By Randy Garwick.
The innocence, purity, and nonpartisanship of craft beer is simple to explicate. It’s a malty elixir that’s incapable of judging any pair of lips that bestow upon its polished cylinder orifice. In fact, the very nature of its candid existence may very well serve as an inverse ideology to today’s assessment-obsessive culture, as its suddy confines beg for appraisal from any palette willing to absorb its hoppy fluidity, rather than be quick to gauge whatever oral quarters it finds itself residing in. While craft beer may be the catalyst for a new cultural outlook on the manners in which we humans critique, evaluate, and act upon our analysis, nonetheless, its reality and reputation is vulnerable to tarnish due to the uninherited habits of its creator: the brewer.
It’s unfair to denounce the nature of an immaculate imperial stout or barrel aged cream ale because of the actions of the hands that bared its yeast and barley. However, legacy is not immune to guilt by association. Just as the hand that feeds us Chick-Fil-A is blighted by homophobia and the minds that imagined the Big Mac are befouled by capitalistic greed, the keggers that harbored our precious brews are susceptible to scrutiny, in which therefore, the seeds of spoils trickle their way down until the final drop of pilsner is consumed from the pint glass.
In summary, we cannot separate support between a beer and its brewer. In which case, we as craft connoisseurs must enlighten ourselves to whom we choose to fund, in exchange for drastically reducing our bodily functions and masking the subtle depression that is slowly progressing with each newborn child we bring into this cruel, cold world. So without further ado, here are six local breweries that are definitely not racist, because we asked them if they were, and they said no, and then we really pressed them hard if they were actually racist and just trying to cover something up, and they all proceeded to give fairly legit reasons as to why they’re totally not racist and they actually all seemed pretty chill:
1) Hacky Slack Brewing – Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Okay, these guys are definitely not racist. They’re totally chill, they brew several gluten free beers, and they got kinda like a nerdy college vibe going on, you know? I heard multiple R.E.M. songs playing in the taproom, definitely not the soundtrack for a bunch of white supremacists, right?? Plus, there were at least two black guys drinking beers out on the patio, and during the ninety minutes I observed them, they seemed to be laughing a bunch and having a solid time, not to mention really enjoying their brewskis. So, yeah, Hacky Slack Brewing is totally not racist and also has a blueberry porter on tap.
2) Happy Sour Brewing – Rochester, Minnesota
Yeah, definitely no racist shit going down here. First thing I did when I walked into the taproom was grab the first bartender I saw by the neck collar, put a mace gun against his Adam’s apple, and screamed, “YOU’RE FUCKING RACIST AREN’T YOU?? AREN’T YOU?? ANSWER ME YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!!” and he didn’t crack. Then when security cornered me in the lawn garden, I yelled at them, “I BET YOU ALL WISH I WASN’T WHITE, HUH?? SO YOU COULD FUCKING MURDER ME, RIGHT?!? RIGHT??!! FUCKING RACIST PIECES OF SHIT, DON’T COME NEAR ME!!!” but they ultimately explained that the reason they were attempting to escort me off the premises was because apparently they don’t allow mace guns on their property, which totally seemed reasonable and definitely not racist.
3) Sailor Noon Brewing – Minnetonka, Minnesota
This one took a little more work to figure out if they were racist or not. First, I paid a black teenager I met on the bus ten bucks to go into the taproom and order a beer, just to see what would happen. To my dismay, they refused to serve the kid, so I barged in with a tennis racquet and began demanding answers. “OOOOOOHHH, LEMME GUESS, NOT GONNA SERVE THE BLACK GUY A BEER BECAUSE YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF MAGA-HAT-WEARING-FASCISTS WHO THINK THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS IS THE GREATEST PROFESSIONAL SPORTS NAME OF ALL TIME, RIGHT?? YOU FUCKING RACIST CAMOFLAUGE PANT PISSERS!!! COME HERE!!!” After smashing hundreds of dollars in glassware, I was informed that the barkeep refused to serve my new friend because he appeared to be under the legal drinking age and failed to provide any form of identification proving that he was over the legal drinking age of twenty-one. That reasoning seemed valid and I was ultimately asked to vacate the premises, even after I offered to grab a broom and sweep up some of the broken glass. Nonetheless, yeah, Sailor Noon, not racist I guess. Looked like they had a few dartboards in there too, not exactly sure though.
4) Curly Cue Brewing – West Saint Paul, Minnesota
Okay, toooootally thought this place was racist when I first walked in. There was like, Toby Keith songs playing on the jukebox, a guy with a beard and leather jacket smoking a cigarette outside, free popcorn, yeah, maaaaaaajor racist vibes going on. So I figured I’d go undercover and try to provoke the racism out of the overtly bigoted-looking clientele. First I went up to this white lady who had a tattoo of what appeared to be a nine-millimeter squished between two large, naked breasts, outlined with roses-covered barbwire, and I asked her what her feelings about affirmative action were. When she shrugged her shoulders and told me that she doesn’t really think about, quote, ‘that stuff’, I began grilling her over how pretending racial wage gaps don’t exist won’t make them just magically go away. She agreed with me, then tried to switch the subject about something she called ‘gender wage gap’, so I broke the end of my beer bottle off and raised it toward her neck, screaming, “OOOOOO, SUUUUUURE!!! CHANGE THE SUBJECT WHY DON’T YOU??!! LET’S ALL PUT OUR HANDS OVER OUR EYES AND MAYBE THE BIG BAD RACISM WILL DISAPPEAR!!! YOU WALKING VESSEL OF PRIVILEGE AND ENTITLEMENT!!! COME HERE, I’LL GIVE YOU A TATTOO YOU’LL NEVER REGRET!!!” but I was ultimately subdued by an elderly black gentleman wearing a sleeveless Sturgis muscle shirt who inquired why I was so riled up. When I saw who was subduing me, I eased up, set the broken beer bottle down, and proceeded to ask him why he wasn’t joining me in physically assaulting this racist pig. He informed me that she was his wife, and then projected some frustration and aggression toward me, and since I didn’t want to escalate the situation and maybe get the police involved, I decided to just let it go and side with the Sturgis muscle shirt-cladded gentleman. So… Yeah, doesn’t seem like this place is racist, but I might have to go back and confirm. Definitely had a dartboard though.
5) Outlaw Brewing – Bloomington, Minnesota
Wow, talk about not racist! For starters, multiple people of color staff members?? SAY WHAT???!! Can you say… Progressive much?? So yeah, after I saw that, I dipped. Definitely not racist. Seemed pretty nice too, had a food truck in the parking lot. Tacos!
6) Alley Cat Brewing – Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota
Um… Yeah, honestly, this place could be, uh.. A little racist. Fox News was on multiple TVs. Um.. Yeah, definitely a framed Confederate Flag in the men’s restroom, but.. I mean, I dunno, anyone could’ve put it there I guess.. Ugh, this is tough, because they’re beer is SO GOOD!! Literally, I mean, LITERALLY the juiciest IPA I’ve ever had in my life. We’re talking perfectly blended mosaic and citra hops, with the smoothest finish my throat has ever experienced, AHHHHH!!! WHY DO THEY HAVE TO BE RACIST??? Why did the bartender have to tell me an inappropriate joke about Ray Charles?? UGHHH!!! I guess… Getting their growlers to go isn’t that bad? Right?? Right, yeah, just grab a growler to go, should be good, should be chill, you’re totally not racist for just drinking beer, right? RIGHT??? Right.