Would you like to subscribe to our newsletters?

Sign up here for our Newsletter!

These Kootenay breweries want you to know ‘Putin is a dick’

Find "Putin is a dick" beer in the Kootenays or order them online.
Find "Putin is a dick" beer in the Kootenays or order them online.
Image Credit: Willoid Design and Pravda Beer Theatre

A Kootenay-designed beer label saying Russia’s president is a “dick” is being used worldwide to support Ukraine humanitarian efforts.

Owner Craig Swendson of Torchlight Brewing in Nelson said they, along with other West Kootenay breweries, are taking part in an international movement that involves creating beer with recipes from Ukraine and letting the world know “Putin is a dick.”

The idea originally started with Pravda Brewery in Ukraine when Russia invaded the country. The brewery gained international attention when the war began for switching its craft beer production to Molotov cocktails.

“They put out a call to the international brewing community to help the situation with fundraising,” Swendson said, and Kootenay breweries decided to answer the call through

Torchlight Brewing has created labels calling "Putin a dick."
Torchlight Brewing has created labels calling "Putin a dick."
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Torchlight Brewing

The brewery already wanted to help out and when they found out about the global effort to make and sell beer for Ukraine humanitarian relief they jumped on board, he said. At first, they had a lager available without a label which sold out quickly.

“As part of the larger effort, Pravda put their recipes online to let anyone brew them for this fundraiser including their label art,” he said.

Torchlight’s graphic designer Willoid Taylor re-designed the label art to suit the tall can format commonly used in North America and it’s taken off with Ravda’s recipe for a dry hopped golden ale. The original Pravda label is also available at the brewery.

Since 2014, Pravda Brewery had a Ukrainian saying on its labels with Putin wearing a diaper sitting atop a throne that loosely translated to “Putin is a dickhead,” a slogan Torchlight Brewing continued with their fundraising batch.

Torchlight’s blue and yellow label is being used across the world, including a brewery in California and Israel, Swendson said.

READ MORE: Rally for Ukraine draws large crowd outside Kelowna city hall

“I thought it would get us some attention and be good marketing… but it’s really got a lot of worldwide attention and it’s accelerated really fast. It feels really good to be involved with this and do something constructive in such a tough time for so many people,” Swendson said.

The batch was created in collaboration with other breweries in the Nelson, West Kootenays region including Backroads Brewing, Angry Hen Brewing, Tailout Brewing and Nelson Brewing Co. Other breweries across the world are also brewing Pravda’s recipes.

The Kootenay ones are available online and through select Kootenay liquor stores but three-quarters of beers have already sold out within the last two weeks.

Depending on how long the war goes on, they may brew more batches, Swendson said.

Buy “Putin is a dick” beer for yourself through Torchlight’s website.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.