On Friday afternoon American Craft Beer received a statement from Flying Dog Brewing concerning their decision to exit the Brewers Association.
The brewery’s action to end their 26 year relationship with the Boulder, Colorado-based not-for-profit was based on their opposition on the trade organization’s newly implemented Advertising and Marketing Code which the brewery sees as infringing on their freedom of expression.
American Craft Beer thinks that issues of censorship and freedom of speech are of vital importance to our industry…and for that reason we’ve included the entire statement from Flying Dog.
Flying Dog, the 32nd largest craft brewery in the country, terminated its membership in the Brewer’s Association effective June 1, 2017. Freedom of expression and free enterprise are not only what created our vibrant and robust craft beer industry, they are also core principles for Flying Dog. It seems the BA does not share those values, and wants to eliminate from the market any beer with labels they find disagreeable.
The BA’s new Marketing and Advertising Code is nothing more than a blatant attempt to bully and intimidate craft brewers into self-censorship and to only create labels that are acceptable to the management and directors of the BA. By contrast, Flying Dog believes that consumers are intelligent enough to decide for themselves what choices are right for them: What books to read, movies to watch, music to listen to, or beers to consume (and whether or not they like the labeling).
BA president Bob Pease’s assurance to Flying Dog that the BA has “no issue with any Flying Dog brand” entirely missed the point. In a six-page letter to Pease, Flying Dog made its position clear: On principle, Flying Dog will never contribute to, support, or in any way sanction any organization that is so averse to freedom of expression that it actively engages in any form of censorship. And with that letter, Flying Dog ended its 26-year relationship with the BA.
And you can read Flying Dog’s articulate views on censorship and the complete termination announcement that CEO Jim Caruso sent to the Brewers Association’s President and CEO Bob Pease on Friday HERE