Diving into a contentious online feud Oct. 9 with one of its much larger competitors, Asheville's Green Man Brewery has some harsh words for Flying Dog Brewery.
"Screw You and your territorial pissings" asserted Green Man in a Oct. 9 Facebook message to Flying Dog. The declaration came in response to an online ad posted by Flying Dog last month that seemed to take a swipe at Asheville breweries. As first reported by NC Beer Magazine, the banner ad promoted a new beer called "The Truth Imperial IPA," featuring a state outline of North Carolina with an "X" through it, and noting: "This beer was not brewed at our Asheville brewery … because we don't have one."
The ad generated a torrent of online attention, with many commenters on the Flying Dog Facebook page openly wondering what the point of the advertising message was.
In response, Flying Dog wrote: “We don’t have an expansion brewery in Asheville. Get it?” according to NC Beer Magazine. And the publication speculates that "Flying Dog, which used to be in Colorado, may have been trying to take a swipe at [its] old California rival Sierra Nevada, which is opening a major brewery for the East Coast in the Asheville area."
Now based in Maryland, Flying Dog has a brewing capacity of roughly 110,000 barrels per year and distributes bottles in states across the country. It "is well known for over the top marketing tactics and advertising," according to NC Beer Magazine. The company took down the banner ad only a few hours after it went up. However, the message was already widely seen.
Green Man has a capacity of about 5,000 barrels that is mostly distributed locally. However, the disparity in economic clout didn't stop Green Man from taking on Flying Dog, at least rhetorically. "'The Truth'" originated in Asheville years ago. ... Just another example of big breweries 'biting' off the little guys," its Facebook message continues. "This is a disturbing trend in our great industry. We'll all just keep making great beer here in NC/Aren't you an East Coast brewery now or you came from Colorado or something? Sounds like an identity crisis! Bite Me Flying Dog."
At this writing, the message had already racked up 232 Facebook "likes," 23 "shares," and more than 50 comments. Most of the commentary is supportive of Green Man. An example written by Forrest Samuels: "Flying Dog wishes they had an Asheville brewery like the rest of the cool kids."
However, some commenters lament the feud, with Jeff Seiler writing: "Well ... so much for the 'Craft Brewers are part of a community and we all get along and help each other' mantra I have heard over and over. Guess the honeymoon is over. (Sigh)."
Meanwhile, a few hours later, Green Man responded, adding some context to its initial post: "Some interesting comments today, thanks Y'all...we've never 'barked' at anyone via social media before but one of our older and well-known names was effectively taken from us by a much bigger brewery and this is unfortunately a trend we are seeing more and more of as our great industry proliferates," Green Man writes. "Its just frustrating but ultimately YOU are the Boss, thanks for followin' us and for lovin' great beer — we'll get back to makin' it for 'ya."