I've been reviewing beer in one form or another for about eight years. I've given breweries both large and small negative reviews, and it's been extremely rare that I ever heard back from any of them. So I thought I had seen it all. That was, until today, when two of the brewers at Lakeland Brewing Company, started a Twitter feud with me over my negative review of their beer and brewery.
the original review I mentioned that one of the brewers - Rob -
responded to some of my tweets about the beers. They were pretty
unprofessional as a whole, though I pretty much shrugged them off. This
afternoon, Rob flipped out when he saw that HypeOrlando.com had tweeted a
link to my review. He seemed to think I had somehow betrayed him
because he wanted me to come back to the brewery and have a chat with
him about beer. I politely declined and said I know plenty about beer.
I'm by no means a Grand Master BJCP or Master Cicerone, but I'm. I know
what good beer should taste like and most of what I had at LBC on Friday
was not it.
So Rob and Joe - the head brewer - decided to attack
me all afternoon on Twitter. I'm not sure why they thought this was a
smart idea, since they were going the petulant juvenile route and
resorted to name-calling and passive-aggressive threats. I'm going to
let their own Tweets do all the talking. This is an exact account of
what happened; this is not my opinion or my side of the story. Please
judge for yourself if you think this is the best way to respond to a
Warning: NSFW (also, quite lengthy).
be clear: I wasn't saying I AM a BJCP/Cicerone; I was wondering if I
was if that would change Rob's reaction to my review of his beer? He
didn't answer, so I have a feeling it wouldn't have mattered. Also, Rob
doesn't know how to read the date a blog was posted? Lastly, I never
asked for his number, he just gave it to me and no, I never texted or
I couldn't identify between an ale and a lager (that beer, in
particular), it's because the menu didn't describe the style or what it
was supposed to be. Untappd had it down as a pale lager.
Seemed like one to me, but okay fine, you got me there, I didn't know
it was a lousy ale and thought it was just a mediocre lager instead. My
Joe is clearly trying to argue a technicality. It's not like
you can taste that exact IBUs when you drink it. But again, if it's
supposed to be a pale ale and it's completely lacking in hops, it
shouldn't be surprising if the drinker thinks it's a blonde ale.
said absolutely no such thing. Where on my blog did I write that? I may
have said I'm not a professional brewer and that I don't claim to be a
connoisseur of the highest levels. He keeps referring to me as a hack
when it's not an applicable insult at all. Who exactly am I ripping off?
A friend of mine read that and said: "I
didn't get his retort either. "We're not trying to brew world class
beer, we have to understand our market". Uh.... which market is it that
doesn't want world-class or the best beer? Easy way of saying that they
don't give a shit about their quality."
He's really grasping at straws now.
It's true, I gave Orlando Brewing a pretty bad review too,
but shortly thereafter (or it might have been before), they hired a
friend of mine - who is a professional brewer for a major brewery - to
give them consultation. It was a total coincidence to be sure, but the
point is Orlando Brewing recognized they had a problem and decided to do
something to fix it. Lakeland Brewing, on the other hand, apparently
believes everything they make is perfection (yet not world class) and
I'm the only customer they've ever had that didn't like it AND it's
because I don't know anything about beer. That makes sense, right?
P.S. This whole thing does seem timely considering my recent op-ed Why Do Some Beer Enthusiasts Have No Chill?
until this point, I considered this Twitter feud as relatively harmless
and thought it was kind of funny. Once I saw this; it was on. No, no,
no, no, Rob. You do not have my permission to use my picture or likeness
in any way. You can try to claim I'm a celebrity or in the public eye
or whatever, but I don't think that's gonna fly. And also that's not
even the issue - what you put on the bar is essentially a WANTED SIGN.
Any idiot can tell this is a threat, not a joke (especially considering
the context). I'm not sure if this is even legal! Are there any lawyers or police reading this that can weigh in?
find it really creepy and disturbing that after all this time Rob still
wants me to come to his brewery so he can school me on beer. At this
point, I take that more as a threat than an invitation. If you were me
would you go to a place that has been trashing you relentlessly?
I've never claimed that anyone has ever "rolled over" for me. I don't know what he's talking about.
From here on out, Rob just goes completely insane:
love Fight Club, but even I know it's lame to use a clip from a movie
to make a threat. He's trying to be corny so that it doesn't seem like a
legitimate threat, but it gets worse:
at least he admits he's a troll. And he also apologizes for the lousy
beer (which is an admission of guilt on his part, IMO).
just wow. Yet another threat of violence. The ad-hominem attacks are
lame and childish, they don't bother me. Can't you come up with anything
No, I'm not gonna call you and no I'm not going
to let you give me a lesson on whatever it is you think you want me to
know about your beer. I stand behind my original review: YOUR BEER SUCKS!!
anyone think I should consider pressing charges against these guys for
menacing or harassment or whatever? Anyone think I should actually go there? Would you if you were me?