If you somehow haven’t caught wind of it yet, what amounts to a small-scale civil war between the craft beer industry and the local bars that (presumably) love them erupted this week.
It began with the now infamous late-night screed of tweets that were fired out of the Pretty Things camp by Dann Pacquette, co-founder and brewer for Somerville’s Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project.
To sum up, Pacquette blasted over twenty tweets railing against the hiding-in-plain-sight common practice of breweries paying bar owners to get a tap of their beer placed in their bars. Payolas, bribes, greasing, business as usual. Whatever one’s choice in slang or position on the act itself – which in essence gives distinct advantage to larger brewers at the expense of smaller, independent craft brewers, and is illegal according to the Mass Alcohol Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) – the fallout has become a clear and present danger to the local beer and bar ecosystem.
Since then, there has been a small microburst of media commentary and opining that has both sought to demystify something that commenters and industry insiders all knew was a dirty little secret but one that is a (necessary?) evil in their game, as well as fan the flames of the war as it exists now. An apt metaphor, considering Pacquette was quoted in a Boston Globe piece on the matter saying: “I thought somebody had to jump into the fire and maybe get in trouble.”
Below you’ll find the word on the street as it exists presently, and we’ll be updating and expanding upon this story as it continues to unfold.