Smuttynose Brewing CEO Departs, Owner/Manager of Runnymede Investments Accused of Rape

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, May 10, 2019.

  1. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (518) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    I’ll die a happy man if never have to buy a scratcher to win the right to buy a beer again.
    Alexmc2, rodbeermunch, Roguer and 5 others like this.
  2. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (416) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Perhaps, but Finest Kind IPA is perhaps their most iconic beer and they didn't make that until 10 years into their existence (2004) and it too could have been considered a bandwagon jumping beer at the time. I think the fact that they didn't ever try and stake out a newer school IPA with everything that was happening in the neighborhood was probably an example of their not so great decision making.

    You're so right about how great their location and history is though. If that place ends up turned into condos or something it will be an absolute travesty.
  3. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Poo-Bah (1,962) Nov 27, 2009 Massachusetts

    It pretty much still exists. Kate was Tod Mott's recipe. He opened his own brewery 10 minutes away in Kittery, ME and took the recipe with him. He still releases it under the name Mott the Lesser a couple of times a year. Admittedly he has tweaked the recipe/blend over the years, but for the better I think.
    tzieser and drtth like this.
  4. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,065) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Ah, right I totally forgot about that. Didn't Tod Mott also create the Harpoon IPA recipe or was that someone else?
    ryan1788a5 likes this.
  5. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Zealot (535) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    Yup, it was Todd. Recipe now is totally different from the original though. That's not my opinion, I've seen the original brew notes back when I worked there, gosh 10 years ago?
  6. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,065) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Cool. It's still one of my favorite IPAs ever and one that I always look forward to having on-tap whenever I visit home. Just this past weekend I went to Cape Cod Cafe for lunch (OG location in Brockton) and had a couple of pints on-tap. For $5 a pint, you can't really beat that price (along with Wormtown Be Hoppy @ $5 a pint, another good value for an excellent IPA)
    SABERG, SouthAtholSuds and rgordon like this.
  7. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (973) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    A number of years ago my son and I sat at the bar at Neptune Oyster in Boston knocking down Harpoon IPAs and lobster rolls. The beer was delicious. That was a great time!
    tzieser and drtth like this.
  8. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,309) Sep 24, 2007 Vatican City

    I seem to remember buying Finest Kind and Old Brown Dog in NH 98-99 for the Indy car race at NHIS.
  9. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (416) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Not according to their website, but it's possible they were experimenting with it on a small scale locally before it launched more widely?

    I was surprised about the launch date myself actually (not for this thread, but a while back in the NE forum when someone brought it up). I feel like it's one of those beers that's been around for as long as I can remember.
    rodbeermunch and beertunes like this.
  10. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (343) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Speaking just for myself, 2004 more than qualifies as "as long as I can remember".
    Roguer likes this.
  11. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (416) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Ha. That would normally more than apply to me as well, but I had an anchor of sorts that I'm viewing things in relation to. I moved away from Boston to the west coast in the mid 90s and I would have guessed it was something that dated back to my earliest drinking days before the move. Memory's a bitch.
  12. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,329) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Can you paint a general picture or talk specifics about the evolution?
  13. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,309) Sep 24, 2007 Vatican City

    I moved West in 2000, and I woulda swore I had had it before I moved. Shrug.
  14. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Zealot (535) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    I don't know the full story around why changes were made, nor do I want it to sound disparaging. Essentially though it went from basically all cascade hops to a mix (high AA bittering hops being the most drastic change). Grain bill likely evolved simply due to commercially available grains at the time of original recipe formulation.
    Jacobier10 and zid like this.
  15. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (211) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    In 2019 you don't come back from this kind of headline, especially with financial issues that already reared their ugly heads. I liked Smuttynose, but trust me saving Weyerbacher is now 10000000x more important to me after this revelation.
  16. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (343) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Until and unless they get new ownership/management, I'm pretty much in agreement, but it does really suck that the brand is being poisoned by people who haven't had anything to do with it until like five minutes ago.
  17. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (265) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts

    The idea of giving my money to a rapist/trust fund brat has no appeal to me. Don't "Make Mine A Smutty".
    hopley and EnronCFO like this.
  18. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,065) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    FTFY, despite totally agreeing with your overall sentiment.:slight_smile:
  19. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Defender (631) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    Jeez man, you ever heard of due process or innocent till proven guilty? Or did the trust-fund kid stereotype seal it for you?

    I really don’t see where the guy had a direct impact on leadership for the brewery anyway, so the point’s moot to me.
  20. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,065) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I originally typed something similar but opted for the “safe” reply.

    Well done.
  21. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,715) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Innocent until proven guilty is necessary and I am grateful that I live in a country that has that legal standard. But we thankfully don't have to live our lives by that standard. Said nobody ever...

    "Of course I'm not moving my funds elsewhere. she is only ACCUSED of fraud and embezzlement."

    "We'll just keep dropping little Timmy off every morning while we see how these child neglect/abuse charges play out."

    "I have to go to the bathroom. Why don't you buy me a drink and when I come back you can finish that story about the deadlocked jury at your roofies possession trial?"

    I haven't bought Smutty in years but I did decide to stop buying Melvin that story came out.
  22. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,849) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    So, every investment house or daycare center accused of wrong-doing or employing someone who was, immediately loses all its customers and goes out of business? That's certainly not the case.

    AND, those situations are examples of the primary service being the alleged crime.

    In the case of Smuttynose, no one is suggesting that "...a manager and owner of Runnymede Investments, who played an active role in the purchase of Smuttynose" (so not a brewery employee or manager) being charged with rape has in any way a negative affect on the quality of the beer or even the management philosophy or working conditions/atmosphere of the brewery itself. Should that charge alone be enough to end the brewery and the jobs of Smuttynose's employees?
    #62 jesskidden, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    sharpski, rodbeermunch, JrGtr and 5 others like this.
  23. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,715) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    There are too many breweries in this country for me to support anywhere near all of them. I don't want my dollars to pay for his defense attorney. I will support the ownership and employees of other breweries with my money.
    rightcoast7 likes this.
  24. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,342) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    It's important to remember the basis behind "Innocent until proven guilty," and not confuse it with voting with our dollars. One is a criminal matter, and the other a personal choice, and they do not always need to match up.

    The concept behind IUPG is that it is better to let a guilty person go free than to put an innocent person behind bars. Like it or not, that's a cornerstone of our legal system, and it is based on protecting our rights as individuals. However, there is a different standard of evidence between criminal and civil trials: "Beyond a reasonable doubt," becomes "More likely than not," typically defined as greater than 50%. In other words: we might all "know" someone committed an offense, but in a criminal trial they may still walk away. We can all think of real world examples of this, including civil convictions that failed to pass muster in a criminal trial.

    When people are voting with their dollars, they are essentially applying the civil definition of guilty. This is what has been sweeping Hollywood.

    That may or may not be the case with this individual; I don't know all the facts, and so I'm not about to weigh in on the likeliness of his guilt. It is important to note, however, that anyone who chooses to avoid Smuttynose from now on is acting well within their rights, and is not acting contrary to any concept or precedent. They are not prosecutors; innocent until proven guilty does not apply. If they think it's likely that this individual is guilty, there is no need for a criminal conviction in court. Much like free speech prevents the government from censoring you, but doesn't mean a website (like this one) can't establish their own requirements for what can and cannot be shared.

    Don't cross the streams. :slight_smile:
  25. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (820) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    Not in the absolute sense perhaps, but certainly there would be some sort of drop off in terms of customer-base. In the same way that some people will continue to buy Smuttynose after hearing this story, but others won't.

    It's not about whether the taste of the beer is impacted.....(or even the other things you listed). It's about the fact that someone who is charged with rape, stands to benefit from you spending your $ at Smuttynose. I can understand how that could affect someone's purchasing decisions. Moot for me personally as I don't think I've bought anything from them in about 6-7 years.
    rightcoast7 and Roguer like this.
  26. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (343) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    I don't think anyone suggested that was the case. The only point anyone has been trying to make is that "innocent until proven guilty" is an abstract legal concept with no real meaning outside a court room, not a governing principle for society in general.
    #66 oldbean, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    errantnight, rightcoast7 and Roguer like this.
  27. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,065) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I appreciate the deep analysis into our right to due process in this country, but for me these sort of knee-jerk reactions to allegations, along with many other situations in life, all boil down to the golden rule (treat others the way you wish to be treated).

    If any of you have ever been falsely accused of anything in your life, then you have to have at least some appreciation for giving other people the benefit of doubt. Whether that means you, the consumer, wish to boycott a company over allegations is neither here nor there; completely irrelevant from the growing issue at hand (accusations now becoming synonymous with convictions)
  28. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (4,571) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire

    And, according to Tod, the genesis of Kate started when he worked at Commonwealth Brewing, near the old Gahden in Boston.... Remember getting blitzed after a few pints of it one night loooong ago.... Thank God my "bro" was driving...

    Lone_Freighter, SABERG and ryan1788a5 like this.
  29. rodbeermunch

    rodbeermunch Poo-Bah (4,845) Sep 30, 2015 Nevada

    Nah you're crossing the streams.

    See, even in a civil trial, the factfinder (judge/jury) has to actually receive something, anything, even circumstantial "evidence" to come to a conclusion that by even the lower preponderance standard, the act complained of did occur.

    Here, we have just an allegation, in which every jurisdiction has one of the most standard jury instructions in both the civil or criminal realm: "The complaint is not evidence. The arguments of counsel are not evidence. You are to only decide the case based on evidence."

    Hence, choosing to boycott with your dollars based on allegations and assertions which are not admissible, is not tantamount to a finding of guilt in a civil trial.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  30. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (329) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    The standard I’m applying is that there’s such an insane amount of great beer available all over the damn place that I simply don’t have to bother concerning myself one way or the other with evidence. If there’s anything remotely suspect about some brewery, I can pass, and it affects me absolutely zero. If you want to be more discerning, that’s cool too, I just don’t have the time or interest to bother looking for evidence of guilt when it comes to potentially shitty brewery owners.
    sharpski likes this.
  31. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,342) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    That is assuming the only "evidence" is a single complaint. That may or may not be the case in this exact instance (as I directly stated in my post you quoted), but "just an allegation" is rarely the standard by which these cases are judged.

    Other people coming forward with similar complaints, or as witnesses to the complaint, or as witnesses of character, all add up to "evidence" in the eyes of the buying public. The more of it there is, the more likely the public is to assume "guilt." Refer to the Trillium thread, where individual claims may or may not have been proven true, but the overall complaint of poor treatment and compensation of employees has been generally accepted as true, even by management themselves, based on the content of their public apology.

    It's not a 1-to-1 comparison, but it is far closer an analogy to those who suggest you cannot choose to boycott a company because of the "innocent until proven guilty" concept. That is entirely inapplicable to consumer choice, period - which was even more the point of my (again, selectively quoted) post.
    sharpski likes this.
  32. rodbeermunch

    rodbeermunch Poo-Bah (4,845) Sep 30, 2015 Nevada

    Nope. A complaint isn't evidence. Ever.

    Again, you're crossing streams. You're confusing the legal term complaint with the layperson word.
  33. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,342) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    I really don't see how - because I'm not suggesting that merely a person lodging a "complaint" equates to evidence.

    I have never suggested that an allegation like this (or multiple) means a person would likely be found guilty in a civil trial! What I specifically said, and you have ignored twice now, is that what people are applying is the civil standard of more likely than not, vice applying the criminal standard.

    How they reach their own determination of "more likely than not" does not need to be based on evidence - because they are not at a trial! If thirty individuals all come forward and allege, without further evidence, that your neighbor is a thief, and you had better lock your door, you might conclude it is more likely than not that you had .... better lock your freaking door, with or without evidence. You haven't proven guilt (nor even tried).

    Further still, in some of these cases, there are witnesses to the alleged behavior - and witnesses, even if one applies the non-legal use of "complaint" to describe their action, say on a public forum, do constitute evidence. If one person alleges misbehavior, and others state they witnessed said behavior, you have a complaint and evidence.

    Regardless of any evidence, however, consumers are well within their rights to use allegations as justifications to boycott. Every single potential consumer is doing the same, simple math: is it more likely than not that these allegations are true?
    rightcoast7 likes this.
  34. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (343) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Which, statistically speaking, it is overwhelmingly likely that they are.
    Roguer likes this.
  35. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,342) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    I don't disagree at all. I'm not telling people what to believe about the Smuttynose case, but I agree that false rape allegations are the exception, not the norm. That wouldn't be particularly helpful in determining the outcome of a trial (in and of itself), but in determining, in the mind of a consumer, the likelihood of guilt? Perfectly valid.
  36. GratefulBeerGuy

    GratefulBeerGuy Poo-Bah (2,919) May 20, 2006 New Hampshire
    Society Trader

    I will never forget "Kate The Great day" in 2008. Waiting in line for what was the highest rated RIS at that moment seemed pretty extreme, but it was worth it. Now I do it at TreeHouse on a regular basis!!
    Sad stuff for Smuttynose which was my personal favorite brewery until the move to Hampton. I'll still love the old school Smutty's
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  37. IPAs-n-Stouts_OhMy

    IPAs-n-Stouts_OhMy Initiate (60) Dec 19, 2018 Washington

    Since Melvin is mentioned a few times in this thread, I find this blog post interesting:

    I challenge you to read the entire blog post. Interesting comments and perspectives from both Bellingham WA ladies interviewed, no?

    This begs the question: If a company has made mistakes and then taken significant efforts to initiate/promote/ensure correction to that behavior/environment, when do we as consumers show recognition of that undertaking and reward the transformation progress with our returned support?

    Should we not, as a beer community, be seeking to find those companies who are being proactive in their efforts to transform their initially flawed culture and give them our support, no matter what events/ideals brought them this this place of transformation?
    sharpski and drtth like this.
  38. SABERG

    SABERG Poo-Bah (2,130) Sep 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    I am possibly reaching beyond my grasp here, but in these cases where a quick public backlash seems to be a catalyst. Are we not raising the emotion for ultimate judgement. Foregoing the actual rigor to determine the facts? Seems a bit slippery.
    I really hope this societal mob mindset takes a break.
    No politics just a deep breath
    Cheers all, and I really mean that.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,148) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I share your hope here.

    SABERG likes this.
  40. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,152) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    I can choose one beer/brewery over another for a million reasons; I don’t like the shade of blue used on their labels, somebody said the owner called my sister a bitch, etc. that have nothing to do with the actual beer. It doesn’t need to be proved in a court, I don’t have to justify it to anyone else, it’s just my personal calculus for deciding which 6pk to grab or pint to order at the bar. That’s not a boycott, just a normal part of purchasing goods with my disposable income.

    That said, an allegation or social media disaster is more likely to be the end for a small brewery than it is for one the size of Smuttynose. For a < 5000 bbl brewery, a google search will reveal the gaffe as the first impression seen by anyone outside the local area. For a brewery like Smuttynose, it is likely tempered by a lot of previous goodwill/brand awareness. I’d be surprised if this was as damaging for them as it was for Reckless et al. Their size should insulate them (somewhat) from any single incident being their downfall.