Among other things, COVID-19 has proven to be the most effective (albeit inadvertent) truth serum of my lifetime.
The virus is especially effective at targeting and exploiting pre-existing conditions — in the sense of an individual’s physical health, but moreover, the mores and “mental” (British usage) condition of our society overall.
Consequently, given that the American brewing business at all levels, whether macro or craft, always has been (shall we say) “diverse” socially and politically, the coronavirus has made it easier than ever before to see whether your personal system of values is compatible with the brewery (or restaurant, cafe, diner, food truck, espresso stall or weenie stand) you patronize.
The equation need not be restricted to COVID, although it exposed more than a few local operators of the narcissistic anti-science persuasion. The truth serum extends to realities like Black Lives Matter, too.
Lots of folks have operated from the assumption that “craft” beer is left/liberal/progressive matter. They’ve been mistaken. It’s never been quite that simple, and nor should we expect it to be.
The Steam Hollow Brewing situation in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder has been a staple of the Twitter feed these past few days. Rather than attempt a summary in this space, allow me to redirect you to a site called Absolute Beer, where the story is told clearly and comprehensively.
As a side note, the owners having scrubbed their social media presence, it’s not possible to check if they were science doubters during the COVID “lockdown” period.
While millions of people around the country continue to mourn and speak out against last week’s police murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, systemic racism, and police brutality, one brewery in Illinois has taken a particularly controversial stance.
Natalie White, the co-owner of Steam Hollow Brewing, based in the small town of Manteno, stated on her Facebook page: “George Floyd isn’t dead, he is a porn star/actor who knows the officer, who isn’t even a real officer. Wake the f up.”