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Great Lakes Brewing News draws backlash on questionable article

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by jmdrpi, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Great Lakes Brewing News, part of Brewing News Publications, covers beer news across that whole region. The current issue has a lengthy cover story that was supposed to be about Scottish cask ale. But bizarrely, this is the opening paragraph:
    After some discussion about actual beer, it veers again into various sexual commentary (not just limited to these quotes):
    So the Toronto brewery that also had a cover story in the magazine has publicly disavowed the publication.

    It appears to be drawing strong reaction on social media, as another example of misogyny in the craft beer world.
    BuffaloBill12, Roguer, pat61 and 6 others like this.
  2. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,485) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

  3. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,579) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

  4. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,649) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    *insert guy mouthing "what the f*ck" gif*

    This article is incredibly cringey ... I felt uncomfortable reading it. And its just a terrible article. Any editor worth their salt would never have published that - but when the owner of the publication is the one writing it, I guess editors don't matter.
    I will just say ... I don't think this article is your usual run of the mill misogyny that you can find in craft beer ... there is something else going on here. But this is a beer website, so I'll leave it at that.
    pat61, RobNewton, Tdizzle and 16 others like this.
  5. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Fat Head's Brewery
    1 hr ·
    Due to the expression of views that we find offensive and insensitive, Fat Head’s Brewery has effective immediately severed its advertising relationship with the Brewing News and its subsidiary regional publications.

    Thin Man Brewery
    26 minutes ago ·
    In response to the recent edition of Great Lakes Brewing News, we have informed Mr. Metzger that Thin Man will no longer be advertising with them.
    ECdOc, BuffaloBill12, Roguer and 14 others like this.
  6. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Crusader (710) Nov 23, 2017 California

    Not a very good lead-in paragraph when you still want the reader to power thru about 30 more of 'em.
    jmdrpi and FBarber like this.
  7. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,649) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    So Kate, the creative director from @NOTpipeworks posted this on twitter: [​IMG]

    Pretty sure the "oh it was supposed to be satire" defense makes it worse ...
  8. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    A brewing news magazine seems an odd place for satire. Anyone familiar with his past writing, is this something that he's done before?
    RobNewton and FBarber like this.
  9. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Crusader (710) Nov 23, 2017 California

    Official "it was a joke" statement

    They totally just forgot the disclaimer. Doh!
  10. tillmac62

    tillmac62 Poo-Bah (1,501) Oct 2, 2013 South Carolina

    Never read 'em, never will.
    BuffaloBill12 likes this.
  11. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Interesting changes from the above posted private message.

    If you take the explanation at face value, it still seems like a colossally misguided approach when lacking any kind of context or explanation. And a weird venue for a fictional parody, and still reads bizarrely as it pivots in and out of discussion about beer.

    For those without FB access, this is the text of the statement:
    Roguer, pat61, Eriktheipaman and 5 others like this.
  12. ecammit

    ecammit Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2019

    Assuming this site has the right guy (https://muckrack.com/bill-metzger), he's written some opinion pieces for the Dallas News before (linked there).

    After reading those, I find it very hard to believe it's satire.
    pat61, LuskusDelph and FBarber like this.
  13. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (907) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Well I didn't know who they were before, but now I sure as heck do.

    Maybe that was the point?
    cavedave, pat61, chrismattlin and 4 others like this.
  14. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    No, 2 minutes of internet detective work finds those authors are completely different guys. The Dallas articles list that author as a trustee for Dallas County Community College District. Easy to find that guys public LinkedIn page - not the same as the Brewing News author.
    thuey, AlcahueteJ and FBarber like this.
  15. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,158) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Oh no, did you drink and BLOG again? :rolling_eyes:
  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,414) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    It is part of the regional "Brewing News" papers, so this publication likely doesn't make it to Massachusetts bars and packies :wink: - you're probably familiar with the local Yankee Brew News from the same outfit. Have no idea how ownership works, or how the editors are picked, etc.
    Brad007, AlcahueteJ and FBarber like this.
  17. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,649) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    especially that "satire" ... Summit's beer satire is funny ... not this.

    If it was satire, then it was poor satire and they need to reassess how they publish these things ... and if its satire for goodness sake put a disclaimer especially if you're going with something that cringey.
    pat61 and ryan1788a5 like this.
  18. johnyb

    johnyb Defender (659) Aug 11, 2012 Florida

    Guess they'll test the whole "There's no such thing as bad publicity thing".
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  19. johnyb

    johnyb Defender (659) Aug 11, 2012 Florida

  20. Number1Framer

    Number1Framer Initiate (125) Mar 13, 2016 Wisconsin

    Funny that guy feels that way because I haven't felt any reason to change my behavior since #MeToo started. Seems like any time someone gets worried about stuff like this they're either hamfisted Incel assholes who blame the world for their lack of game or they have skeletons in the closet.
  21. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,649) Aug 23, 1996 California

    This is now impacting other publications within the network.

    thuey, TheDoctor, AlcahueteJ and 3 others like this.
  22. zid

    zid Savant (970) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    I figured this response would be coming:

    BuffaloBill12, Roguer, pat61 and 11 others like this.
  23. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Looks like Bill Metzger (the article author) is indeed listed as the publisher (or 1 of 2 publishers) for all 7 of the regional publications. So weird the way his public statement was worded.
    #23 jmdrpi, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    FBarber likes this.
  24. Fox82791

    Fox82791 Devotee (456) Jun 20, 2014 New York

    It was a satirical article, a series of pieces meant to be told from the viewpoint of drunk people during world travels (loosely quoted but it's something along those lines). Definitely should have been a disclaimer somewhere in there stating that, but those were not the thoughts of Bill. I have met him a few times and can say he is honestly a good person and these aren't his personal views.
    Roguer, AlcahueteJ and jmdrpi like this.
  25. seakayak

    seakayak Disciple (355) May 20, 2007 Massachusetts

    The fact that this supposed satirist portrayed the misogynist as an Iraqi vet reveals that there's some weird delusional bias also mixed in with his monumentally poor judgement.

    Also, their website has a disclaimer stating that they are in no way affiliated with the Great Lakes Brewing Company, which was the first thing I wondered when I saw the article. Edmund Fitzgerald is safe.
    neenerzig, Vidblain and GOBLIN like this.
  26. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Do you know if that was the first article written from that character's "perspective"?
    If you're going to write something in the first person that isn't really first person, in a publication with mostly non-fictional reporting, seems crazy not to explain that fact.
    Its good to hear that the apology might be sincere. But I still can't comprehend why he would have thought it was a good idea to begin with. Satire is pretty risky even in the right environment (which this was not).
  27. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Not to kick them when they are down, but their website is reminiscent some Geocities-era blogs:

  28. Fox82791

    Fox82791 Devotee (456) Jun 20, 2014 New York

    All pieces in this series were from the perspective of the character. Agreed, especially in today's day and age, there needed to be some sort of explanation of the satirical nature of the content to avoid an issue such as this. Overall, this series is in poor taste and I really don't see the value of it continuing.
  29. BeerGuyAaron

    BeerGuyAaron Initiate (62) Nov 27, 2017 Georgia

    It really is like a 1992-era Geocities site with even less functionality. Which is too bad. If they spent half as much on website design and content than they do on printing the physical paper copies (which doesn't really move all that much from what I've seen), these could really be a useful resource.
    ShannaBanana likes this.
  30. stevepat

    stevepat Devotee (497) Mar 12, 2013 California

    Hope it doesnt drag down the whole network. Northwest Brewing News is a regular resident of my bathroom and is a great source for notes on newly opening/expanding breweries and an events calendar.

    That first paragraph was brutal though. so many whys
  31. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Initiate (152) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    I'm curious as to what exactly you find funny about this.
  32. mynie

    mynie Poo-Bah (3,966) Jun 22, 2004 Maryland
    Society Trader

    This is like getting mad at The Onion for one if their political cartoons. I'm not gonna say it's well written, but it's very obviously satire.
  33. islay

    islay Aspirant (237) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Mods, can we get an explanatory clarification at the beginning of the first post that this article was written as satire? There's still much "questionable" about it (Why is a regional beer news publication running satire? Why was it apparently not clearly labeled? Why is such a publication commenting on social issues at all? Why did the author choose to load this fictional misogyny onto a character emphasized to be an Iraq War veteran? Why did anyone think this was a good idea? Etc.). But many of the responses so far in this thread indicate earnest outrage about the narrator's mentality itself, and those objections are obviously misplaced once the purpose of the article, misguided and ham-fisted though it might have been, is brought to light.
    Roguer, AlcahueteJ and beernuts like this.
  34. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (567) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I don't know, the line between reality and parody/satire has gotten awfully thin of late.
  35. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,865) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    But the only "proof" of that came afterwards. You'd like to believe the apology, but I can understand why a cynic would not blindly except it.

    I posted the whole statement from the author when it became available.

    But I do agree with the rest of your post.
  36. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (475) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    Jesus Christ what did this man Drink?!
  37. epoole3

    epoole3 Initiate (176) Aug 28, 2005 Massachusetts

    I inferred the writer’s purpose halfway through the first paragraph, however many felt that there should have been a disclaimer or other overt clues to his actual intent; I don’t know if satire is supposed to have rules. Ironic that a piece that was written to satirize the misogyny/sexism in the beer culture was turned back on the writer. It was a lazy and dumb piece, however, if people can’t see the true intent of the article, and can dedicate almost 2 full days to taking this guy down via Twitter, etc. for a clumsy attempt at humor and irony while reflexively smacking down his apology, I don’t know where we are truly headed anymore. Yes, he probably shouldn’t have published it, it was pretty juvenile and unnecessary, but this is the wrong hill to die on...but what do I know.
  38. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (524) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Why is a publication which is in the service of promoting beer culture trying to do it with such tone deaf nonsense?
    That's a question that sticks out for me. I guess since it's his rodeo. He gets to ride the horse into battle backwards whenever he chooses. Bad idea.
    I simply can't buy the sincerity of his apology because it is overtly couched with bonafides.
    Admitting to a mistake is just that. No need to regale us with trying to sound smart by having read a history book.
  39. mynie

    mynie Poo-Bah (3,966) Jun 22, 2004 Maryland
    Society Trader

    It's not nearly as lazy and dumb as the weepy and overwrought pieces that respond to it, all of which repeat the same halfdozen platitudes that get tossed around every time people attempt to claim hero status by reading something in bad faith.

    All I can say is, if you guys feel the need to confirm your status a Socially Conscious Good Guy by pretending this outrage isn't manufactured nonsense, go for it. Demand that beer writing become even more beige and celibate. Punish anyone who dares to drift even a little outside of realm of acceptability as has been determined by the smooth-brained neurotics who have taken it upon themselves to police all realms of communication. But don't be surprised when the mob inevitably turns on you, when you find yourself getting reprimanded not for any harm you caused or intended but because someone just didn't like the sound of your voice.
  40. Steve_Studnuts

    Steve_Studnuts Aspirant (269) Apr 21, 2015 Pennsylvania

    So it's kind of a clumsy attempt at humor, but it's also a giant step up from their usually inane cover stories. I may actually start picking these up again.