As a business owner you are often put in positions that feel impossible. Folks often think that there are easy solutions to policies that will make everyone happy, but in reality it's usually that any policy will make one group of people happy and another group upset. For me the only way around this is to talk about it.
When I refer to being in an 'impossible situation' I am talking about some recent drama on the internet when razzle bros were faux upset about the 1 per couple rule on our public sales.
None of the offended are Floodland customers. They aren't local, they aren't on the mailing list, they aren't on the reserve list. Their outrage is a front, it's not genuine. Their arguments are not made in good faith. Their attacks are largely riddled with logical fallacies — ad hominem attacks and strawman arguments. Some folks have noticed that this seemingly came out of nowhere, we haven't done a recent release, none of this is new. The reason for this is because I've been spending a little time tracking down people who resell bottles for profit and banning them. These are people, mostly dudes of a specific political bent, who have been making lots of money off of other people's work with no consequences and no accountability.
As you'd expect in that situation, when someone challenges them, they FREAK out. Bros don't really know how to deal with being challenged, and some of them tend to want to lash out. That's what's happening now.
Mostly it's not helpful to engage with internet trolls. But the more I've thought about this the more I think it's an opportunity to talk about the business side of the brewery, while I normally just talk about the beer. Stick with me and hopefully I'll wrap all of this up into something resembling a point worth making.
Through a game of telephone some people may have heard things these bros said/wrote without context. I don't feel the need to defend myself too much on a personal level, anyone who knows me much at all knows I'm a pretty ardent feminist and that I have a history of running businesses that make a concerted effort to combat the fact that the beer scene can be caustic towards women. That said, I think that some accusations, even if made in bad faith, are worth addressing.
The razzle bros' implication was in part that the one per couple rule is sexist and discriminatory towards women. This relies logically on the idea that women are the secondary purchasers of beer within a couple (not to mention that their inferences were repeatedly implying that all relationships are heterosexual). The basis of that implication was that (female) spouses/partners are not allowed to make purchases because they are "mules." That's of course a very telling and very patriarchal take on the whole situation.
While we've asked that folks not mule (ie: buy beer that they don't intend to drink, like if you bring your Uncle Jim who's been sober for 20 years so you can get double allotments) this was not why we asked folks to limit purchases to 1 per couple. That request was made, as I said, to help spread the beer around.
Right now Floodland beer has less supply than demand. If I allow two boxes per couple then other folks will miss out. That's just the math of it. Folks who weren't able to get beer will say to me "but those guys got TWO boxes and I didn't get any." When weighing a couple who both want their own bottles vs the ability for a third party to have a box, there's no win/win situation.
I know that FOMO is strong and people who are in relationships where more than one person wants their own bottles feel like they are being picked on. I'm sorry about that, really.
I am very appreciative that you guys like the beer and want more of it. I work really hard and I work long hours to make beer.
When I was falling into the trap of fighting these guys on the internet one thing kept coming up in my head over and over. It's a point that I think is really critical and that hasn't been said much to my knowledge. We need to fight the deification of brewers.
Brewers and brewery owners aren't rock stars, we're just people. To me the cultural divide is bizarre. Growing up in the DIY music/punk hardcore scenes my friends all played in the bands I liked, my friends put out records, my friends made movies, my friends booked shows. The person on stage would get off of it, load their gear, and stand at the front for the next band.
And fighting that deification means not just realizing that brewers aren't rock stars, it also means understanding that the business/consumer dichotomy is not helpful and not healthy. That dichotomy teaches us that as a consumer the business we patronize OWES us something. That sense of entitlement is counterproductive and only serves to separate us. At the end of the day, though, we're all in this together... except Donnie Trump and his razzle bros, they can fend for themselves.
Drama aside, I hope to see people on Sunday at Bottleworks.
Also, we have a new beer that we just put out. It's the first time we've tried to do a beer on draught only. It's called Senescence. It's a dry hopped spelt saison that was open fermented with our mixed culture. We keg conditioned it and it's only two week old in the keg. We've been working on getting the bottle/keg conditions to clean up quickly so we can do this type of hyper fresh hoppy beer, and this is the new iteration of that train of thought.
If you had Altar and liked it you'll dig this, although Senescence is acidic. It hits up front with a big Pixy Sticks/crushed Smarties candy aroma, orange pulp, lemon, and then fades to mango. We're pretty pumped. Right now it's on at The Masonry Fremont, Bottleworks will have it Sunday and it will also be available in the near future at The Stumbling Monk, Beer Junction, Noble Fir, and both Chuck's locations. No bottles. Future iterations are likely to be very different as 'Senescence' isn't really a beer, it's what has always been an internal name for a base beer we brew whose malt and hops evolve from batch to batch, although it's usually a blend of Maris Otter and lots of Spelt. You'll know it as the main component in beers like Roseate blend 2, 2017 Pinot Noir, and Dwellers by the Waysides, and this beer tastes nothing like any of those. Thtat's the magic of fermentation and hops.
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