07 October 2009

DuClaw Replies.......

Since I was willing to put my (veiled) criticisms of DuClaw in this publicly-viewed blog, I feel that I should offer the opportunity for Duclaw to respond just as publicly.  Therefore, I am reposting a comment from this earlier blogpost as its own post, to give it the visibility it deserves:

Though it is our customary policy to not to respond to critiques of DuClaw Brewing Company in blogs, I feel it is necessary to explain why we are not participating in Baltimore Beer Week this year. As I am sure all Maryland breweries are, we are very busy trying to brew and sell beer and prepare for the BAM Oktoberfest. When the information was first given to us about the BBW, I was not quite sure what was happening. This is not to say we were not given good or appropriate information; I was just unclear as to what we were supposed to do or how we would ‘participate’. In preparing for & attending several festivals, putting on our Real Ale Fest and launching at least 3 monthly seasonals (and a special project we have been working on) since we were first informed, we just we never able to figure out how we would participate, time passed and we missed the opportunity to be a part of it this year...things simply fell through the cracks. If this sounds ‘iffy’ to you, note that our brewery staff consists of 2 people (Jim & Bo), so when many things are happening for us, it is easy for us to get overwhelmed. I do regret not participating this year, and it is our intention to be a part next year.

With all that being said, I believe your 2nd reply was completely uncalled for. We at DuClaw, as I am sure every one of the places you listed, either sponsor, promote, donate or are involved in dozens, if not hundreds of events every year. If your attempt was to ‘shame’ places into participating next year, it was not well thought out. Also, If your initial post about our Mad Bishop release was to ‘hint’ we were trying to ‘ride off the coat tails of the event’ w/o paying, all of are beer releases are planned over a year in advance.

David Benfield
DuClaw Brewing Company

Mr. Benfield, I politely respond: You state that you were left "unclear as to what we were supposed to do or how we would ‘participate’".  If that is the case, then that is possibly an issue that needs to be addressed for BBW 2010, re: the confusion in marketing between the Brewers Association of Maryland Oktoberfest and BBW.

You're not the only one coming into the situation late.  As late as last week, after all our printing deadlines,  I was fielding inquiries from two venues who had similarly let BBW slip off their radar screens and were trying to play "catch-up." Even this morning we were still adding a few just-finalized events to the online schedule on behalf of their sponsors.

I am not insinuating that DuClaw is attempting to "ride the coattails" of BBW without participating.  That doesn't apply until I see "BBW" posted in your windows, or in an e-mail or on your website.  My apologies if my attempt at humor came off wrong.

And you are not the only one who objected to my rattling off a list of other venues that, for whatever reasons, aren't participating in BBW as being in bad form or poor judgment.  (And, as it turns out, I unintentionally left off two noted venues from that list.)

So let me instead present this list.

This is a list of people/places/etc. who figured out what they were supposed to do or how to participate:

Clipper City Brewing Company
Flying Dog Brewing
Red Brick Station/White Marsh Brewing
Pratt Street Ale House/Oliver Brewery
Max's Taphouse
Brewers Art
Grand Cru
Dogfish Head Brewing
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Magic Hat Brewing
Boston Beer/Samuel Adams
Legends Limited
DOPS Distributing
The Baltimore City Paper
The 8x10
Alexander's Tavern (not mine)
An Poitin Stil
Baltimore Taphouse
Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits
Brooklyn Brewery
Chesapeake Wine Co.
Christopher Daniel Restaurant
Country Malt Group
Cross Street Irregulars Homebrew Club
Dawson's Liquors
Duda's Tavern
Evolution Craft Brewing
Fordham/Old Dominion Brewing
Honeygo Wine & Spirits
Jack's Bistro
Kooper's Tavern
Lancaster Brewing
Lures Restaurant
Mark Supik & Co.
Maryland Homebrew
Metropolitan Coffee House
Mothers Grille
Mt. Washington Tavern
Muggsy's Mug House
Otter Creek/Wolaver's Brewery
Paulaner USA
The Perfect Pour
Phillips Seafood
Pickles Pub
Pyramid Brewing
Saranac Brewing
Shawan Liquors
Society for Preservation of Beers From the Wood
Staples Corner Liquors
Starr Hill Brewing
State Line Liquors
Stone Brewing
Victoria Gastro Pub
Wharf Rat Pub
Whiskey Island Shop
The Wine Source
Wine World Beer and Spirits
Christo’s Discount Liquors
Chesapeake Real Ale Brewers Society (C.R.A.B.S.)
Frisco Grille
Hamilton Tavern
I. M. Wine
Joe Squared
Judges Bench Pub
Ryleigh’s Oyster
Swirl Wine
Troegs Brewery

These establishments, groups, or venues are the reason we are having Baltimore Beer Week.  These groups or places, for whatever reason--financial incentive, marketing opportunity, or simply a belief in or love of good beer and the experience and culture that surrounds it--have stepped up to the bar, so to speak, and worked in partnership with sellers, vendors, staff, and even hobbyists to make the next ten days Baltimore Beer Week.

So these are the folks I should be, and will be, acknowledging and paying attention to.  And I thank them all for their support.

(And just for the record, I hand-typed that list above.)


Brad said...

Hand-typed that list?
Impressive stuff :)

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Sarcasm duly noted. (And deserved.)

Occupy Terra said...

What a strange response, I guess Duclaw is embarassed about being caught with their pants down for BBW. I still love their beer, but the fact that they don't have a BBW special means I probably won't be going in there for another 10 days or so...