Beer boycott

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Mutual disgust: Starting last week, Sacramento consumers have been deciding if they can tolerate craft beer with notes of bigotry. Hundreds online have announced that they won’t patronize East Sac’s Twelve Rounds Brewing Co. after owner Daniel Murphy wrote on Facebook: “I am disgusted at all of the people and politicians that supported this anti-Trump event” in response to the Women’s March on January 21.

It goes deeper: Murphy’s earlier posts equated abortion with murder and called Islam “barbaric.” He also made a post against gay marriage and another comparing “illegal immigrants” to “homeless people” breaking into a house.

Three co-owners of Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar have dropped their minority stake in Twelve Rounds. The restaurant, along with Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. and Pangea Bier Cafe, will no longer serve their beers. The brewery also dropped out of the Art of Beer event on January 27.

Murphy and his wife, Elle, have issued multiple apologies online, affirming Murphy’s respect for women, but lamenting his curtailed ability to exercise “free speech.” Most commenters have burned this olive branch as insincere and insufficient.

“I would never go somewhere that holds those ideals because you don’t know if you’re safe in an environment like that,” said Beverly Kearney, founder of the Love Is Love movement, during the protest of Twelve Rounds on January 26 that drew a rotating handful of like-minds.

Perhaps surprisingly, patrons far out-numbered protesters that night.

“Aaron” bought a beer because he felt sorry for Twelve Rounds’ employees. But first, he’d observed the scene in his car for 30 minutes, then talked to boycotters and learned about Murphy’s “horrible” statements, which he felt cheapened the right of free speech.

“If you’re going to have hateful views, keep them to yourself,” he said.

Another man, who declined to give his name, said he came to Twelve Rounds for the first time to support Murphy, who he felt had been “persecuted” by the “thought police.” Again, he hedged that he didn’t support all the comments. But he sympathized as a fellow small-business owner and felt the story had been blown out of proportion.

“I think (Murphy) got put on a horse,” he said. “And he doesn’t know whether to jump off or hold on.”

On tap: After many bureaucratic hurdles, Ruhstaller will celebrate its newly opened taproom in Dixon (800 Business Park Drive) on February 2. There will be food, 12 beers on tap, music by the Pleasant Valley Boys and “perhaps a baby goat to nuzzle.”