Greg Koch responds to UK watchdog group's "feelings" towards Arrogant Bastard Ale

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Sep 30, 2019.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,669) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    The Portman Group, a UK alcohol industry watchdog group, recently sent Stone Brewing's importer a letter alerting them of a potential breach of its "Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks" regarding Arrogant Bastard Ale; the brand name and imagery.

    Here's a link to the original letter and Greg Koch's reply:

    The opening paragraph sets the tone that we've all come to expect from Arrogant Bastard.
    pudgym29, HermitDan, monkist and 36 others like this.
  2. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,669) Jul 27, 2013 Texas
    Society Trader

    That’s the longest, snarkiest, “F-You” response I’ve ever seen.

    Bravo Stone.
  3. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (10,107) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I mean, he's right, most people will fkn hate this beer. It's a well warranted warning.
  4. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Devotee (402) Jun 13, 2017 California

    Yeah, why now?
    Amendm, rgordon and VoxRationis like this.
  5. JamFuel

    JamFuel Poo-Bah (8,119) Mar 26, 2009 Sweden
    Moderator Society

    Greg, you glorious bastard!
  6. lester619

    lester619 Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2009 Wisconsin

    That was pretty great. He could have just said shut the hell up clown and it wouldn't have been any more disrespectful. Well done.
    HermitDan, ericwo, KentT and 4 others like this.
  7. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,271) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I know, it's like what can I be outraged by now simplex. I like some Stone beers and know some key employees, have never loved their schtick, but this is too late and damned lame.
  8. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (951) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan

    Cheese and rice. Seems like he loves to hear himself talk... Arrogant really.
  9. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Aspirant (293) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    Couldn't finish reading the article.... All I could think about as I read is that these guys are arrogant bastards.
    Amendm, beergoot, DrOfGolf and 4 others like this.
  10. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Brevity is...wit.
  11. lester619

    lester619 Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2009 Wisconsin

    The complaint and the response was almost too perfect. A person more cynical than myself might suspect this was a publicity stunt of some kind. It's pretty damn funny either way.
  12. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Zealot (551) Nov 24, 2018 New York

    God damn wussies (pun intended)
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  13. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (3,072) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Society Trader

    +1 beer pun, plus it made me look at how many wits are named Brevity. (9, plus and APA and a Blonde)
  14. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Seems Portman is funded by UK big beer if I read that right so anything counter in the enemy. Funny how that is, an industry funding a watchdog group that benefits from said negative findings. If it was so out there why 10 years later? Wouldn’t they have to under go scrutiny when applying for distribution rights? Even if they predate Portman surely that big bad AB would stick out like a sore thumb. Stones sales are good I take it, perhaps too good?
  15. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I was just quoting a Simpsons gag, but it's pretty awesome how these brewers put it to good use as well. (The gag revolves around Reader's Digest condensing the Shakespeare quote "Brevity is the soul of wit.")

    But overall, yeah, I'm with the others who found that the response went on too long for its own good.
    Amendm, BBThunderbolt, DBosco and 2 others like this.
  16. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,127) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    You mean like the wording on some of Stone beers' labels? Lol.
  17. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,803) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Oh, people are so sensitive in these times, finding offense under every rock and some going out of their way looking for rocks. It's been at least 90 degrees with equal humidity for more days now than I can count and I haven't got mad at anybody.
  18. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,726) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    This from a country that sends us Spotted Dick from a company called Goblin...use your imagination, change the word order...that's what's on the label.
    VoxRationis, Kemosabe, Roguer and 7 others like this.
  19. Maugan-Ra

    Maugan-Ra Initiate (65) Dec 19, 2014 New Jersey

    The Portman Group...well, what's that quote about the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation..?
    Somajiahu likes this.
  20. Ragamuffin

    Ragamuffin Initiate (120) Jun 3, 2009 Alabama

    So does this "watchdog" group have any authority in the UK to prevent the sale of a beer it deems not in compliance? Are beer retailers under any obligation to heed their calls not to stock the beer?
  21. TheGreyBrewer

    TheGreyBrewer Initiate (108) Mar 19, 2006 Colorado

    Greg sure knows how to write. And write, and write. Too bad so much of it is in his signature style. tl;dr - I'm assuming he told them to F off. Cool.
  22. f8met

    f8met Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2014 England

    Portland group are a nightmare. They banned a beer as the label was drawn in a cartoon manner and it was deemed to be a beer that will speak to children so they banned it. They are a quango ruled by big brewers and are a nanny state company.

    They seem to know what is best for people. Run by white middle age men in too tight ties who probably never drink what they comment on.
  23. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,381) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Portman Group Leadership Team
    Portman Group Complaints Panel

    ... They appear to be neither all middle aged nor all men. :wink: I can't tell what they may or may not drink! :grin:

    From their website, their enforcement seems to be to:
    • pressure retailers,
    • " notify relevant breaches of the Code to the regulatory authorities and other appropriate third parties, such as trade associations and monitoring organisations", and/or
    • expel a company from membership

    That last one is pretty weak if the company is not a member to begin with, which Stone does not appear to be:

    Member Companies
    Code Signatories
  24. f8met

    f8met Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2014 England

    I stand by my comments... .
    Sheppard and rgordon like this.
  25. Giantspace

    Giantspace Savant (970) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Way TLDR

    Started and then I got borded.

    What ever happened with the Stone Vs Stones suit?

    AlcahueteJ and GetMeAnIPA like this.
  26. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,381) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota


    I'm not defending them; I think such monitoring is mostly what you say it is... nanny state do-gooders who know what is best for everyone else.

    However, I get a little tired of the "middle-aged white men" meme.
  27. woodchipper

    woodchipper Poo-Bah (1,519) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut

    There were some great points in the first few page-downs, then I started skimming.
    TongoRad likes this.
  28. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (8,548) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Methinks they's knickers be a bit too twisted and tight (i.e., The Portman Group's)...kind of like the Woman's Temperance Christian Movement of yore...
    #28 beergoot, Oct 2, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  29. FinbarrSaunders

    FinbarrSaunders Initiate (81) Dec 26, 2012 New York

    Adversaries who richly deserve each other.
    flat_lander likes this.
  30. BIABrewer

    BIABrewer Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2017 Indiana

    I've long thought Arrogant Bastard had the absolute best marketing program in the industry. I'm enjoying one right now in honor of that fantastic response
    aficionado224 and Amendm like this.
  31. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,271) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I think rampant "prigness" exudes from this group. The world has already deeded these guys to a stodgy place that is too cool for especially this crew. Puritanism redux? Maybe they can fix the culture in their image.
    VoxRationis and Squire like this.
  32. WhiteHart

    WhiteHart Initiate (48) Apr 16, 2018 North Carolina

    While I agree that the request was quite late to the party and colloquially stodgy, this is a group that is probably trying to keep drinks named Santa's Red Swollen Balls off of menus in family-oriented venues.
    That said, I find it highly amusing that the overwhelming response in this forum is Yee Haw! You tell 'em Greg! Nobody can fuck with Americans' god-given right to make asses out of themselves in other countries!
    Malt_Man and BBThunderbolt like this.
  33. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,083) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I don't think that's been the response, the gulf between 'santas swollen red balls' being served at a family restaurant and a beer called 'arrogant bastard' with a gargoyle on the label is pretty great. Is bastard considered a super bad word in the country famous for calling everyone 'cunts'? It just seems a little ridiculous
  34. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (738) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Greg must have been really bored when he wrote that response.
    AlcahueteJ, BBThunderbolt and cjgiant like this.
  35. chrisjws

    chrisjws Champion (885) Dec 3, 2014 California

    This makes me want to go to the store and grab a bomber of the stuff.

    One of my first ever craft beers and will always have a special place in my heart.
  36. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (6,010) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    Maybe a respectable watchdog was somehow misguided (say a flawed AI algorithm) or, as @lester619 indicated, they were looking for some publicity. The grievances, as quoted, seemed off/contrived.

    Regardless, I’d say Stone’s response (right, wrong, or indifferent) is for publicity (i.e. it didn’t have to be available via a link on their site).

    Regardless, I liked the response because it was really long :wink:
    GetMeAnIPA and fegelFatso like this.
  37. Fatcarlo

    Fatcarlo Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2019

    As a Brit I find that Portman letter and Zenith an embarrassment. Wonder if they complained about Dog's Bollocks by Wychwood Brewery?
    Roguer, ATL6245, Squire and 1 other person like this.
  38. fegelFatso

    fegelFatso Aspirant (221) Jun 23, 2013 California

    When I first heard of Arrogant Bastard, I thought it was some kind of cheap malt liquor being sold as swill... and then I tried it... and other Stone Beers... and the rest was history!
    Amendm likes this.
  39. Amendm

    Amendm Meyvn (1,098) Jun 7, 2018 Florida

    A wise man once said, " It ain't arrogance if you can back it up".

    AB is an occasional treat, I can see why a lot of people hate it.
  40. Brew-Monk

    Brew-Monk Initiate (49) May 21, 2019 England

    Having lived in the UK for the last 7 years, I find the Portman Group's letter to be a truly classic piece of politically correct BS (but it is also really funny). Over here the craft beer scene is definitely booming, like it was in the States 10 years ago, and it is easy to understand why the big boys are fighting.

    That being said the response was well written, and caused me to enjoyably waste some work time reading it, and then trying to figure out where I can get my hands on an Arrogant Bastard. It has been too long since the last one!
    pudgym29, dcotom, Roguer and 2 others like this.
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