Thursday, April 14, 2016

Of Vitriol and Bile

The announcement earlier this week that Devils Backbone had agreed to being sold to Anheuser-Busch brought a topic that has been pottering around my head for while now to the fore. While Tandleman noted on my previous post about Twitter being fairly quiet about the deal, other social media outlets have been a veritable cesspool of bile and hatred. Take for example these comments from Devils Backbone's Facebook page:
"Sell out. Won't get a cent from me again."
"You sold out, you sold your soul!"
or even this peach from their Instagram account:
"Just stop posting on social mediaDB. Give that up like you just gave up your souls."
Admittedly those are fairly tame comments, unlike some that I see on Yeungling's Facebook account, for example calling their Traditional Lager 'scab beer', but you get the drift.

The vitriol and abuse that some people feel necessary to hurl at any brewery that has the temerity to do something that they don't agree with just staggers me, especially when it gets ladled up with a healthy dose of nationalist shit about only buying beers made by breweries from their own country. At the same time platitudes abound about beer people being 'good' people, or that 'good people drink good beer', which makes me wonder about people's definition of 'good' in light of torrents of abuse that rain down on occasion.

Now, I understand that people develop deep feelings for the breweries behind the beer they drink, but I think we sometimes stray so far into fandom that it borders on extremist fanaticism. There are even times when the abuse sounds like the kind of stuff you could imagine a craft beer equivalent of Westboro Baptist Church spouting at a funeral, and with just as much vehemence.

To put it simply, this needs to stop, now.

People need to get their heads out of the sand/their arseholes and realise that while beer is great, and we all have breweries we love, craft beer is a business, subject to all the same rules of the capitalist game as any other industry. People like Steve and Jason who have worked tirelessly to build a brewery like Devils Backbone to a point where it is an attractive proposition for bigger breweries should not be victims of such mindless opprobrium, especially not from self-declared 'good' people (as if one's choice of drink is an indicator of one's moral/ethical standing - which fucktard came up with that idea?).

Perhaps the most important thing we all need to do is remember that the drink we all love is just beer. No more, no less. It's not a panacea for the world's ills, it's just beer. It's not a cure for cancer, it's just beer. It's not the solution to climate change, it's just beer.

Yes we love it, but let's not turn it into something to be idolised. Drink it, enjoy, talk about, but respect people that disagree with you, that way we can all get along.

Here endeth the half baked rambling lesson.

2 comments:

  1. Well said again.

    A lot of this mentality stems from this completely false idea that "BMC" makes bad beer, implying they do not know what they are doing. I can assure you the people at ABI know exactly how to make beer. They make the same product, no matter the factory, all over the world. Good luck to any of us or any brewery that wants to attempt that miraculous feat.

    On a completely different note... people need to remember that local breweries compete with other local breweries. Not BMC. People are not deciding between Bud Light and Hydraulion Red...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think this article sums up why people get upset, and IMO rightfully so: http://www.oregonbrewlab.com/nothing-has-changed/

    "When your beer used to sit proudly on a craft shelf it was taking profits and marketing away from Macro. Now that you’ve joined Macro, your beer sits deceptively on a craft shelf taking profits and marketing from OTHER CRAFT. You’ve contributed to the problem, rather than improve it. And this is what craft beer lovers are pissed off about; smaller and smaller pure craft choices, while purchased companies are masquerading around as community oriented."

    That's the real problem in my eyes regardless of whether or not it's a good payday for the owners.

    ReplyDelete