicity gimmick”.

In a judgment delivered remotely yesterday, Justice Nicol struck out BrewDog’s claim and said the press release “said nothing about the political philosophy of the claimants”.

The judge stated: “The press release said little about the claimants other than that they had embarked on a partnership with Scofflaw and Scofflaw was promoting its beer by offering free beer to supporters of Donald Trump.

“I have found that the natural and ordinary meaning said nothing about the political philosophy of the claimants.”