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 Message Boards » » Wicked Weed sells out to AB INBEV Page 1 [2] 3, Prev Next  
jbrick83
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Breweries are pulling out of the Funkatorium Invitational left and right (7 total right now...would expect to see more). Other popular breweries are also saying they will no longer collaborate with them. Hopefully it's just the beginning.

5/4/2017 10:41:30 AM

TKE-Teg
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^interesting


Quote :
"I'd say the top five breweries in NC (again, I heavily prefer sours) are:

1. Fonta Flora, Moganton NC - hands down the best, most creative beer in the state.

2. Wicked Weed, Asheville NC - I'm going by sheer quality/variety here if I were to sit down and drink at Funkatorium all day, I'd have a lot to choose from.

3. The Sour Barn, Wilmington, NC - Really up and coming - excellent sours and a good variety.

4. Steel String, Carrboro NC - They've been putting out some great stuff and are upping their sour program (Poor Laurie was amazing, all NC grain aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels)

5. Bond Brothers, Cary NC - their kettle sours may be controversial to sour purists but I love them and I love what they're doing with lactose to make their beers creamier.

I also have to mention Haw River Farmhouse Ales and Deep River among my favorites but not really for sours specifically."


All depends on your tastes I suppose, but I don't see how being really good at one niche style (sours, for example) makes one the best in state.

I found sours pretty novel 4-5 years ago but quickly grew tired of them. And I've never been a fan of anything hoppier than an extra pale ale. One can be a beer connoisseur while still shunning such things.

[Edited on May 4, 2017 at 10:48 AM. Reason : page 2]

5/4/2017 10:47:31 AM

ViolentMAW
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Yea "high profile" can mean a few things. It's obvious that WW was my favorite NC brewery and what I think most outsiders view as the best.

Goose Island beers are trash to me. I do like Matilda but their base line, especially the soapy IPA are no gos. I wonder if it was this way before or after their purchase. After they were bought, their beers just starting showing up everywhere for obvious reasons. People drank them and some determined they were good because it was different or some shit. I think sours do have potential to become even more popular. Also, when are they going to stop strategically buying medium sized craft operations? I assume this will keep going until they have most of the craft market share and intend to push out larger craft breweries like Sierra Nevada by pushing their local take overs.

I really need to try Haw River, it's right down the road!

[Edited on May 4, 2017 at 10:50 AM. Reason : .]

5/4/2017 10:48:16 AM

jbrick83
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^^ They started off being very good at one niche...but they've been more than that for a few years now. They've put out some very popular stouts (Dark Arts, Dark Age, Milk and Cookies, Paraiso, etc) and some very good IPAs/PAs as well (Pernicious and Freak of Nature are highly sought after).

I'd also say it might be tough to be a connoisseur if you don't like two of the major styles of beer. You can't just drink stouts and lagers and say you're an expert.

[Edited on May 4, 2017 at 10:54 AM. Reason : .]

5/4/2017 10:53:56 AM

ncsuallday
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I think if I redid my list to include other styles WW would still be up there for the reasons you mentioned. They make some really balanced pales/IPA where other breweries are stuck on the "let's throw as much hops as we fucking can into this shit" mentality.

Deep River and Foothills have great takes on the more traditional styles. Brewery Bhavana has done some really unique Belgian-influenced stuff for such a new place. I still think Haw River and Steel String are still up there too. I guess you could throw in Trophy - but I think their one-off's are where they really shine (Monkey Way was incredible).

5/4/2017 11:10:06 AM

jbrick83
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Ouch...the Rare Barrel with the dramatic facebook post in relation to WW selling out:



Other good ones from yesterday:







[Edited on May 4, 2017 at 12:28 PM. Reason : .]

5/4/2017 12:24:46 PM

dmspack
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Quote :
"I mean when I see new beer locally from places like Burial or Highland I buy it regardless just to try it, I never feel that way with WW."


yes, burial is one of my favorites

5/4/2017 12:28:28 PM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
"I'd also say it might be tough to be a connoisseur if you don't like two of the major styles of beer. You can't just drink stouts and lagers and say you're an expert."


lol, how did we go from me not liking 2 styles of beer, to meaning that I only like 2 styles of beer, period?

5/4/2017 12:32:01 PM

jbrick83
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Because I said so!

5/4/2017 12:32:52 PM

TKE-Teg
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5/4/2017 12:34:08 PM

TreeTwista10
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There are way too many good local breweries for me to give a shit about this particular one selling out

5/4/2017 3:09:04 PM

UJustWait84
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This thread makes me happy I don't live in NC anymore.

5/4/2017 3:26:56 PM

JP
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^^

5/4/2017 3:29:55 PM

Money_Jones
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^^^

5/4/2017 4:07:52 PM

Jeepin4x4
Cam Time Steamroller
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this story didn't surprise me in the least.

5/4/2017 4:13:33 PM

EMCE
balls deep
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y'all motherfuckers are really going to post up in this thread, acting like you weren't pounding Milwaukee's Best to the face last weekend?

5/4/2017 5:07:45 PM

TerdFerguson
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Bruh, those were barrel-aged lime-a-ritas.

5/4/2017 5:44:32 PM

EMCE
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5/4/2017 6:02:41 PM

BJCaudill21
Not an alcoholic
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I usually drink bud light if I'm tailgating or whatever, drinking a lot for a long period or time. I don't like really hoppy bitter beers so the one time I tried a few WW beers I didn't like them, but it's probably good this happened. Otherwise, I don't know that I'd ever know ABs whole scheme and pressure they put on places to take so many taps and whatever. I'm going to try to stop buying anything from them, I guess, was the point of this post..

5/4/2017 6:30:43 PM

NyM410
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Fonta Flora has way too many earthy beers for my taste. Absolutely creative but not my favorite. Actually think Catawba puts out more quality small batches..

[Edited on May 4, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Reason : X]

5/4/2017 7:30:15 PM

Nighthawk
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Quote :
""I'd say the top five breweries in NC (again, I heavily prefer sours) are:

1. Fonta Flora, Moganton NC - hands down the best, most creative beer in the state.

2. Wicked Weed, Asheville NC - I'm going by sheer quality/variety here if I were to sit down and drink at Funkatorium all day, I'd have a lot to choose from.

3. The Sour Barn, Wilmington, NC - Really up and coming - excellent sours and a good variety.

4. Steel String, Carrboro NC - They've been putting out some great stuff and are upping their sour program (Poor Laurie was amazing, all NC grain aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels)

5. Bond Brothers, Cary NC - their kettle sours may be controversial to sour purists but I love them and I love what they're doing with lactose to make their beers creamier.

I also have to mention Haw River Farmhouse Ales and Deep River among my favorites but not really for sours specifically.""


Wow to each their own, but most of these I've either never heard of or were never impressed enough to consider them top five in the state. Hell I live within walking distance of Steel String and while I like going there, I find them inconsistent as fuck. Big Mon can be alright some times and downright terrible other times. They have some truly great beer, but their consistency is lacking as the same beer can taste like shit within a week or two. That said I have been a fan since the start, but definitely wouldn't put them top five in NC and maybe not even number one in Chapel Hill/Carrboro. As to the rest of the list, you ignored Duck Rabbit, Natty Greene, Foothills, Highland and Big Boss.

Thanks for the reminder about Haw River. Saxapahaw is a short drive from here but I never remember to put that on the list when I want to go hit up a brewery. Heard good things though.

5/4/2017 8:29:48 PM

ncsuallday
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Quote :
"As to the rest of the list, you ignored Duck Rabbit, Natty Greene, Foothills, Highland and Big Boss."


I agree to each their own and I agree that Steel String has some kinks to work out but I applaud their creativity.

So imho Duck Rabbit isn't noteworthy other than a milk stout that I don't care for; Natty Greene is probably my example for worst brewery in NC, Foothills I mention in my followup post about a good non-sour producing brewery - people's porter is an amazing beer; I've gone to Big Boss since it was Edwnton Brewing and called Horneyblows Tavern (sp?) and while they paved the way for a lot in the raleigh beer scene, I don't like the beers they distribute, but can say they've really upped their one-off game with the expansion they did. The eggnog winter ale they did was stellar and they're dabbling in some other new stuff that's good.

There are several breweries in NC that make textbook versions of classic styles that I can't really fault but they don't do anything that make me want to call my friends and make a special trip to try. Highland, Fullsteam, Red Oak, etc. fall into that category for me.

Neuse river, sub Noir and wooden robot are others that have impressed me lately

[Edited on May 4, 2017 at 8:57 PM. Reason : Cell phone beer snobbery ]

5/4/2017 8:47:06 PM

thegoodlife3
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Natty Greene's is indeed the worst, relatively speaking

5/4/2017 9:03:06 PM

SuperDude
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I find Mother Earth to be the best brewery in the state. Got many different styles that are absolute quality.

5/4/2017 11:35:31 PM

thegoodlife3
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Red Oak gets props for being among the first, but that's about it. there is nothing special about their beer.

CBC has run laps around them for a decade plus.

5/4/2017 11:40:58 PM

SuperDude
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Red Oak is manna from heaven!

For what it's worth, I figure that Red Oak Bavarian Lager and OMB Copper is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for their brewery's meeting their production caps. They're just so easy drinking that it's an easy choice for restaurants to carry them. I guess if I was supporting local, I'd take it over a Yuengling.

5/4/2017 11:46:03 PM

thegoodlife3
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Red Oak is an ok starter beer, but compared to what our state has to offer??

man.

5/4/2017 11:54:02 PM

TreeTwista10
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we're in agreement that this is clearly the best, right?

5/5/2017 1:42:36 AM

KeB
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Come to find out, Wicked Weed was bankrolled by one of the founder's parents. The Dad is one of the founders of Guthy-Renker which owns Proactiv Solution.

And now it's sad to now know that it didn't have to go down like this. It's not like Wicked Weed wasn't already making money as a business but it does shed some light into how they were to grow the business the way they have in the past four years. And with the financial support they had they could have actually done a lot of good in working with the the industry in fighting the "self distribution" legislation and companies like AB InBev trying to push out the independent small time craft breweries. But now knowing where they came from, this should have been seen coming from a mile away...



[Edited on May 5, 2017 at 1:56 AM. Reason : Daddy needed to see return on his investments!!!]

5/5/2017 1:43:23 AM

jbrick83
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I'd have to put Foothills on any of my top 5 NC lists. The Jade IPA is delicious (Hoppyum is also solid), People's Porter is great and the Sexual Chocolate is top-notch.

5/5/2017 6:51:43 AM

Money_Jones
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^agreed, Foothills is probably my current favorite from NC. For any IPA fans, they've been putting out a 12-pack called the Hop-Box, which has Jade, Hoppyum, Seeing Double, and a seasonal which has been the Pilot Mountain recently, it's fantastic. Apparently it's the only way to get Seeing Double in a 12 oz bottle, and the packaging is really cool looking too

5/5/2017 7:04:29 AM

wdprice3
BodyCountTooLow
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Foothills is #1. Fo sho.

5/5/2017 7:40:24 AM

Dynasty2004
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Quote :
"
Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas

By now, I’m sure many of you have heard this news. For me, it’s way more difficult than I would have imagined. Wicked Weed Brewing makes damn good beer. To say we at Luna love their beer is a gross understatement. Through dedication, hard work, and perseverance, Wicked Weed become incredibly successful in a very short time. As a North Carolinian, I consider Wicked Weed a gem in our state’s crown—bragging rights to my West Coast friends, which allowed me to say, “Y’all aren’t the only ones who have phenomenal craft breweries”.

But alas, success is something far different from greed. A very long time ago, Anheuser Busch, too, applied dedication, hard work, and perseverance to become successful. But that success morphed into power. And greed compelled them to use that power politically to tilt the regulatory playing field heavily in their favor. This has had profound effects on our economy, society, and even public health. They have lobbied heavily to crush the burgeoning entrepreneurs who founded the very craft beer industry they’re now buying into.

It goes without saying, Anheuser Busch InBev is not a company Luna can get behind. For us, craft beer is a movement that is community oriented—one that acts and stands in direct opposition to companies like Anheuser Busch. For us, the ethics of the craft brewery is of importance equal to the quality of its beer. When Wicked Weed decided to sell itself to AB Inbev, it ceased to be a craft brewery. For that reason, we will discontinue our Wicked Weed offerings. We hope you understand, and know that fortunately, there are dozens more fantastic NC craft breweries available to take its place."


This pretty much sums up my thoughts. I would love to see the numbers this week.



[Edited on May 5, 2017 at 8:35 AM. Reason : Nope it doesnt embed]

5/5/2017 8:34:30 AM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
"Natty Greene's is indeed the worst, relatively speaking"


I suppose I agree that most of their beers are forgettable. However their Red Nose winter ale is nothing to sneeze at.

5/5/2017 8:35:53 AM

LudaChris
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Not a huge fan of Foothills but I feel like you could ask any Craft Beer drinker in NC and probably get a different top 5, everyone has their own preferences.

I also feel like my top 5 is always changing based on recent releases and what my current mood is.

I really wish One World out of Asheville would bottle/can some of their stuff, probably right behind Burial for me when it comes to my top Asheville breweries but can't get any of their stuff around here.

Also, Natty Greene's is still better than Aviator.

[Edited on May 5, 2017 at 8:39 AM. Reason : .]

5/5/2017 8:38:48 AM

Dynasty2004
Bawls
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everything is better than Aviator

5/5/2017 8:45:36 AM

ENDContra
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They lost me when they were selling a single 22oz bottle for $45.

5/5/2017 12:16:47 PM

RawWulf
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1. Trophy
2. Foothills
3. Ponysaurus
4. High Wire
5. Bond Bros.

5/5/2017 1:52:43 PM

raiden
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lol at this thread.

every one of those breweries talking shit would sell their shit if a big enough check was given to them.

5/7/2017 8:51:19 AM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"every one of those breweries talking shit would sell their shit if a big enough check was given to them.

"


Seeing that AB-InBev has tried to purchase tons of breweries and has only succeeded in getting maybe a dozen decent ones...that's just untrue.

5/7/2017 12:37:18 PM

KeB
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So over 50+ of 70 breweries have pulled out of the WW Funkatorium Invitational Charity event and word on the webs is that there is alternative event being planned the same day. Should be intetesting to watch the craft beer community nationwide pull together for this and watch WW end up having to cancel due to participation.

5/7/2017 11:09:24 PM

KeB
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Quote :
"lol at this thread.

every one of those breweries talking shit would sell their shit if a big enough check was given to them."


you were saying....



[Edited on May 7, 2017 at 11:19 PM. Reason : ...]

5/7/2017 11:13:12 PM

Nighthawk
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^^The Annual Virgina Craft Brewers Festival was held at Devils Backbone for five years. After InBev bought them out they only had a couple months so they had to still hold it at Devils Backbone Basecamp but DB was not able to participate. Lulz

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/amid-deal-with-anheuser-busch-craft-brewery-gets-kicked-out-of-its-own-festival/2016/08/12/afcfcc84-5fec-11e6-8e45-477372e89d78_story.html?utm_term=.dbd5f53c7700

They moved it to Charlottesville after that.

[Edited on May 8, 2017 at 11:02 AM. Reason : ]

5/8/2017 11:02:13 AM

raiden
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Quote :
"big enough check"

5/8/2017 5:40:26 PM

skankinande
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Quote :
"3. The Sour Barn, Wilmington, NC - Really up and coming - excellent sours and a good variety."


This isn't even a brewery but a satellite location of broomtail which is good but not even the best in Wilmington which has a booming brewery scene.

5/8/2017 10:41:53 PM

BubbleBobble
Terminated :3
106881 Posts
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Sad!

5/8/2017 10:59:21 PM

ncsuallday
Sink the Flagship
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^^I know it's an offshoot but I think their shit is great and anything they bottle flies off the shelf. Their brewmaster/owner guy is a chemist (hydrologist?) and actually spends a lot of time altering the water they brew with to make it chemically identical to German/Belgian towns. Not sure if it helps, but it's unique.

What else is good for sour/wild/cask/barrel-aged in Wilmington - I'd love to try more stuff around there.

[Edited on May 9, 2017 at 12:16 AM. Reason : trimmed the novel]

5/9/2017 12:14:12 AM

KeB
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So when Goose Island was bought out, a lot of the brewers left to start their own craft breweries so I hope we will be seeing some new ones popping up around Asheville.

First former employee to speak out, albeit it was before the buyout...

https://www.wickedweedsoldout.com/ (I wish I would have thought to buy that web address damnit! Maybe AB Inbev would have bought it from me)


Quote :
"

An Open Letter to Wicked Weed:

Dear Rick, Ryan, Luke and Walt,
Let me start by saying I loved working for you. For four years I looked up to your business acumen and craft beer concepts. I was proud to wear, serve and represent Wicked Weed. I enjoyed going to work for a man who knew my name and a company that seemed to echo my personal values and those of Asheville.
How quickly it all changed. I left in December citing an increasingly corporate atmosphere and a declining quality of food. The company I signed on to work for would not have tried to marginalize my health coverage for its bottom line. Ultimately this is why I left.
I reject the notion that I owe anything to a former employer. I am thankful for the past 4 years, and the nice jacket I have to show for it, but I feel very strongly about this sell-out and refuse to sit idly and mince words. I know there are people who feel similarly but are unable to voice their opinions. (If you work for Wicked Weed or Guthy-Renker you are forbidden from posting negatively about the company on social media.) While I understand this policy, it seems awfully suspect if you’re doing good business all the time.
When I moved to Asheville, seven years ago I was amazed at the degree to which the town’s citizens preached “Buy Local”. Bumper stickers, shirts, and whole weeks dedicated to featuring different aspects of downtown commerce. It’s a great idea, but it takes everyone actually following through and putting their money into local products. Asheville does it as well as any community. Asheville is very proud of this. Even still, we all buy and consume corporately branded products. Yet, craft beer is different. I can’t purchase a car from a local auto manufacturer or fill it up with local petroleum. I can however choose to spend my bar money on locally made beer that resonates with the community whether it’s due to the ingredients, the atmosphere its served in or the charitable cause a portion of the beer goes to. When you chose to sell your brand to Anheuser-Busch, you decided that local no longer mattered. This wasn’t your decision to make. You had an opportunity to prevent another big corporation from infiltrating downtown Asheville. The floodgates will open soon. This was a poor choice of precedent for the community. It didn’t have to be this way.
In 2013 I sat in beer class put on by Wicked Weed that taught me about the inevitable decline of microbreweries purchased by macro-beer. YOU taught me this lesson and you know exactly where your brand is headed.
This is not a “partnership”. It is a SELL OUT. I’m tired of seeing all this In-Bev propaganda on social media spinning it as a “partnership’. It's cute you want the employees to bond together and talk about how great their work family is. It was a work family, but corporate encouragement to perpetuate “family” on social media puts a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. It’s nice that your managers now have a down payment on their first house with the $10,000 bonus they are receiving for remaining positive. It’s really contrived when its all suggested and sponsored by Anheuser-Busch for their benefit. Lets be clear, this sell out is not “good for the community” it’s “good for the brand of Wicked Weed.” There are 20 other breweries in town and none of them did this. You told them they didn’t matter when you chose to be the first sell out. Asheville knows this wasn’t a necessary evil and that’s hard to swallow. You put YOUR brand above your community and that is both irresponsible stewardship and a collective slap of the face to everyone who works within local infrastructure. This isn’t good for Highland, Wedge, Pisgah or Burial, this is good for Rick, Ryan, Luke and Walt.
Walt, once you described the culture between local Asheville breweries to me as a brotherhood and not a competition. This wasn’t a move of brotherly love, this was a move of competition.
I feel bad for my former coworkers. They’re caught in between. They want to believe you, but you just sold Wicked Weed to a multinational corporation. I’m disappointed they don’t get to work for you anymore, Rick. You were a great leader, until you were faced with an uncertain future. Instead of betting on your brand and the people that raised it from the ground, you took the easy way out. That’s how I will remember you.
Rick, I had envisioned a world where I return to Asheville with future generations and sat down for a pint of Freak at the end of the bar, pointed at a picture of you to my children and say “See that man, he was a pioneer. He took on big beer and it wasn’t easy but everyone respects him for not selling out.” I loved what I thought you stood for Rick, I didn’t think it was the path of least resistance.
Its time I hopped down off this tall Clydesdale. I do wish you all well. I hope the quality of beer doesn’t decrease, the employees get to pick the music in the bar and that Wicked Weed gets nationally distributed.

I wish you hadn’t taken the easy way out.

Sincerely,

Jed S. Holmes"


[Edited on May 9, 2017 at 12:59 AM. Reason : .]

5/9/2017 12:49:52 AM

TreeTwista10
PartyFanaticColonel
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fuckin millennials

you worked for a beer company, not a damn world hunger organization

[Edited on May 9, 2017 at 12:56 AM. Reason : .]

5/9/2017 12:55:05 AM

beatsunc
All American
9201 Posts
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corporations are people too

5/9/2017 6:31:39 AM

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