A Milkwaukee beer maker known for crowdsourcing new beers is reconsidering the policy after a beer with the name for a sexual assault reference was a finalist in the latest online competition.
Henry Schwartz, the CEO of MobCraft brewery, apologized Tuesday, after a user-provided beer idea called “Date Grape” was a finalist for one of the brewery’s new drinks.
The craft brewery, which opened this year, fans can vote on new beer recipes and names each month. Previous winners have included Hop Shoemaker– an ale spiced with apple and cinnamon, and a blueberry-spiked wheat beer called Breakfast Waffle. But this month, the crowdsourcing process took a different turn when Jeremy Bergener submitted an idea for a beer made with grape juice and dates. He called the brew “Date Grape,” and it was one of December the eight finalists.
Serious fault: Milwaukee’s MobCraft Beer apologises for beer submission with the name “Date Grape” https://t.co/Q3yVQyF3VK via @fox6now
— beerfriends (@beerfriends_) 8 December 2016
After the name is submitted, MobCraft temporarily changed the controversial name “Dates & Grapes,” but a lot of people were not happy with the idea of making light of date rape in any way, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
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“You do not need a formal process to realize that a name is offensive,” Robyn Klinge, founder of Madison Craft Beer Week and the group of Women Enjoy Breweries, told the newspaper.
“I wonder if it is something that simply does not occur in men, and in most breweries is the kind of men who run the show.”
MobCraft co-founder Andrew Gierczak admitted that the workers in the brewery don’t always look at the recipe names before them for a vote on the site. Gierczak says he normally sorts through the recipes to see what is presented and then begins with the construction of the beer.
“There was no emergency in place,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “Everyone hit the doing work on the things and not in the holes.”
But many noticed the casual reference to sexual assault, with what the calling of the name “disgusting”, while others complained directly to the brewery.
I e-mailed @mobcraftbeer about my concerns on their potential Date Grape brew. Hopeful they see the (big) problem and change their approach.
— Jenni Dye (@legaleagle) December 6, 2016
On Tuesday, Schwartz made the decision to pull the recipe from this month’s contest and gave a public apology via Facebook and Twitter.
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“Our monthly votes let people ideas for the beers; we did not have a process for screening of names before the voting rounds started,” Schwartz posted.
“I feel terrible that this oversight has happened, the beer, the name has been changed and we now have a process where our team of veterinarians before they ever appear publicly. We would never promote rape culture because it is a very serious matter, never to be joked about. Again my sincere apologies for this.”
there was an offensive name of a user submitted beer in this monthly, we do not have a process for screening names in advance.
— MobCraft Beer (@mobcraftbeer) December 6, 2016
Several Facebook users thanked the brewery for the removal of the controversial beer in a timely manner. On Wednesday, the brewery announced that, in light of his error, it would be “donate a percentage of all sales this Saturday in the taproom, a rape crisis center in Milwaukee.”