Indiana brewery owners drop contentious beer names

The owners of a northern Indiana brewery have apologized after receiving criticism for plans to label their craft beers with contentious names

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 1:25 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 3:39 PM

LAKEVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The owners of a northern Indiana brewery have apologized after receiving criticism for their plan to give their beers contentious names such as "Flint Michigan Tap Water," ''Black Beer Matters," ''White Guilt" and "Mass Grave."

Jon Duncan and Rodney Chlebek, who own the yet-to-open Lakeville Brew Crew, released a statement saying they've dropped the planned beer names, the South Bend Tribune reported.

"We neglected to put ourselves in the shoes of other people," they said. "As a result of ongoing conversations, the list of beer names has been wiped clean."

The apology came about a week after the owners announced the names, which they explained were intended to bring awareness to issues like the Flint's lead-tainted water crisis.

"If people can come and talk to us about (the names), that would be fine," Duncan said July 11. "None of this is done out of hate, none of this is done out of making fun of it."

But the announcement received overwhelmingly negative feedback. Brewers geographically closer to Flint said sparking discussion on the issues don't do enough to help the cause.

"If the intent of Lakeville Brew Crew is to raise awareness of the Flint water crisis, perhaps owners instead should encourage patrons to donate to the United Way of Genesee County's Flint Water Fund," Eternity Brewing co-owner Dayna Tran told the Detroit Free Press.

Chlebek said the criticism helped him and Duncan reflect on the names and ultimately decide to change them.

"We appreciate the honesty of all the responses that we received and hope that the public will afford us the grace to move forward while keeping a greater sense of community in mind," the statement read.

While there are no plans for the brewery to make any contributions to specifically assist Flint, the owners are exploring other philanthropic opportunities. The brewery still plans to open in Lakeville this fall with different beer names.

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