Deschutes Brewery, home brewing and social media

Home Brew Deschutes Portland
Pic: Torsten Kjellstrand
Deschutes Brewery does the right thing and turns to social media to respond to a critical issue. I wrote last week about how North client, Deschutes Brewery, was becoming adept in its use of social media, and once again the brewery is using social media; this time to set the story straight about some newspaper reports and to respond to comments left on web sites and beer blogs.

This story from the Oregonian about the OLCC and how a law is applied to home brewing, unfairly mentions Deschutes Brewery without the reporter having contacted anyone at the company to verify the situation, and puts the brewery in the 'between a rock and hard place' scenario. The press release that was crafted is below, and was sent out to the newspapers, beer blogs and wineries in the region to present the brewery's P.O.V.

"Deschutes Brewery has been an avid supporter of homebrewers for years, and would never do anything to jeopardize their rights. In fact, we were planning an event to celebrate homebrewing during which our brewers would brew on a home system at our pub and homebrewers would bring their beer to our pub to be discussed, tasted and critiqued. We contacted the OLCC to ensure we were not violating any regulations. Now it seems that the OLCC has resurrected a dormant law regarding homebrewers, much to the dismay of the brewing community, including Deschutes Brewery. We have always felt that passion for craft beer starts at home and we support homebrewers all across the United States. We are always happy to fulfill homebrewer requests for clone recipes, hops and raffle items for homebrew competitions. We also sponsor the Porter category at the American Homebrewers Association’s National Homebrew Competition each year.

Gary Fish, president and founder of Deschutes Brewery, said:

“The real story is that Deschutes Brewery contacted the OLCC to ensure that a homebrewers forum we were planning during American Craft Beer Week was legal. Given the rules we are bound to as licensee of the OLCC and as a responsible member of the brewing community, we always want to make sure that we understand the intricacies of the OLCC’s regulations. After a three-minute conversation with an OLCC representative, we were told that the agency would call us back with further information. This never happened, and the planned event was dropped as a result.

“The bottom line is that we were attempting to create an event celebrating homebrewing, and our roots in this culture. We were never contacted by any media outlets to clarify this story and the reasons for our inquiry. We hope that these OLCC laws will change in the near future, as recent coverage has suggested, and that homebrewers can continue to share their creations with the world.”

Deschutes Brewery strongly believes in the value and importance of homebrewing, and will continue to support homebrewers whole-heartedly in the future."