Reckless Brewery might be the most appropriately named business to ever exist, you guys — even if it doesn’t exist for much longer. The San Diego-based brewery wanted to promote sales of their black lager. They decided to run with a racism theme for their promotions because… we have no idea why, honestly. Keeping with the brand, we guess?
Whatever the case, the idea went over on social media about as well as you’d expect. When they got called out, they first doubled-down saying people who didn’t like it had no sense of humor. After major public backlash, they’re now apologizing.
But let’s go back to where the whole thing started—with a now-deleted social media post. In it, the company lamented that nobody ever gave their black beer a chance, and it was a shame since it’s actually one of the better brews. That’s an understandable sentiment. It must suck to work really hard on something you’re proud of and have nobody give it a shot.
Where they went wrong was in comparing it to discrimination against black people, jokingly reworking parts of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and using the phrase “black lagers matter.”
They then dubbed themselves the most woke brewery in town.
Name checks out.
As we mentioned before, the offensive tweet has been deleted, but that doesn’t really mean anything as far as the internet is concerned.
Screenshots are forever, folks, and this twitter user has one:
— mybeer buzz (@mybeerbuzz) March 7, 2019
The message is really an “announcement” about a name change. The brew formerly known as “Sultry Black” would now be known as “Black Lagers Matter.” Tacky choice, but probably not business-ending. Had the owner just sent out a normal announcement, we probably wouldn’t be having this screen conversation right now.
But that’s not what happened.
Instead, a message was sent out with such gems as “[the beer] has been neglected most likely because it’s black.” “I have a dream of a world beers are judged not by their color but by the content of their characters.” and “you may be an anti-black-ite.”
When people called them out about it, they doubled down. They put up another post, this time complaining that people were perpetually offended and had no sense of humor. The owner also defended the post by saying he had run the name of the beer by some of his “African American friends” and they liked it. Tweets and posts kept going out making things worse until eventually, the backlash was so large that they deleted everything.
Remember what we said about screenshots, though?
That’s when this “apology message” went out on Facebook. For those of you who play your at-home versions of “racism apology bingo” you’re about to score big. We have an “I’m just socially awkward” reasoning, a lot of playing the victim, a decent amount of complaining about how much the situation hurts his feelings, and pretty much no addressing of what was actually done, how it will be corrected, how it was wrong, or who it could have hurt.
It’s mostly about himself and how bummed out he is.
The post reads as follows:
“Yesterday I posted something and I am incredibly sorry. It was offensive to many people and I would do anything to take it back. That post is the result of me being stupid and clueless and ignorant as everyone is saying. I will accept that. But harming or offending people is truly the last thing that I intended.
I’ve never been like other people and it is a problem. I just don’t have the same ability to understand what is offensive to people the way others do. I am often socially awkward and just don’t understand people the way others do. Because of this lack of awareness I truly just didn’t understand how my post would be received. It didn’t occur to me that it would be hurtful or offensive. I definitely wouldn’t have posted it if I had.
The fact that people are calling me a racist is hurting me to the bone because I have always treated and thought about all people with equal amounts of compassion and respect regardless of race. Some people who don’t know me may think that my post indicates otherwise, and I wish there were something I could do for you all to know me as a person so that you would realize that it’s true.
There is probably no coming back from this and I am thinking that my stupid inability to understand people will result in the killing of Reckless Brewing. If that is my fate then I will accept that someone like me just shouldn’t have a business like this. I’ve let down my customers and everyone associated with my brewery. I am sorry to everyone.
This is the worst day of my life and I seem to deserve it.”
Let’s just say the apology didn’t exactly seem sincere to most people. Let’s check in with Twitter, shall we?
People are literally dying, but okay, let's make fun of BLM, social justice efforts, and the "perpetually offended".
— Robin LeBlanc, from work (@TheThirstyWench) March 6, 2019
Here's one beer lover who will never buy your swill. pic.twitter.com/r2zZVwf14W
— Mickey Bitsko (@BitskoMickey) March 8, 2019
In fairness, he did name his brewery ‘reckless’. As a marketer, you don’t always see the brand personality directly in the name.
— Patrick El (@pdl_10) March 6, 2019
Looks like they got around to deleting the tweet while I was in the middle of my response, anyone who needs to borrow the screen grab please help yourselves ???? pic.twitter.com/GHHrKkRfRF
— Lisa Is Preparing For 2020 ✊???? (@crafty_lisafl) March 6, 2019
What in the entire f*ck?!!
— Tracey Whitney (@SingItPretty) March 9, 2019
After today’s news it is hard to think of a more appropriately named brewery than Reckless Brewing Company.
Way to go jerks at @RecklessBrewing
— Bearcat on Beer (@BearcatOnBeer) March 6, 2019
He’s not new. This has been going on a LONG time and he’s been called out for similar stuff before. His previous brewery was called Wet & Reckless, same schtick. He’s just an old white dude who has terrible opinions.
— Beth Demmon (@delightedbite) March 6, 2019
So… yeah. That didn’t go well. We want your thoughts — did the initial post go too far? Was the apology sincere? Do you think they’ll survive the backlash? Do you think they should?