Melvin Brewing says it was "meant to be a silly joke." Social media doesn't see it that way.

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,608) Aug 23, 1996 California


  2. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (167) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    This place might as well close up shop, what an idiotic and poorly managed brewery to put out that statement. I'm going out west on a big beer trip this summer, and there is no way in hell I'm frequenting this establishment.
  3. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (249) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Sounds like a lower level employee tried to add his own touch (no pun intended) and it slipped through the cracks. Re: the website.

    I know many breweries have social media coordinators who are in charge of posts etc. many aren’t exactly qualified and state their political opinion once in awhile. Frat culture is there as well. I guess owners have to stay in charge of every facet of their business.

    They do have a place called Thai me up so they aren’t exactly doing themselves any favors by not firing the employee accused of assault. And then not firing the guy who put that stuff on their website. They need a culture shift.
    #3 Oktoberfiesta, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  4. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    For the website it was a subcontractor (who probably won't be hired to do web work again) and yes the owner should be aware of the public face of their business and take steps to ensure it's what they want it be.
  5. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Initiate (132) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    As I am reading this on Beer Advocate, there is a banner ad at the bottom of the page for a website named: "how to be his everything" How to give a man the #1 thing he truly wants that no other woman can" - I am not sure what I find stranger- the ad on beer advocate or the Melvin story, but I am certainly amused by the combination of them.
  6. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,333) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    Regardless how it got there, the fact is the page was up for a year with nobody from the brewery saying anything, apparently. Check out the Bellingham site's Facebook page and there's this statement made on March 8th, prior to the misconduct incident and obviously prior to the post made on March 9th specifically talking about he "incident":

    "Over year ago, we made a poor decision on our website in regard to contacting Melvin Brewing. The Touch Us header was meant to be a silly joke but in hindsight it was inappropriate, and we want to extend a heartfelt apology. Please know that we may be irreverent and like to have a good time but in this case, we crossed the line. Ultimately our desire is to produce the best beer and share it with the community that we admire.

    At Melvin Brewing we do not condone bro-culture or tolerate any sort of sexual harassment.

    Melvin Brewing strives to support women in all facets of our operations. Many of our employees at the breweries and in upper-management are women. We will continue to review our policies to ensure that our workplace, website and breweries are harassment-free."

    Yet poke through their PR stuff (videos) and bro-culture appears to be exactly what they are playing up. Tom @drtth - just looking thru their content, looks to me like they quite possibly are projecting the image they want. Now it's gone and bitten them in the behind. Evidently took about a year for that to occur.

    Pushing the "irreverent" way too far, at least by what I can see, and not just with this particular incident or the "contact" page. There was some other ridiculous printed material quoted about driving that was blatantly over the line - one of the newspapers had gone through and collected up all the questionable print. Outrageousness just to be outrageous and get noticed? Bad form. They don't need a culture shift - they need a transplant. The argument could easily be made that the "irreverent" culture lead to the incident by creating an enabling atmosphere. Oddly, there seems to be more "heat" on the Bellingham site than the Wyoming site, but I could be wrong since I am not a FaceBook genius.
  7. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Did the BA ad you saw involve a redirect?

    #7 drtth, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    Ranbot likes this.
  8. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Interesting, I wondered what else they were doing. I think we agree there's a senior management problem at Melvin.
    EvenMoreJesus and LeRose like this.
  9. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,408) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Their beer is good but their bro culture/frat boy persona has always been annoying.
  10. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,586) Sep 24, 2007 Washington

    distantmantra and drtth like this.
  11. MFMB

    MFMB Meyvn (1,002) Jan 23, 2015 Idaho

    Thai Me Up is a restaurant that serves Thai food. Play on words? Yes. In light of the recent wrong doings by Melvin I suppose you can raise a eyebrow. A week ago tho Thai Me Up was just a cleaver name for a restaurant.

    From what I have read it sounds like Melvin dropped the ball on this one. Complete failure in dealing with the initial issue and a complete failure in dealing with the fallout and backlash from that issue coming to light in the public eye. They could have got out in front of this back in November but choose to sweep it under the rug it appears. A common defense I am hearing is the insensitive joke posted on their website was posted prior to the Bellingham incident and as we know two wrongs don’t make a right. I have been a huge supporter of Melvin and their beer, talking them up every chance I got. It’s great beer (to me) I live fairly close to their Alpine brewery and have enjoyed frequenting them. Not out for blood or jumping on the social justice warrior bandwagon. Just here to say I’m disappointed in the whole story.
    DWheeler379, LeRose, drtth and 2 others like this.
  12. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Initiate (132) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    I am not sure and wasn't about to click on it- for all I know it could be a creative spin for a link to a online premier beer store, but it sure didn't look that way and the juxtaposition of the ad within the thread was, as I said, darkly amusing. I am guessing Beer Advocate doesn't clear each ad, but rather has a agreement with an ad company to populate the page with ads?
    drtth likes this.
  13. zid

    zid Savant (916) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Just in case anybody is interested, Stone also got into some hot water recently regarding Twitter and inappropriate sexual innuendo (completely intended or not). Apology followed as well.
    beertunes, Harrison8 and Norica like this.
  14. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,031) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I expect those in charge are fully aware of the image their website presents. How they market is their decision and whether to buy their product is mine.
  15. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I also thought pointing the finger at a "subcontractor" as the originator of the web page was pretty shallow and probably indicative of what their work culture is all about.
    GuyFawkes, Squire and ManBearPat like this.
  16. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (422) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Good thing it was just a subcontractor who’s responsible for the rapey stuff on the webby so everybody can be sure that there’s no need to place blame on the brewery....

    its just like how a prime contractor has not a single care in the world if the electrician screws up and the house catches on fire-
    I mean “hey, that was the subs work”
    raynmoon likes this.
  17. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (5,133) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    I was at a sales seminar once and the trainer pointed out that if you satisfy one person, they may tell one or two other people. If you piss someone off they will tell 50 people. This is a good example of that. I'm a bit skeptical of the claim that some low level flunky wandered off and did this without anyone knowing and if they are so sorry, why did they take from November to now to become a matter of discussion. If you want to be in successful and stay in business you stay on top of this. If you want to party down and have a good time you do that when you are not on the clock and not representing the business. Bud used to have a slogan: "we are in the business of making friends." Melvin is turning this on its head.
  18. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Having just spent some time looking at their self-promotional activities I'd agree that it's more pervasive than just that web page and actually does represent their self-image. Whether they wanted to project it or not I can't say but totally agree that it has indeed "bitten them in the behind."
    beertunes, LeRose and pat61 like this.
  19. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Something that makes that "tell 50 people" even worse is that "the telling" spreads further and faster in Social Media than any correction or apology that follows.
  20. nick_perry

    nick_perry Disciple (344) Mar 11, 2017 North Carolina

    Not being from the area, it's sad that the 1st time I hear of this brewery is when they do something stupid
    GuyFawkes, LeRose and pat61 like this.
  21. wyoming

    wyoming Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2007 Wyoming

    In bev is on line two
  22. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (5,133) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    I was in the seminar sometime in the 80's when social media was yelling across the street. In today's culture the 50 can become 500 or 5000 in a blink of the eye - that is why if you want to stay in business, you pay attention to what your social media people are doing. Not paying attention to this stuff is like handing the keys to the buss to a toddler. It might work but chances are good it won't end well.
    GuyFawkes, JackHorzempa and LeRose like this.
  23. zid

    zid Savant (916) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Perhaps, but at the same time, in cases like these (brewery related), someone like me only ever hears about them because the apology (as opposed to just the incident) becomes “news.”
    drtth and LeRose like this.
  24. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,103) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Trader

    To refer to stupidity, insensitivity, and incompetence as a "joke" only emphasizes that they are giving this lip service, reacting to the bad press, and really are not sincere about being sorry about it - only sorry they got called on it.
  25. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    As a friend of mine who spent some time in the Army used to say, "In any group of more than two people there's alway someone who doesn't get the word." :wink:
    #25 drtth, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    beertunes likes this.
  26. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,313) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Stupid for sure, but it probably won’t stop me from buying their beer.
    waltari, BeerseAnyone and wyoming like this.
  27. shelby415

    shelby415 Crusader (791) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    Frat boy culture has long been, and still is, prevalent in the beer industry and, yes, the "Thai me up" title is already using innuendo, but at least it can be referring to a consensual relationship (though I know it can also be a reference to a non-consensual relationship). But making a joke of child sexual abuse is not just frat boy culture, it is on another level that I haven't seen before. Sure, their beers aren't shabby, but they aren't that good. Easily replaceable in my neck of the woods.
    GuyFawkes, Buck89 and beertunes like this.
  28. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (272) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Part of the reason lack of diversity within the industry is a problem is because it leads to stupid unforced errors like this. Building a team that isn't just basic white dudes isn't an act of charity. It's a way to protect your brand from dumb shit like this. If you want to sell your beer to people beyond the normal craft beer crowd (and that would seem to be a wise business decision), you can't just hire a bunch of craft brew bros to do your marketing. It will hurt your business. If breweries want to keep growing and thriving in a crowded market, they can't afford to be monocultures. Yes, there's a moral and ethical argument for workplace diversity. But don't let that obscure the fact that the simple dollars-and-sense business argument for diversity as well.

    To put it another way, there where a lot of old white dudes in Hollywood who were convinced that a mainstream superhero movie starring all black people would never be successful. Someone finally convinced them to make one, and guess what? It is incredibly fucking successful.

    Discrimination isn't just wrong, it's also expensive. As such I can only recommend that all businesses aggressively divest themselves from it.
  29. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (545) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Right... The side and banner ads are populated by Google who use your browsing and purchasing history to target you with ads, which BA can't control. The ad shown says more about your online history than BA... OR you may be a savvy internet user who is very good at hiding their online presence, in which case Google would probably just show you spammy lowest-common-denominator internet ads (e.g. selling sex/dating, insurance, mortgages, etc.), which could be like the one you mentioned. I'll assume you're a savvy net-user. :wink:
    #29 Ranbot, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  30. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Initiate (132) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    Thanks for the note-I am going to hope that my wife was using my computer and plans on being irresistible soon!
  31. Warren2621

    Warren2621 Zealot (565) Sep 26, 2014 Indiana

    Step 1. Joke about sensitive material

    Step 2. Self righteous pseudo-outrage

    Step 3. Forced apology

    Step 4. Everyone forgets

    Step 5. Who cares?
    MikeP64, pjeagles and DrumKid003 like this.
  32. DrumKid003

    DrumKid003 Aspirant (221) Aug 10, 2013 Oklahoma

    This is pretty much par for the course at the moment. Considering that it seems like >95% of people are offended by the most minute things anymore and then swear they will never shop/buy at *insert business* again. Subsequently after about 4 months they forget about their self-righteous reasoning and go back to shopping/buying at the establishment.
    Stout_Sabre, JayWhitson and MikeP64 like this.
  33. shelby415

    shelby415 Crusader (791) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    You forgot a few steps:

    Step 6. Die Inside

    Step 7. Become so desperate to feel something, anything, you're willing to return to Step 1

    Seriously though, I get what you're saying, our culture has little conviction and a great desire to please ourselves at all costs (even if it hurts others) but I think child sexual abuse is an area many people are still not willing to see as fertile grounds for humor. I wouldn't call the reaction pseudo-outrage. Hopefully we can still agree that hurting children isn't funny.
    LambicPentameter, Squire and drtth like this.
  34. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,201) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    I heard aboot more shenanigans regarding Melvin reps this morning from my beer guy in Casper. Told to him by some of the distributors. A definite 180 quality of character is needed.
    distantmantra and beertunes like this.
  35. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,586) Sep 24, 2007 Washington

    It's ingrained from the top down. Until the leader changes, there's little hope the staff will.
  36. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,201) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    It pained me to post that as the Melvin crew has always been cool to me but I want to see them be the BEST that they can be and succeed in every way possible.
    jakecattleco and beertunes like this.
  37. MikeP64

    MikeP64 Initiate (155) Jan 24, 2015 South Carolina

    A year or so ago I started a thread was never posted for the reason 'not really about beer'...well neither is this. This is a social issue about political correctness. Another instance of someone somewhere seeing something they didn't like and felt the whole world had to know about it. I'm sure there was no harm intended. They are just words. Turn on your TV tonight and scroll through the channels;you can watch movies where people are shot in the head,raped,and tortured.Watch MTV and look at the nearly X-rated dance music videos. When you tire of this go to your favorite bar,drink 5 beers and a couple of shots as your bartender gladly refills your glass. Then drive home.
    Was what Melvins did wrong? No,not in a legal sense. Was it funny? Not really. Did anyone get hurt? NO. There is a lot of bad shit going on in the world right now,we all know that and one of the reasons I frequent BA is to get away from it.
    Sweetwater had a great beer-Happy Ending. Do those words really offend ANYONE here?.
    Well it didn't offend me or ANYONE I talked to about it;but it offended ONE person and that's all it took to get the social media monster to take it off the shelves. Rant over.
  38. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    In this case, it wasn't JUST words.
  39. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Although I don't really care about what either Melvin or Stone posted on their websites or social media and I can't stand political correctness, there is such as thing as "not being a douche" which a lot of people involved with brewery culture don't understand. Grow the fuck up. Not everything has to be about your dick or about some sexual act. Brewing good beer doesn't have anything to do with being a fuckboi. Get it through your frosted tips, brah.
    distantmantra and beertunes like this.
  40. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (503) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Child molestation jokes were never funny. How dumb could they be. Beyond that whoever was involved in this is sick.
    shelby415, GuyFawkes and beertunes like this.