Breweries Withdraw from Mikkeller Festival in Response to Sexual Harassment Allegations

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by thebeers, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    “At least three breweries have announced they will not attend the upcoming Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen (MBCC) festival later this month in response to accounts of sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying that several former Mikkeller employees allege occurred at the company. Mikkeller has denied these allegations.”

    https://www.goodbeerhunting.com/sig...-in-response-to-sexual-harassment-allegations

    Article includes updates on breweries that have withdrawn since the article was originally published: Dominion City (Ontario), Collective Arts (Ontario), The Kernel Brewery (London), Bearded Iris (Nashville), The Veil (Richmond), Jester King (Austin) and Two Tides (Savannah).
     
    larryi86, Bitterbill, Jack_14 and 8 others like this.
  2. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Here’s a list of the now 22 breweries that have dropped out of the festival (and the 90 remaining):

    http://mbcc2021.glitch.me/
     
    ChicagoJ, BigIronH, Roguer and 2 others like this.
  3. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (284) Jun 4, 2005 California
    Trader

    Would also like to see the attendees responses. Although I suppose that won't happen, nothing for them to gain :rolling_eyes:
     
    Rug and BigIronH like this.
  4. BlameHouston

    BlameHouston Initiate (174) Aug 21, 2020 California

    tough thoughts here...

    i purchased, really enjoyed a mikkeller sd, solid, styrian hops game of thrones tribute ipa right before the news hit

    but as for my next purchase...

    good thoughts, good thoughts :slight_smile:
     
  5. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (653) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    There are so many other brewers making good beer that doesn't require compromising values.
     
    drseamus, 66jzmstr, Nelio and 13 others like this.
  6. BlameHouston

    BlameHouston Initiate (174) Aug 21, 2020 California

    if it was only about good beer..... :slight_smile:
     
  7. hbbeeremptor

    hbbeeremptor Aspirant (297) Aug 12, 2018 California
    Society

    I mean you can make good beer and be a shithead, and you can make good beer and not be a shithead, which would you rather support?

    I read through the original ratmagnet drop and some of the things people came forward with were truly reprehensible stuff from people I wasn't really surprised by, some were less bad but still not great and indicative of abuse in the workplace generally speaking, and fewer still were people making awkward comments/actions that were perceived as being worse than they were (which is still not good but not as bad as people literally being abused by their employers).
     
  8. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    26 breweries have now dropped out of the festival. Those who have made statements as to why can be found at the link above, too.

    U.S. breweries of note still in the festival include 18th Street, 3 Sons, Aslin, Bottle Logic, Creature Comforts, Cycle, Firestone Walker, Foam, Fremont, Fonta Flora, Great Notion, Grimm, Hop Butcher, Interboro, Oxbow and Transient.

    Have to wonder why any think their brand is well served by the festival at this point — even those who already have allegations of sexual harassment and/or other shitty business practices against them.
     
  9. Kraz

    Kraz Disciple (315) Feb 12, 2018 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Add Homes to the list of US breweries not attending.
     
  10. MrBeer82

    MrBeer82 Initiate (46) Feb 21, 2018 Netherlands
    Trader

    #10 MrBeer82, Oct 13, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  11. Rug

    Rug Meyvn (1,297) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

  12. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (218) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Man there really needs to be a cultural change when it comes to brewing, of course this kind of behavior doesn't represent the entire landscape, but I feel like I see this exact kind of story way too often. How hard is it to be respectful and keep your hands to yourself? It's 2021, how anyone thinks that kind of behavior is ok is insane to me.
     
  13. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (218) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

  14. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,624) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    We consumers have the choice and it's our money to spend.
     
  15. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Honestly, this is a very poorly thought-out response from the UK brewers.

    Mikkeller and others have chosen not to deal with this issue for months. These UK brewers have, until this week, also chosen to look the other way. Now “representatives” of the affected employees around the globe are supposed to come to Copenhagen with about a week’s notice (during a pandemic, no less) and negotiate with the people accused of abusing them?

    A statement from these UK brewers pulling out of the fest and explaining actions THEY are going to take would come off a lot more genuine to me than this malarkey. The fact that their statement takes swipes at abused individuals for calling out abuse on social media is even worse.
     
    scott451, MartyK, MLovesBeer and 8 others like this.
  16. Rug

    Rug Meyvn (1,297) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    You do make a good point. I suppose their response was too little too late
     
  17. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (2,056) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    So since this has all come out in the open, I have to question why the Brewers Association hasn't set up some type of compliance/reporting for these types of issues. This reflects badly on the industry in general and there needs to be a simple way for someone who has been wronged (either by sex, race or other) to report this so it can be investigated. I know this type of thing isn't free, but the industry needs to figure out how to deal with it in a better manner than these things coming to light in social media.
     
  18. o29

    o29 Aspirant (290) Sep 29, 2020 Texas
    Society Trader

    I also found their quote about social media a bit out of place.
    Since I think it's likely that Brienne's posts on social media will ultimately impact more positive change for the industry than anything they may do.
     
  19. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Yeah, my issue isn’t with the lateness, so much as the half-assery of it. This is a serious issue they’re going to come up with an action plan to address the same weekend the main businesses in need of soul-searching, education, planning and change are participating in a major festival? Really? Are they gonna do their taxes that weekend, too?


    Yep. If people weren’t calling them out on social media, not a single brewery would have pulled out and the UK brewers would have never put out that statement.

    BA’s thread title field was too small to include it, but the full title of the article I posted is actually “Under Pressure — Breweries Withdraw…”
     
  20. o29

    o29 Aspirant (290) Sep 29, 2020 Texas
    Society Trader

    Reading through some of the complaints against Mikkeller they apparently did not even have an HR department and employees were expected to report incidents of harassment directly to their managers, many of whom were the ones doing the harassing themselves.
     
  21. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (218) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Well I guess John Gruden has a future at Mikkeller
     
    flat_lander, JayORear, eppCOS and 4 others like this.
  22. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (218) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Honestly having someone attempt to lead on an issue, and come to some type of uniform standard is exactly what the beer industry needs. My only quarrel with this statement is this won't be done openly for the public, they should be using the platform of this event to highlight how much work still needs to be done in the craft brewing community globally.
     
    JayORear, Jack_14, ChicagoJ and 2 others like this.
  23. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,388) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Maybe I missed it. Where does it say the meeting is in-person?
     
    JayORear likes this.
  24. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    The statement says the meeting’s taking place the weekend of the festival, which I presume to mean on the sidelines of the festival. It could obviously take place over Zoom or elsewhere instead. If that’s their intention, doing it with such short notice and at the very moment so many of the breweries in need of change are focused on the festival itself seems particularly ill-conceived.
     
    JayORear, ChicagoJ and BBThunderbolt like this.
  25. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    The women who sparked this reckoning in the beer industry have already put out guidelines for “some sort of uniform standard” through the Brave Noise project. More discussion on standard setting and implementation is definitely warranted, but this UK crew seems to be ignoring the field leaders’ existing work in favor of continued collaboration with Mikkeller instead. That’s a major red flag. Another red flag is that their statement takes repeated swipes at Brienne Allan and other outspoken women in the industry.
     
  26. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (2,056) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    Correct, and that is the case in most of these situations. It is somewhat realistic to expect most craft brewers to have an HR department, which makes this so difficult for employees. Thus there needs to be some type of organization which simplifies the reporting and management of this. Granted this isn't free, but it could be something that is done for a fee, thus the reason why I threw the brewers org out there. Employees in smaller companies are going to be susceptible to this type of behavior way more than those in larger ones which have resources to deal with this (even though it does occur)
     
    JayORear, Rug and o29 like this.
  27. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (218) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Brave Noise is awesome, but also American. To be quite frank, I am happy they are attempting to put something together in Europe instead of making a cookie-cutter "We are leaving this festival due to x,y, and z" followed up by inaction.
     
  28. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    You're more optimistic than I am, but I sincerely hope their effort produces some positive change.
     
  29. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (218) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I'm a Philadelphia sports fan, if I didn't have an unusual level of optimism I would seriously need some counciling :grin: But yeah, progress is never linear or fast, but celebrating small victories doesn't diminish, discredit, or discount the hard work yet needed! It makes people see hope that things might eventually get better, and for marginalized members of the beer community at large we should celebrate progress and stress inclusion.
     
  30. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Paywalled, but if you want to hear from Mikkeller on all this, they’re doing interviews in Denmark:
    https://www.berlingske.dk/virksomhe...oelfestival-stiger-en-af-danmarks-mest-kendte

    “I do not know why they have a desire to hit Mikkeller. But activists on Instagram are pushing my colleagues and friends in the industry and trying to destroy my festival and ultimately my business,” says Mikkel Bjergsø and refers to the prestigious beer festival Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen.
     
  31. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Defender (609) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island
    Trader

    Someone should counsel these guys that accountability and introspection goes a long way to minimizing future financial damage. 'THEY are destroying US.' Uh, sure. Never mind the bullying and harrassment which are the core issues, reportedly these actions also came from up high and wasn't just from rogue lower-level employees.
     
  32. Effinwill

    Effinwill Initiate (63) Dec 2, 2016 California

    Due process is a beautiful thing - a hallmark of civilization. I hope y’all never need it
     
  33. Rug

    Rug Meyvn (1,297) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Are you doubting the victims?
     
  34. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,884) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Due process is a legal principle that has never applied to public opinion. I'm sure many of us have experienced the pain of being scorned for a perceived mistake that we don't feel was justified. Mikkeler hasn't suffered any legal consequences, they haven't been denied any due process.
     
    flat_lander, Honu_K, MartyK and 29 others like this.
  35. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,713) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    34 breweries — a full one-third of the festival participants as of a few days ago — have now dropped out. List with links to statements is at the link above.
     
  36. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (218) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Hit the nail on the head with this one
     
  37. BigIronH

    BigIronH Champion (858) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I think American consumers at least have proven over the years that they’re not going to ruin anyone’s business over appalling accusations, even in the case they’re proven to be correct. However, I think if he wants to identify with the public this is the wrong way to go about it.
     
  38. rodbeermunch

    rodbeermunch Poo-Bah (6,778) Sep 30, 2015 Nevada
    Society Trader

    Every brewery pulling out has at least one disgruntled current/former customer/employee or allegation along similar lines, but bc they take a public stance that someone else is bad and bad things are bad, we think they are altruistic in their marketing and their struggle session is delayed until the next round at least. Overwhelming majority claps.

    Once you enjoy a certain degree of success, there will be allegations. Every single time. And there will be armies of narrative supporters, because popularity is a more convenient pursuit itself, than the pursuit of truth.
     
  39. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,884) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    This is demonstrably false. When the whole issue blew up earlier with the social media posts there were tons of very successful breweries that didn't see any allegations made against them.

    I'm also not sure if you're claim about every single brewery that pulled out having some allegation out there is based on anything other than the same flawed logic I quoted but I would be curious to see your source for that claim if its actually based on something
     
    Junior, stmoorea, b11 and 11 others like this.
  40. miguel_loves_beer

    miguel_loves_beer Initiate (34) Feb 7, 2017

    Does it?

    There is a growing sentiment, particularly from gen z, that social media is not representative of reality.
     
    HoppingMadMonk likes this.