Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tierney: "Sorry we disagree on the Forecastle news-release."

The topic is Insider Louisville's writer Michael Tierney's two recent pieces about Sierra Nevada's (California, North Carolina, etc) sponsorship of the Forecastle music festival (held in Louisville).

Let's review.

First, Tierney's Sierra Nevada-Fluffs-Forecastle, and I do the insider "leaking" around here, and my reply: Seriously, local brewers enjoy being thrown under the bus.

Then, Tierney's labored explanation and lengthy rumination as to which non-local musicians can best help achieve trickle-down nirvana, followed by my observation that when it comes to Forecastle, Sierra Nevada and conveniently variable localism, some dudes desperately needing an editor just can't seem to find a clue.

Somewhere between Tierney's first and second unsuccessful efforts to argue that we must always kill localism to save it, he authored a message addressed to NABC, via Facebook.

Sorry we disagree on the Forecastle news-release, I found the news exciting for all of Louisville, and from an "inside" perspective know that Sierra was a major part in booking this year's headliner, who is supposedly going to be huge... we'll have to see.

In regards to beer-writing, I would like to include the brewery in a business piece I've been working on, with a much more serious tone than a news-release. If you'd like to submit information for a basis of comparison to the other craft beers in the state (BBC, West Sixth, Alltech, Against the Grain, Falls City) please feel free to answer the questions below. I tried to contact you all from the website, but never heard back.

1. What's your current brewing capacity at?

2. How many bottles did you ship out last year?

3. Any big plans for new-beers or facilities in 2013?

4. What's your relationship to Kentucky craft beers, and the Kentucky Brewers Guild?

5. Is there an advantage to being across the river from the city?

6. What's your all's most popular beer?

That's all if interested in being included in the analysis...


P.S. I had my first visit to the brewery and just finished a sixer of your Ale sponsored by Sam Adams. Enjoyed both.

My reply follows, as fashioned to post here:

Your previous posts at Insider Louisville about a lack of support for local music seemed to indicate that you understand the over-arching notion of localism, at least to some extent. Then you wrote about West 6th IPA and the Holy Grale's mention in Draft, and while flawed in terms of historical perspective, these articles at least suggested that while you have a great deal to learn, you might come to understand localism in the context of craft beer, too.

But with the Forecastle fluff piece, you essentially regressed to this: While local beer and local music are important, if Forecastle can use California beer to bring in national music and throw local beer under the bus, then that’s great. Your cliched win-win-win shtick ignores one basic fact: Whether it’s ABInbev or Sierra Nevada, if independent small brewers cannot be a part of the equation because we can’t afford pay-to-play as usual in such venues, then it IS NOT A WIN for us. We are EXCLUDED either way.

I’m sorry that you sent a message to the website and didn’t get a reply, although at the same time, if you knew anything at all about local beer, you’d know how incredibly easy it is to get in touch with me. What you don’t seem to grasp is that given your nonchalance about local beer in the Forecastle equation (i.e., too bad about brewing indies so long as we music fans get what we want), and taking into consideration your beer writing track record so far, which is profoundly underwhelming owing to a basic absence of factual knowledge and seeming unwillingness to acquire it, I can’t say that I really want you writing about us. Twice or thrice bitten, quadruple shy.

On the other hand, if you’d genuinely like to try and see this issue from another side, spend some time with a local brewery, and take a stab at actually learning something, then I’ll consider hosting you for a day in our shoes.

It’s up to you. I'll do my best to inform you, but you must want to be informed.

Right now, I've precious little interest in either Forecastle or Sierra Nevada, especially the latter. If Sierra's going to start acting like ABInBev and spend money to exclude indies in this way, I suppose it’s finally time after two decades or more for me to wean myself from being a fan of theirs. It isn’t like we don’t have a dozen regional breweries as good, albeit unable to play that corporate money game.

That's where it stands. Note that another of Tierney's "insider" scoops since this story broke is that local breweries will indeed have a place at Forecastle. We'll have to wait and see.


David Kahl said...

"Just finished a sixer of your ale sponsored by Sam Adams". Classic...dude, that's New Albion. Nice try?

The New Albanian said...

I'm so happy you noticed that! I decided to save it for the next time he annoys me, trusting of course that he wouldn't be reading this.