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Author Topic: Blvd Brewing and Harassment  (Read 551 times)

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Offline beastiefan2k

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Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« on: January 27, 2021, 02:00:10 AM »
https://www.reddit.com/r/TheBrewery/comments/l3h005/boulevard_brewing_co_and_women/

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/boulevard-brewing-company-fires-executive-vows-change-amid-harassment-claims

https://www.facebook.com/hillaryd7/posts/10221830528810602

I used to live in Kansas and was a big fan of Blvd Brewing, the beer and the brewery culture. It is the type of brewery many of us fell in love with; started from nothing and full of characters that cared about beer. They also made, imo, high-quality beer. However, I moved away in 2013 which is when they sold to Duvel. Over these years the beer quality has definitely decreased (except for Saison Brett) while the amount of seasonals and prices have increased. I kept trying to excuse this by thinking to myself that this is how it has to be. If you want to grow, you got to change. More importantly, reading this stuff was hard to believe since I knew some of the folks that worked there. The local beer geeks were even allowed to have beer tastings at the brewery. They always did right when they made the rare infected batch of beer. After reading all this I started checking who is left at the brewery that I knew and found out that it was no one. None of the old guard is working at the brewery. This was a big sign for me that the these reports are indeed representative and it wasn't just the beer changing but the culture has changed.

This to me is a giant blinking sign after many smaller ones. A lot about this craft beer scene has been bastardized and much of craft brewing has lost its soul. Yeah, they keep the brand names and make the beer appear to represent an anti-establishment ideal. They also don't have to literally sell out like Blvd but just get manipulated into putting the business before the people. And, while none of this is a new notion, it really underscores a lot of the things many of us complain about. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The beer is designed to sell rather than be made for the sake of making something worthwhile. It's all about the bottom line rather than a cultural shift. I am not naive to the way the world works and what it takes to stay afloat in the beer business. But I feel really lucky to have been part of the scene before it became a gimmick. This reinforces that, to me, it was more about the people (whether fellow drinkers or people in the beer business) than about the beer. I'd rather have a mediocre beer made by a novice brewer trying his best than have an above average beer brewed by the soulless shells of so-called craft breweries. Because when you make it about people there is no way you could treat people like the experiences of the women in the links above.

I'll still keep drinking beer and I will be more than happy to overpay for breweries like HotD who have maintained the same priorities since day one. But I will become even more hesitant to give my money to beer businesses. I rarely buy anything from macro-owned craft breweries (or crafty breweries, which is why I love to shit on BCS). I may have to expand my circle to the entire Duvel portfolio (not that I blame every person across their brands) and other similar mid-tier sized breweries.

I'll step off my soapbox and appreciate if more than 2 guys on this board made it through this overly wordy and tangential post.   

« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 02:03:52 AM by beastiefan2k »

Online howardf

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2021, 06:37:30 AM »
Read every word, and the reddit post.  I don't know that I can lay this at Duvel's feet, I doubt anyone at the CXO level knew anything about this before it turned into a negative publicity shitstorm.  I think any time you have a business that's primarily male, some of this shit gets to fester.  It takes strong men to get shitty with the assholes to make it stop.  Any time any level of leadership is saying "boys will be boys", it's time to get the fuck out.

Offline fRed Scare

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2021, 11:29:42 AM »
It turns out the Beer Bros were inside the house the whole time.
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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2021, 11:52:38 AM »
Sounds like HR is directly to blame for not taking reports of harassment seriously. Also, who knew about it and did nothing at the executive level? Toxic workplace culture sucks, and I can only imagine how much worse it would be on the receiving end of harassment by a supervisor or anyone.

Nothing that I read spelled it out that leadership is to blame, but how could they not know?

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2021, 12:03:04 PM »
well, some executive got fired

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/boulevard-brewing-company-fires-executive-vows-change-amid-harassment-claims

Interesting that their first reaction was "we looked into it, we're good", and nothing truly happened until that wasn't enough.  Doesn't sound like they're actually taking the situation seriously.  Even then, an unnamed executive was fired.  Were they in charge of HR?  Were they aware of the circumstances and buried it?  Or just some scapegoat?

Offline BryanC

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2021, 12:20:45 PM »
That was kind of my thought too.  “Oh, the story is getting publicity now?  Well shit, I guess we better take it seriously.”  If you wanted me to believe this was a surprise you should have done something when the employee told you about it, not when she complained about it publicly.

Offline beastiefan2k

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2021, 01:01:06 PM »
Read every word, and the reddit post.  I don't know that I can lay this at Duvel's feet, I doubt anyone at the CXO level knew anything about this before it turned into a negative publicity shitstorm.  I think any time you have a business that's primarily male, some of this shit gets to fester.  It takes strong men to get shitty with the assholes to make it stop.  Any time any level of leadership is saying "boys will be boys", it's time to get the fuck out.
Yes, I do not blame Duvel management for harassing people. However, they chose the new management, their policies led to the change in people at Blvd, and they have the most power to prioritize people over the lure of money.

Offline beastiefan2k

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2021, 01:05:40 PM »
That was kind of my thought too.  “Oh, the story is getting publicity now?  Well shit, I guess we better take it seriously.”  If you wanted me to believe this was a surprise you should have done something when the employee told you about it, not when she complained about it publicly.
It still looks like they are sweeping things under the rug. A single executive is not the sole person to blame, something like this includes numerous people that are complicit.

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2021, 02:49:53 PM »
well, some executive got fired

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/boulevard-brewing-company-fires-executive-vows-change-amid-harassment-claims

Interesting that their first reaction was "we looked into it, we're good", and nothing truly happened until that wasn't enough.  Doesn't sound like they're actually taking the situation seriously.  Even then, an unnamed executive was fired.  Were they in charge of HR?  Were they aware of the circumstances and buried it?  Or just some scapegoat?

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Offline beastiefan2k

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Re: Blvd Brewing and Harassment
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2021, 08:22:52 PM »