Stone Brewing Co-Founder Apologizes for Misogynistic Tweets

The co-founder and chairman of Stone Brewing Company issued a public apology today after an employee with access to the company’s “Arrogant Bastard” Twitter account sent an “inappropriate” tweet on Wednesday.

The since-deleted message, sent on the eve of Women’s History Month, contained sexual innuendos that some Twitter users described as “tone deaf” and said promoted rape culture.

Good Beer Hunting, a Chicago-based design studio that also operates an editorial website, captured a screenshot of the tweet before Stone Brewing was able to scrub it from the social media platform. It read:

“My technique that will help wash away the ordinariness of your day (or for rare few, cap off a day of significance). Put me in your mouth. Make an *Mmm* sound. Swallow. Express appreciation & ask permission to do it again. Hint: Only wussies do the ‘ask permission’ part.”

The tweet, intended to be delivered in the account’s “you’re not worthy” voice, ended up offending a number of Twitter users, many of whom replied to follow-up messages sent by the Arrogant Bastard account.

“Got it folks. I can acknowledge a bad move and see that it was read FAR from intention. I get it. I am on the opposite spectrum from the unintended read. You have my support. Gone,” the company wrote from the Arrogant Bastard account 46 minutes after the initial tweet.

One Twitter user criticized that message for not being an adequate apology.

“That’s not an apology. You are saying people misread your tweet, not that you f*cked up by posting and defending that tweet. Try again,” Twitter user @seanbeh3 wrote.

In his apology, which has been pinned to the Arrogant Bastard Twitter page, Koch admitted that the tweet “carried an underlying message referencing sexual consent that was not intended, or even realized at the time.”

“I see now that the post could easily be read as distastefully making light of a very serious issue in today’s society,” he wrote. “We apologize for our poor judgment that enabled the tweet to come off as mocking a subject with very real and serious implications.”

Koch, who said he does “not condone sexual violence or misogyny in any way,” also said the company would require “a female member of the company” to oversee the Arrogant Bastard Twitter account for the “foreseeable future.”

Asked by Brewbound to respond to a series of questions – including whether the company could confirm the sex of the individual who sent the original tweet or if Stone had a social media review policy to help prevent these types of messages from being sent – a spokeswoman said only that Koch’s statement “speaks to the points that are most relevant in this scenario.”

“Anything further would be an embellishment,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email. “For follow-up, please watch @ArrogantBastard and what we do with it.”

As of press time, it’s unclear what repercussions, if any, the individual who sent the tweet could face.

The misstep, which comes at a time when female professionals across a variety of industries are speaking up about sexual abuse in the workplace as part of the #MeToo movement, also came at the same time as the Beervana blog posted a four-part series on “Sexism in Beer.”

The full apology from Koch can be found on the Arrogant Bastard Twitter page. It has also been copied below.

Yesterday we posted an inappropriate tweet on our Arrogant bastated Twitter account. It carried an underlying message referencing sexual consent that was not intended, or even realized at the time. I see now that the post could easily be read as distastefully making light of a very serious issue in today’s society. We apologize for our poor judgement that enabled the tweet to come off as mocking a subject with very real and serious implications.

I, Greg Koch, as well as Stone Brewing and Arrogant Brewing, do not condone sexual violence or misogyny in any way. The poorly-phrased nature of our tweet does not represent anything even remotely acceptable in the past, present or future of our business, or society as a whole.

I join with everyone who is angry at the situation of sexual violence and misogyny in our society. To that end we have had a lot of discussion over the past 36 hours on how to reinforce and increase our support of equality issues. I personally want to take this opportunity to do better. Much better. It’s true to our belief system, and we’ll prove it. All I can ask is that you accept my sincerest apologies and please be assured it won’t happen again.

For the foreseeable future, a female member of the company will be handling all tweets from @ArrogantBastard. Effective immediately.

– Greg Koch, Executive Chairman and co-founder.

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