I realize that telling somebody to shove gratitude up their ass isn't exactly in the holiday spirit, but The Stone Brewing Company has been a very bad boy, and people in Columbus should choose another beer to support this Holiday season.
You might recall that back in June, Columbus made a hard push to convince Stone to build their new brewery in our fair city, creating all kinds of good jobs for the hardworking folks of Central Ohio. Richmond, VA had long been the front-runner, but then Stone Brewer and Pataskala native Greg Koch cracked the door a little, showing up at Comfest (Lonely Bones gig, no less) in June encouraging his former hometown to make a strong push because we still had a chance. And push we did. Hell, we even covered it here on Pencilstorm. The entire Stone2Cbus campaign was a major success. They got tons of press and sold pallets of beer as we tried to show them our love.
Just after the 4th of July, Stone was just about set to announce the site of the new Brewery: Richmond or Columbus. Then the announcement was pushed back a week. Then another week. And yet another. On August 7th they announced we were one of THREE finalists.Then no word at all except that it is very close. Very, very close. Keep on dazzling us, Columbus. Keep buying Stone. You still have a shot. Finally, on OCTOBER 9TH, a full THREE MONTHS later, Stone announced that Richmond had won and the new brewery would be built there.
But in another press release they assured Columbus that the decision had been very hard and that to show how much they appreciated our effort and all the Stone beer we bought, they were brewing a special beer just for us, to say "Thanks for letting us play you. Suckers." It didn't actually say that, but it did say, "This is no consolation prize."
Ummm, First Prize is a 74 million dollar investment and 288 jobs and Second Prize is we will sell you more of our beer (which - by the way - you don't get to brew, losers). That sounds exactly like a consolation prize. And a crappy one at that. They didn't even throw in the Stone board game so we could play at home.
So "Gratitude" IPA has hit the shelves in Central, Ohio just in time to compete with all of our local breweries. How nice of Stone to think of us. They brewed it just for Columbus. How nice. Is any of the money going to stock the local food pantry, heat the homeless shelter or help pay for the new Ohio State offensive coordinator? Stuff people in Central Ohio really care about.
Nope, that money you spend on "Gratitude" goes to pay for the new brewery in Richmond. Two questions jump immediately to mind:
1) How stupid do they think we are?
2) How stupid are we?
Or put another way: This is like a being in a relationship wherein an attractive woman strings you along for months, until her old boyfriend gets her the big rock she always wanted, but she lacked the leverage to get boyfriend to come across with until you came along. Now, after breaking your heart AND wallet, she is going to show you her gratitude for being so nice by letting you take her out to dinner one last time. Then, after you pick up that big dinner tab, she is heading home to bang her new fiancé Richmond all night long. (Feel free to plug in whatever gender works for you.)
People of Columbus, I implore you to show a tiny bit of pride and put that Stone Brew down. This holiday season and beyond, show a local brewery some genuine "Gratitude" for providing jobs and beer for your city. Drink Local. But whatever you do, don't drink Stone.
Colin Gawel founded Pencilstorm and plays in the almost-famous band Watershed. His other essays include "Starbucks Can Shove That Pumpkin Spice Latte Right Up Their Ass" and "Epic Records Can Shove Silverchair Right Up Their Ass." His opinions represent nobody's but his own.