Late Monday night, during a final perusal of Beer Twitter posts, I stumbled upon something truly horrific. Bill Metzger, the publisher for the Brewing News — that little once-every-two-months, regional mini-newspaper that you see scattered around breweries — had published an article in the Great Lakes edition (UPDATE: link now disabled) that could be best described as … well, horrific. It’s the one titled “Scottish Hopping to Real Ale.” (See below for a link responding to the original article.)
You only need to read the part on the front page to get the gist of how wholly inappropriate, and downright offensive, that the article is, and why it never should have been written in the first place. Heck, even just as an article about cask beers in Scotland, it is quite terrible, and deeply insulting to anyone with even an ounce of Scottish DNA in their bones.
Though Bill has since attempted to claim it was just satire in one of those non-apology-apologies, the damage has been done. Other beer writers are tackling this misogynistic catastrophe far beer than us, so we will let them do the primary talking here. So why bring it up? The National IPA Challenge, that’s why.
Originally, we were going to write a post today that breaks down the NIPAC for all the New Mexico entries. For those who need a refresher, the NIPAC is an annual competition for breweries around the country to have their IPAs compete in a bracket-style format. It is organized by, you guessed it, the Brewing News. Even as multiple breweries are pulling their advertising from the publication and demanding that it no longer be distributed in their taprooms, the beers for the NIPAC have already been shipped out.
We would not expect, nor demand, that any New Mexico brewery is suddenly going to pull its entries from the competition. It does have to give all the participants pause, however, not merely for this year, but certainly next year.
In our humble opinion, no brewery that claims to support equality can ever again associate itself with the Brewing News as long as Bill Metzger is publisher.
It is truly a shame that one man has undone the good work of many people, from the writers and editors who contribute to the publication, to everyone who has helped organize and judge at the NIPAC.
The craft brewing industry, and those industries associated with it such as the “beer media,” have taken major steps to address a lack of diversity and equality in what was traditionally a white male-dominated scene. It is clear we still have a ways to go, however.
Brandon wanted to add this: The craft beer community should be based on one thing: love and appreciation for craft beer. That has no room for racism, sexism, misogyny, or any other discriminatory behaviors.
We welcome all of your comments and input on this issue, but please, keep it civil. This is not a red-blue political issue, so let’s not make it one.
No cheers today, folks.