Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beer Positive

I am assuming that Devils Backbone brewmaster Jason Oliver doesn't mind me repeating his Facebook post from the other day here. What he wrote really resonated with me, so much so that I assume shared his original post on my Facebook page, so here we go:
One of DB’s family values is "Beer Positive". Dr. Lewis at UC Davis instilled that into us. Never talk bad about any segment of the brewing industry. What’s bad for one part is bad for the whole. Be inclusive not exclusive & celebrate not denigrate beer. I’ve always considered myself a brewer first and a craft brewer second. That approach has served me well. When we opened Devils Backbone I insisted on carrying three bottled products; Coors Light, Bud Light, and Bud. I carried all three because all three are brewed in Virginia!! We sell 5-20 Bud/Bud Lights each week to the 4000 + DB beers. I’m happy to still carry those products. Different perspective from some in my industry I suspect.
I have written about this in a previous post, but it needs saying again, some of the snide comments and abuse on Devils Backbone's Facebook page, Instagram account, and other social media forums has been nothing short of disgusting, and an absolute disgrace to the wider 'craft' brewing world.

It kind of gets to the fevered pitch of a Westboro Baptist Church funeral picketing session, bordering on a cultic obsession with ideological purity. It's like people have forgotten that beer is supposed to be fun.

At the end of the day, it's just beer and some people would do well to remember that.


  1. Of course it's not just beer. While telling folks that they would "do well to remember that", is exactly the kind of preachy nonsense that you seem to be objecting to.

  2. That's just it, it is just beer. It's not the cure for cancer, it's not the harbinger of world peace, it's not the solution to international terrorism, it's beer, and that is perfectly ok. There's no need to elevate to existential heights, just as there is no need to insult hard working people simply because they decide to become part of a larger organisation - especially when that decision means the rank and file employees of the smaller brewery will see tangible benefits through their retirement plans and the like.

  3. Cheers, Alistair!! And thanks! ��

  4. Thanks for posting Al. So you have two beer drinkers, one loves brand X Imperial IPA and the other loves Bud Light. How do they convince the other that the other is drinking the wrong beer? The answer is they can't & shouldn't. It's meaningless. Duke Ellington said about music "If it sounds good it IS good." I say if it tastes good it is good. If someone enjoys it, let them enjoy it. Preach the positives of your perspective and not belittle the perspective of the other. People will come around to someone glowing & raving about the positive attributes of a given beer much quicker then to someone breaking down and sitting in judgement of a beer. The word is powerful and often misused.