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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Truly Putting It Out There

Ok, I'm going to violate several of my own personal beliefs here and actually question why brands are not getting into politics.

Normally I hate it when I hear a company or celebrity drop their viewpoints on a politician or bill or law, but this particular one I am having issue with.  The issue of gay marriage/civil unions.

Recently, the great state of Colorado voted down a civil union bill without so much as a debate on the subject.  And in North Carolina, they have passed an actual Amendment to their state constitution outright banning Gay Marriage - which didn't matter much as the state has already outlawed it.

Colorado is already known for great craft beer, but North Carolina hasn't gotten as much heat for it, mainly because, well, most of us don't pay the South too much attention.  With the expansion of three large breweries into the state, there is more weight to be thrown around than ever.

And this is a perfect opportunity for craft beer to assert it's power in these states.  To become true industry leaders - no, not only industry, but community leaders as well.  Show the country that craft beer is more than simply something to drink when you are tired of Bud Light.  We have a voice now.  And we are looking to you,  large craft brewers, to step forward and lobby for more than zoning laws or waste water disposal.  The country is ready for equal rights for all, and those that aren't are simply too stupid to see the horizon and all the changes that come with it.

Tell me I'm wrong.  Please, please tell me brewers in these states are doing what they can, and it's not just about growing their market share.  I mean, isn't that what the big, nasty brewers are about?  Push the envelope.  Break the mold.  Become something.  Changing the way we drink is fine, but show that you care more about peoples lives than you do about barrels.

This is a hot issue.  Claim it.


  1. I haven't been able to read the actual language of the NC bill but from what I am being told it does not just ban gay marriage, it bans ALL same sexy unions. This would include civil unions.

  2. Time to find test the max comment length...

    For what it's worth, New Belgium has already responded to exactly this on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/newbelgium/posts/10150801184177620). I'm guessing you'll consider it a copout, but their statement was "Thanks for everyone's thoughts on the recent vote on Amendment 1 regarding gay marriage in North Carolina. While that vote in no way reflects the values and ethos of New Belgium Brewing, (we happily extend benefits to same-sex partners), we are not reconsidering building a second facility in Asheville. It has been our experience that the best way to effect change is to work within a system rather than to turn away from it."

    My own 2c is that I don't like corporations preaching to me, even when I agree with them. I support gay marriage 100%, it should be equal to hetero marriage in all respects, period. But take your post and replace "banning gay marriage" with "legalizing abortion" or another right-wing issue. If I went into a brewery and every table had a pamphlet on the evils of abortion, I'd turn right around and leave (ok, maybe I'd draw a wiener on it, THEN leave).

    The kind of person who gleefully voted for this amendment (and as Anonymous said, it's really really broad) will give no shits what some brewery does. I'm stereotyping here, but it's the South. "M-E-A-D" ring a bell?

    The Asheville expansion is a huge, multi-year project and probably has many signed contracts. Even if they wanted to (and I don't think they do), they probably couldn't get out of it. I WOULD really really like to see New Belgium do something like run a bottle label with a gay couple holding hands on a tandem bike or something, though.

  3. Most would call me a right-wing wacko yet I have no problem with gay people (funny how “open-minded” liberals stereotype us right-wingers). My issue is that marriage has meant one thing for thousands of years. Isn’t it a bit pompous and selfish to try to co-opt a word and change it to make a group feel better and more equal? Gay people don’t have to prove themselves to anyone by getting government approval, just live your lives and be happy. The only reason this becomes a problem is because governments use “marriage” as a legal definition and gay couple want the benefits of that definition. My question is what business is it of the governments if I (or Lance and Steve) am married or not. Government shouldn’t be in the business of making marriage laws or using marriage as a legal definition. If a gay couple wants to commit themselves to each other for life I could care less. If a business wants to give same sex benefits or not it is up to that business. If you don’t like how the business treats its employees don’t work for them or buy their product. If a gay couple wants to pass on their estate when they die it should be none of mine or the governments business. I could go in, but basically this whole fight is over a word. I find that gay. (Opps does that make me a homophobe?)