How well does this argument hold up for the 2020 social media user?
By Jeannine Boisse
Brewery owners have a choice: share your beliefs openly through your social media channels and find allegiance in your clientele, or potentially alienate and lose respect from the other half of your following. The message can be received and even delivered terribly wrong, as seen on popular social media account Worst Beer Blog. Worst Beer Blog is a gathering of all the beer drama and gossip of the day. The account is particularly active when it comes to political posts or topics deduced by the public as political, and the madness which ensues in the comments section.
Current topics of hot debate are: the wearing of face masks in public, brewery safety protocols for social distancing, Black Lives Matter, and voting in an election year amidst a pandemic. When a brewery shares their beliefs, voting choice, values, or even health and safety rules for their establishment via social media they are apt to receive comments of approval and condemnation. Expect disapproving comments like, “stick to beer,” “I don’t come here for your politics,” or “you just lost a customer.”
Keep politics out of beer, they say. Is that argument valid? Historically speaking, beer has never been kept separate from the political sphere.
The history of beer in America is laced with political tidbits. Taverns and bars were historically great networking spots for the influential and hubs for political debate. Beer was the connector. The Founding Fathers brewed beer, and famous disruptor Samuel Adams was known to promote the consumption of American-produced beer over British Imports. Sam Adams would presumptively be a champion of the Independent Craft Brewer Seal today.
National Beer Day, celebrated on April 7th, marks the passing of the Prohibition-era Beer and Wine Revenue Act, allowing the sale of beer with 4.0% or below ABV (alcohol by volume). President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously remarked, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”
In an era of globally recognized debate over racial inequality and America’s deep history of white supremacy, there is a new beer on the market fit for discussion. Black is Beautiful, is the initiative created by San Antonio brewery Weathered Souls using beer as the bridge to awareness and the tool to fight racial injustice and advocate for police reform in our country. To date, over 900 breweries (and counting) are participating in the collaboration and donating to local and national organizations of their choosing.
Brands are using their platform, asserting their public influence, and sharing their political beliefs. If you don’t like a particular political stance, social media users have no obligation to follow. We are all within our rights to partake in discussion and debate. However, just like Samuel Adams, we have power as consumers to choose our products and the bar rooms we patronize. Now more than ever, we have the access and ability to carefully assess which brands we consume and determine if they align with our own political beliefs and values. Choose wisely.
Resources to learn more about which brands make political contributions:
At Equity Brewing Co., we believe that society will only change for the better when organizations in all industries are willing to speak up for what they believe in. Our goal at Equity Brewing has always been to promote positive social change along with making delicious beer.
Inequity exists throughout our society, and that is certainly true in the beer industry. We think that promoting diversity, access and inclusion is "sticking to beer.” Creativity and innovation come when all are welcome at the table. Great beer depends on greater equity. Beer that is vocal about being made for all can be a tool to bring us together.
As we always say, "Equity is all about value, and at Equity, our values are our guiding star."
We'd love to keep this discussion going. Our door is open to connect further on beer, politics, or just about any other topic. Email us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or interact with us on social media @equitybrewingco.