Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've Made an Ass Out of You and Me

It's like looking in the mirror.
Ah yes, assumption. The calling card of the over-confident.

I've broken a cardinal rule of journalism (Journalism? This is journalism—really?) I assumed, and proceeded to state that assumption—without evidence—publicly. That, then came back to bite me in the ass(umption). Allow me to elaborate. This past Monday, Alan posted a review of Full Sail Brewing's LTD 5 Amber Lager, in which he asked the questions:
Are national craft and regional craft at odds with each other? Was a New York craft brewer displaced by this come from away? Should that matter?
Those are valid questions. From that point he continued to review the Oregon beer quite favorably. Everything to that point was cool, until Captain Know-it -All—a.k.a, Me—popped off, in the comment section, with this gem:
I think Full Sail has a distribution agreement with AB, similar to Goose Island. That whole concept is a bit of a Catch-22, for me. On one hand I like both breweries and I'm happy I can get their beer. On the other it's just another way to feed AB and, just like you said, possibly displace a local or regional craft brewer.
Followed by this turd:
Correction, SABMiller, rather than AB. 
Therein lies the problem. Full Sail has been independently operating since, not 2007, not 1997, but in fact 1987—Making them one of Oregon's earliest established craft brewers. They are employee owned and operated and one of the largest craft breweries in the country. They are distributed to the Northeast in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts in a partnership with L. Knife & Son Companies. In the last three years, Full Sail has won 11 business/brewery awards and more than 150 beer medals and awards over the last 20 years.

Does that say "AB" or "SABMiller" anywhere? No, it does not. Does that say, "one of the largest craft breweries in the country." Yes, it does. Excuse me one moment as I remove my foot from my rather large and loud mouth. I have learned a valuable lesson today and the next time I decide to comment on something I know nothing about, I'll look before I leap. With that, I'd also like to apologize to the crew at Full Sail, again (I've already apologized on Alan's blog.) I'm sorry to involve your brewery in a conversation that was better off not being had in the first place. I am a fan of your beer and I hope to continue to be able to get your fantastic product in the future. Please—please—take me with a grain of salt. Everything but the apology, at least.

Back to the one reader I have left—If you are lucky enough to get Full Sail beers or their Session lagers, they really are worth trying. Their IPA is a real treat and it's definitely not brewed, bottled, distributed or anything else, other than by the good people of Hood River Oregon!

UPDATE: Shortly after this post was posted, I recieved a very gracious email from Irene Firmat, founder and CEO of Full Sail. She accepted my apology and then socked me in the mouth. Okay, she didn't do that last part—but I would have let her, if she asked. She did, honestly, offer to buy me a beer if I ever made out out to Hood River, and that's way more than I deserve!

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