Nine years later, and absolute power still corrupts Big Red Liquors absolutely.
Talk to NABC that way, and the Curmudgeon will write about it - now, tomorrow, and forever more, until an apology is forthcoming.
Now, for the rest of the story.
Since 2009, when New Albanian Brewing Company first began distributing our beer statewide in Indiana, we have made absolutely no effort to sell anything to Big Red Liquors. Our wholesaler in greater Indiana, Cavalier Distributing, has followed suit -- at our request. From the start, I made it clear that we wanted nothing to do with them.
The reason for this is that NABC has no desire to be partnered, whether directly or ephemerally – neither in a mercantile sense nor metaphorically in any sense – with the very same fascistic organization that massively disrespected us nine years ago, in 2003. In spite of my reputation, I hold few grudges. This is one of them.
Quite simply, I’d rather pour the beer down the drain than sell it to Big Red. I’d rather drink Miller Lite or shop at Wal-Mart than see Big Red sell our beer. You get the idea.
Yes, I understand that some will find it incredible that I’d intentionally deny my own company the opportunity to sell beer through such a large retailer. But to me, it isn’t always about money, and it also isn’t that Bloomington has been denied the chance to buy NABC. In spite of Big Red’s best efforts to corner the Bloomington market and eliminate competition, consumers there have still have some options. They can buy NABC draft at several on-premise locations, and bomber bottles at Bloomingfoods and Sahara Mart, among others.
Earlier this week, Big Red’s beer manager John Glumb – malicious co-author of NABC’s dreadful 2003 experience at Big Red’s Groveling and Supplication Fest – contacted Cavalier to request information about stocking our bomber bottles at Big Red. Obviously, I cannot ask Cavalier to refrain from doing business with Big Red in this instance. To do so might endanger their relationship with Big Red, and it’s not Cavalier’s fight. I’m not even sure my doing so would be legal, although what I’m quite sure of is this: Were I to act in a manner to prevent such transactions, I‘d be resorting to the very same strong-armed, bullying, oblivious tactics that Big Red traditionally has used in pursuit of its monopolistic aims, and since these disgust me, I shan’t.
Rather, I asked Cavalier to convey my concerns to Glumb; this was done, and he predictably responded by giggling at the past, and saying that since he has no reason to apologize to me, he’ll do as he pleases, because after all, what use is it being the 800-lb gorilla in the market if you don’t act like one?
I don’t know about you, but in my world, when someone tells me that he or she hates my guts, chances are quite good that I’ll refrain from relations with them. It’s all I’m asking of Big Red: Either apologize and make peace, or leave NABC the f**k alone. The answer would appear to be a raspberry, and Glumb probably thinks its clever.
And yet I am forever prepared to make peace and move on, and I certainly do not hold a grudge against people currently employed at Big Red, who were not on hand for the debacle of 2003. Perhaps there is a compromise solution: We’ll hold a referendum via secret ballot, and if 51% of Big Red’s employees agree with me that Glumb is a self-serving asshole, I’ll concede the point, dismantle the barricades and sign off on shipments.
In the grand tradition of “regime change now,” I’ve directed a letter to Big Red’s president asking the engorged retailer to cease and desist from purchasing NABC beers – to please just plain leave us alone – until the chief instigator Glumb either apologizes to me or is no longer employed by the company.
Isn’t that reasonable? Isn’t life too short for one to be compelled to fluff people and entities that are revolting to me? Can't they just back off?