I’ve met Garrett Oliver before and he was quite a nice guy. He signed my book and a bottle for a friend. After the event he went to a local bar and sat down and talked with myself and a few friends for at least an hour. He didn’t have to do that but he did.
But Garrett is a very outspoken person too. Maybe more so than any other people in the craft beer community. So it stung me when I heard about the things he said about Cigar City about a year ago by saying that their Maduro Brown tasted like “dime store chocolate” and that their Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale was a blatant rip off of Brooklyn’s one time brewed Cookie Jar Porter. Despite that he was dead wrong on that accusation it didn’t need to be said. Where is the community in saying something like that?
Now Mr. Oliver has opened his mouth again about things that really didn’t need to be said in this interview with Craft Business Daily.
Conversely, I run into some craft brewers who say, ‘We don’t get respect from the local press.’ And, well, could that be because you’re dressed like a small child? And you’ve been trying to disabuse people of the idea that you’re little kids playing with fun toys? And you’re a professional. Well, all these little things matter. How do you communicate?
This to me is absolutely absurd. Okay so you want to dress in a suit and straw hat at every engagement you go to, fine. That’s your choice to do so. But we all don’t have to follow suit. Pun intended?
Him being a music fan I would think he would understand that. Punk rock took the world by storm in the 80s by not conforming and not dressing the part that musicians in the past made it seem you had to do. They didn’t give a fuck and did what they loved. They showed their passion and art through the notes that they played. Not in the threads that they wear. The same rings true for many craft brewers as they show their passion in the suds that they brew.
I can name numerous craft brewers that I never see in suit and tie at events. And many of them are from some of the biggest breweries in the country. So are you saying these people don’t deserve respect for their product just because they want to wear a t-shirt and jeans? Because they want to wear flip flops instead of loafers?
I’m sorry Garrett but step down off that soap box. Like I said if you want to wear your suits then go for it. But don’t for one second think that because other brewers don’t want to that it makes them or their art inferior.