Black Beer Competition ‘Barrel and Circulation’ requires a boycott of Pittsburgh Brewery for ‘merciless racism’
The organizers of the nation’s first black art and beer festival have accused a large Pittsburgh brewery of racism, prompting an investigation into the allegations and the suspension of the restaurant’s manager.
In a post on the event’s Facebook page, Barrel and Flow Fest claimed that the general manager of the Pittsburgh Court Brewery, a brewery and restaurant, shouted racist slurs and apologized to everyone in a “tantrum” during the 9/11 festival that it could have been affected. The organizers called for a boycott of the brewery until its general manager – who has since been suspended on account of an investigation – was sacked.
“You have decided to harass us during the planning and execution of the festival. [The general manager] Filed multiple complaints about the music despite having approval and timely announcement. At some point he came out and exploded in a fit of anger, throwing racial slurs at artists … staff, ”wrote Barrel and Flow. “He later called the police, who were too busy to occupy the event but had time to appear for this frivolous complaint. It should also be noted that we had severe, inexplicable power problems with this phase throughout the day and the circuit breaker happens to be in HBH. “
“We ask people not to support this facility until disciplinary action is taken against this employee,” the post continues. “Any help in contacting someone in power within the organization to discuss this incident would be greatly appreciated.”
Festival goers claim that the manager of the Hofbräuhäus shouted racist insults against performing artists and people of color were unable to use the brewery’s toilets or buy drinks.
“During the festival we had technical problems that led to power outages on the stage and then on the equipment,” said the festival organizers. “We were also canceled prematurely due to racism and breach of contract. As a result, many artists from the stage either couldn’t play or had shortened their sets. “
In response, Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh posted a statement on its Facebook page last week promising to investigate the allegations of racism.
“We celebrate all facets of diversity, equity and inclusion for our customers, employees, the entire operations, our neighbors at SouthSide Works and the greater Pittsburgh community,” the statement reads. “We take all complaints seriously and are currently investigating those specific to last weekend’s Barrel and Flow Fest. We are currently listening and collecting feedback from all levels and perspectives to ensure that customers, guests of our neighbors and members of our community at the Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh feel safe and welcome at all times. “
Two days later, the restaurant announced that its staff had met with one of the Barrel and Flow organizers and that they were “deeply concerned” by what they heard.
“As a next step, we are commissioning an external and independent law firm,” said Hofbräuhäus, “to continue this investigation, which includes a review of existing surveillance camera recordings and eyewitness reports.”
The brewery’s general manager has also been suspended while the probing continues. On Monday, the brewery advised anyone who experienced or may have experienced racism during the event to contact the investigating lawyers.
Neither Barrel and Flow nor Hofbräuhäus immediately responded to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Barrel and Flow, formerly known as Fresh Fest, was launched in 2020 by the presenters of the Drinking Partners podcast, Day Bracey and Ed Bailey. The festival works with a number of local breweries in the Pittsburgh area to fuse beer and art in the Black community.
A follower of Barrel and Flow wrote on Facebook: “This is more than disgusting. I have no words. For sure, [Hofbrauhäus] lost my business. “
“So pathetic of Hofbräuhäus to show such a lack of integrity,” wrote another follower. “You have nothing at the Barrel and Flow Fest !!! Saturday was phenomenal; the music, the beer, the people and the food. The Barrel & Flow Team does incredible things! “