Why Shelton Brothers called out Brooklyn Brewery

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A couple readers rightfully voiced concerns over yesterday’s Shelton Brothers headline which has since been changed. Why were they right? Because I glossed over this critical bit from Shelton Brothers statement. Some of you may have read that lengthy statement word-for-word though some of you probably skimmed through it (like me) so here is the relevant snippet again:

Actually, we didn’t even know that the State had opted to make New Yorkers pay the tax until we received hate mail from the head brewer at Brooklyn Brewery, who gently informed us that we were the new “Antichrist” because Brooklyn would “lose” half a million dollars as a result of the State’s deconstruction of New York’s discriminatory tax scheme, with the consequence that he and other New York brewers would not be getting bonuses this year – and it was all our fault. He added that New York brewers would shortly be going up to Albany, the seat of New York government, tossing all of our cute little foreign brewers into a burlap sack along with a bunch of heavy rocks, and throwing them in the lake. […]

If it really is a matter of whether Brooklyn’s head brewer gets a bonus or not, New York has to decide whether it wants to give him and his colleagues that money, or use it for other essential services, like education, fire and police protection, etc., etc. I know how I’d vote on that. Unfortunately I don’t live in New York. But New Yorkers should be asking why tax breaks intended to reduce the cost of New York-brewed beers are being pocketed by some brewery big- wigs. And people are mad at us?

Granted, this could get into “he said, she said” territory pretty quickly so we won’t go too much further into it…

Shelton Brothers wasn’t necessarily right in the things it said about Brooklyn Brewery, as a whole, or for airing private correspondence publicly in this way- especially considering that Brooklyn hasn’t said much about the change in the law in the media or called out Shelton Brothers publicly. Shelton Brothers wasn’t necessarily wrong either. (It should go without saying but all of that is up to you, the reader, to decide if you so choose).

Brooklyn Brewery Co-Founder and President, Steve Hindy, will coincidentally be in the spotlight at the Craft Brewers Conference this week. He is giving the keynote speech on Thursday.

A request is out to Brooklyn Brewery for official comment on Shelton Brothers’ statement.


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