| Beer Newspaper Outrage
by Shelly Mackenzie
Hello Bob -
I want to tell you and your readers about a recent major story that
concerned many beer folk here in my home town of Buffalo, NY and
indeed, in the country. In the February/March 2019 issue of Great
Lakes Brewing News, a regional print newspaper covering the beer
industry, publisher Bill Metzger penned a salacious column that
repeatedly demeaned women.
I had stopped in my local pub and picked up a copy of what used to
be a decent "brewspaper" to read while enjoying a pint. And then I
saw it - a front-page piece entitled "Scottish Hopping to Real Ale" in
which the main character discusses leveraging sexual contact and
using alcohol to seduce women. If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have
believed it. Take a look.
“In the age of #metoo … the pendulum has swung to far,” he writes.
“One aggressive move and a man’s career can derail … My instincts
to bed every woman I see are reducing from a king-sized mattress to
a cot.” He goes on to berate the “feminazi,” comparing himself to
Don Juan. “I’m not boasting here, but there are times when I’ve given
the legendary womanizer a run for his money,” he writes.
It doesn’t stop there. “Women need a higher level of alcohol to
overcome the social restrictions on their primal selves. After all,
women have the need-to-breed gene, too. And excess consumption
can ruin a diet,” Metzger writes. He goes on to mention Scotland’s
“manly men raiding villages and ravaging maidens,” references
“females who I would have banged,” and indicates that offering
women Scotch will “bring them running.”
I'm still looking for the part about Scottish cask ale.
My reaction mirrored most of the people who weighed in on social
media namely bewilderment, disbelief, and disgust.
Soon, the column, and Metzger, were publicly shamed. Several
breweries, including Muddy River Farm Brewery, Axle Brewing, Thin
Man Brewery, Community Beer Works, Four Mile Brewing, Granite
Brewery, Fat Head’s Brewery, and Bookhouse Brewing indicated
they will no longer advertise with or otherwise support Great Lakes
Brewing News. I say good for them and I in turn will support them
with my dollars.
Other advertisers around the country - and at least seven here in
Buffalo - pulled their support. Some regular readers showed their
scorn for Great Lakes Brewing News by burning stacks of the
newsletter or pretending to flush them down toilets.
There's more. Change.org started a petition asking brewers and
other advertisers to pull their support of the publication. It exceeded
its initial goal of 1,500 digital signatures, and the last time I checked
it had more than 2,500 signatures.
Metzger argued the character in his story wasn't himself, and that
the piece as a whole was intended to be part of a larger series of
satire. Sorry but satire is an art. Bigotry is never funny.
It saddens me to imagine a young woman new to craft beer picking
up a copy at her local beer shop or brewery and seeing this sludge
on its front page. It’s alienating, and devastating. It's not the
message we who know and love craft beer want to see.
I understand an appreciate freedom of the press as I understand my
freedom to take a stand against this sort of writing. The fact that Mr.
Metzger has supposedly resigned doesn't mean we should be any
less vigilant now and in the future.
Thanks Bob. I hope you print this just so people know that we who
love craft beer are a caring, welcoming community and do not share
the sentiments of that paper..
Thanks Shelly. You make a powerful case. I'm sure that after seeing
your report the thousands of regular readers of this column would
agree with your concerns and echo the words so eloquently said at the
end of your article - craft beer drinkers are a "caring and welcoming
Again, many thanks for sending your insightful article.
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer in any way just as Shelly did. I select the best and
publish them here. So join in and get writing!
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