Seattle, WA – A Seattle-based brewery expressed its hatred for law enforcement officers by printing “ACAB” on the bottom of its beer cans this summer.
ACAB stands for “All Cops Are Bastards” and has become a prominent rallying call for anti-police rioters since the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police in May.
Mirage Beer Co. released a beer called “Choosey Lover” in June that had the words “ACAB MEANS ALL COPS” stamped on the bottom of its cans, KIRO reported.
“I used the markings because I stand against institutional racism, of which modern policing is a militarized arm,” Mirage’s owner Michael Dempster told KIRO in a text message.
When Dempster posted pictures of the bottoms of the cans to social media, he set off a firestorm from both sides of the aisle.
“I’ve never seen or tasted a Mirage beer, and now never will,” @PollackJaxon tweeted.
Others attacked a beer store that carries the full line of Mirage products featured in the KIRO story.
“Mirage and chucks are garbage! I will never visit that store or drink that beer, had a mirage before and dumped it out,” @smokingsticks18 reported on Twitter.
Dylan Ziegler, manager of Chuck’s Hop Shop, told KIRO that he recommended Mirage beers to his customers on a regular basis.
The store manager said he doesn’t have a problem with the message that Mirage printed on the bottom of its June batch’s cans, KIRO reported.
“I don’t think it hurt his sales at all. I believe that his message is right and I think that uh, I’m proud of him for taking a stand, honestly,” Ziegler said.
While politicizing adult beverages might work in Seattle, a brewer in Philadelphia learned the hard way in June that some people want to just buy beer without any political opinions, the Philly Voice reported.
The publication Breweries in Pennsylvania outed the head brewer at Evil Genius Beer Co. in Fishtown in June after he posted a series of social media posts to his personal Facebook page that featured him in an ACAB shirt and advocated violence against police officers.
“Violence is the only message thugs are able to hear,” head brewer Jon Defibaugh posted, according to Breweries in Pennsylvania. “If they could listen to reason, they wouldn’t become cops. Destroy all systems of control. All cops are bastards. It has been this way for as long as any of us can remember. The time for change is now. This is our country, let’s take control of it. By any means necessary.”
The post captioned a photo of Defibaugh wearing an ACAB shirt and giving the middle finger, the Philly Voice reported.
Social media blowback was so intense that the brewery had to shut down all of its social media pages temporarily despite the fact their employee had made the offensive posts on his personal social media.
Then Evil Genius posted an open letter that said they had terminated Defibaugh for posting something that ran contrary to the brewery’s values, the Philly Voice reported.
“We do not believe in hatred, inequality or violence,” the brewery wrote. “We firmly believe in everyone’s right to be treated equally and fairly; everyone’s right to not live in fear; and everyone’s right to peacefully pursue their own happiness. Those values are paramount to our business. We will not stand by and allow anyone who acts contrary to our values to publicly represent our brand — not now and not ever.”
Defibaugh has been head brewer at Evil Genius since 2017.
Evil Genius has also posted support for peaceful Black Lives Matter protests, the Philly Voice reported.