A beer believed to be the first specifically marketed to gay consumers has been launched in Mexico, Colombia and Japan.

The Minerva micro-brewery said that its “Artisan Honey-Ales” , ‘The Purple Hand Beer’ and ‘Salamandra’ would appeal to other groups of people who have been ignored by the larger multi-national brewers.

“We’re out in the market with great respect with the idea of offering a product directed to the gay-lesbian community that has been ignored for too long but is important and very demanding”, Dario Rodriguez Wyler, from distributors Bodega 12, told the Efe news agency.

The ‘Purple Hand Beer’ recalls the gay rights protests in in San Francisco during 1969. Both bottles contain labels that can be removed which the brewery hope will be displayed by drinkers as a sign of their sexuality and pride.

The Purple Hand Beer and Salamandra beers are already available in some bars and restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico City and the resorts of Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.

The brewery now hopes to launch a strawberry-flavoured beer, a wine brand and eventually, their own bar.

Last year, a New Zealand brewery was forced to withdraw a marketing campaign which suggested that low-carbohydrate beer is “queer”.

Moa Beers planned to give away t-shirts which said “Low Carb Beers”, with a pink ‘Q’ superimposed over the letter ‘B’ to read “Qeers”.

The company was trying to promote the fact that its brews are “full strength”.

However, the campaign failed to impress Facebook users, who responded angrily on the company’s page.

Some drew attention to a spate of reported LGBT suicides in America, although a small number said they were not offended by the t-shirts.