Atlanta’s Scofflaw Brewing and the U.K.’s largest craft brewery BrewDog have landed themselves in a bit of hot water over a press release offering free beer to Trump supporters. Just who sent that press release is now anyone’s guess as both breweries are denying ownership of it.
Scofflaw posted to its Instagram and Facebook that, like BrewDog, they also had no knowledge of or signed off on the initial press release this morning. The brewery says they are working with their PR firm to “source the internal error and correct.”
Scofflaw later posted a second Instagram with a screen shot of correspondence sent by Frank (the PR company involved) retracting the original press release and stating in all caps it was “incorrect information” and not a “message from the brand.” It should be noted, however, that despite this retraction, it does not clear up who actually sent the first release and why.
The two breweries, up until this morning, were working on a set of events to launch their new partnership. Things didn’t go according to plan. Eater London reports that a press release was sent to several U.K. publications promoting the events in which one key phrase sticks out, “To get the UK ‘beered up redneck style’, completely free of charge! But there is a hook… you have to be a Trump supporter.”
The initial partnership plan was to ship Scofflaw’s Basement IPA and POG (Passionfruit, Orange and Guava) to be distributed at all of BrewDog’s 36 U.K. locations. The events (and possibly the partnership) have since been cancelled by BrewDog who claims they had no knowledge of the press release or of Scofflaw’s supposed alignment with President Trump.
It’s unclear if the original press release offering free beer to Trump supporters was sent by Scofflaw to the public relations company or if it was simply an over-eager PR person hoping to cause a little controversy to drum up interest in the events. But the damage has been done.
The Scofflaw release was announced without our knowledge or consent.— BrewDog (@BrewDog) September 27, 2018
We are in no way aligned with their position and we will of course be cancelling all the events and sending all of the beer back.
We care about beer and people. Not hate.
Following Scofflaw's Fake News earlier, we're going to run a very real promotion today - one free beer for anyone who supports LOVE not hate.— BrewDog (@BrewDog) September 27, 2018
Simply tell our staff, and enjoy a pint of Punk IPA, or any Headliner on us.
It’s public knowledge that Scofflaw has a self-confessed reputation as “trailer trash brewers” and frequently engages in irreverent or off-color humor. BrewDog’s partnership with Scofflaw dates back to 2017, so the U.K. brewery had ample time to acquaint themselves with their American counterpart.
The blowback over this publicity stunt is unsurprising given the highly volatile political atmosphere in the U.S. and in the U.K. Earlier this month, Monday Night Brewing came under fire after hosting an event for Brian Kemp — a controversial political candidate for Georgia governor.
Eater Atlanta has reached out to Scofflaw for comment on the press release and the cancellation of the events in the U.K.
Update: September 27, 2:30 p.m.: This story was updated to reflect Scofflaw’s most recent comments on the press release via social media.
Update: September 27, 11:30 a.m.: This story was updated to reflect Scofflaw’s comments on the press release via social media.