Good Beer Hunting

Fervent Few

Fervent Few — Voting with Your Dollar

This week, we’re talking about the politics of breweries. As beer makers continue to make headlines involving politics, we wondered how the Fervent Few’s buying habits change when a brewery makes a bold political statement.


KC: “I find myself being more intentional about what beer I purchase based on my values. (Look at the recent BrewDog ‘beer porn’ site and then their Scofflaw debacle.) It used to be ‘no AB InBev companies,’ but now I look for the independent seal as much as possible and more recently I find myself trying to buy from local breweries in my community that I know align with the way I would want to be treated as a human regardless of race or orientations. To me, this helps me see the sociological impact, which I feel is even greater than the economical impact ‘buying local’ has on my community.  With that said, I purchase beer from local breweries that I see inclusive of all humanity.”

Caldwell Bishop: “I have been fortunate in that I have not had to make any difficult decisions about the beer I drink. Flying Dog has (at best) questionable beer names and marketing. But on the occasions I’ve had their beer at parties in recent years, I’ve quickly switched to something like Coors Light for a more refreshing brew. I’ve heard rumors of a place in my more immediate area that has made less than stellar decisions with beer names in the past, but I’m in no position to be on a high horse and would rather hear all sides to a story. Critical thinking and all that.”

Rob Scott: “I stand firmly on the north side of the county border when considering the socioeconomics of beer in The East of England. I won’t buy beers from Greene King. The Suffolk-based brewery has aggressively swallowed up so many producers and outlets, it’s pushed out competitors, and its boring beers are now ubiquitous in the UK. They also sponsor Ipswich Town FC. In Norfolk we have Woodfordes, producers of fine traditional British ales. The founders may have recently sold to a group of investors, but the resultant expansion is measured, positive, and still mostly local. They are sponsors of Norwich City FC, the pride of East Anglia.”

Daniel Blakely: “NC beer orgs have come together multiple times for some politically charged comments, mostly against HB2, our infamous "bathroom law." The collaborative brewing of Don't Be Mean to People Golden Rule Saison was a great way for the community to speak out. I know Ponysaurus did here in Durham, but I believe all of the participating brewers also had postcards available in the taproom to send off to the state representatives to share frustrations of HB2 and its impacts on our state. Not only voting with the dollar, but also a community activation campaign.”

David Purgason: “If there’s a cooler of beer at a BBQ or party, I’ll skip over the Golden Road, 10 Barrel, or Lagunitas for something less corporate that supports local economies and treats their employees well. At the end of the night, when the options have narrowed, and my high horse has wandered off, pass the PBR.”

Tim Coe: “I definitely avoid picking up beers with explicitly sexist labels and/or names, and have tried to make a habit of avoiding the entire lineup of products from breweries who offer such things, even if the one in front of me is innocuous.”

Mark de Leeuw: “I try to avoid the beers with obviously sexist labels, and stunts from BrewDog (and others) will definitely make me frown. But then again, I'm not one to pass on a nice cold Elvis Juice, so maybe I don't have that much right to speak anymore…”

Rob Steuart: “We are seeing more brewers teaming up with not for profits and organizations for Karma Kegs. I think these are a great idea where the brewery donates the liquid asset, which may be a special one-off brew and people just pay what they thinks it’s worth. The breweries also get the added effect of more customers because they are associated with good causes.”

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Hosted by Jim Plachy