Will Michigan Beer Buyers Boycott Founders After Their Recent Snafu?


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The 2018 WDET Michigan Beer Bracket is underway. The bracket, which is completely voted on by listeners, will help determine the top beers throughout the state.

Aside from being a heavy favorite in the bracket, Founders Brewing Co. has been in the news for political reasons.

On September 19th, the brewers sent out a tweet that was highly critical of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of Michigan Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate, Bill Schuette.

Founders cited concerns over Schuette’s lack of support for the LGTBQ community. They even went so far as to say they would be withdrawing from the chamber of commerce.

WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper speaks with Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth of MichMash to set the record straight about Founders’ political stance.

This obviously upset Republicans and Schuette supporters,” explains Neher. “It was cheered by Democrats, LGBTQ activists, and Schuette opponents. But then, on September 28th…Founders claimed that the message was posted by an employee without authorization and that Founders had no plans to quit the Grand Rapids chamber.”

Since the Founders incident, people have reacted differently depending on where they fall on the political spectrum. Some people have come out and said they will no longer support Founders.

According to Roth, boycotts don’t actually end up having the intended impact.

A lot of times what will happen is somebody might say that they are no longer going to use that product, but then…a few months, a few weeks, a few years go by and then they’re back to doing it,” she says. “What we’ve seen historically is that boycotts don’t always impact a place’s bottom line. As far as money is concerned Founders might not necessarily feel a huge hit. However, it might have an impact on their brand.”

Image credit: Gus Navarro

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper has worked as an arts and culture journalist in Detroit for over a decade.

hooper@wdet.org   Follow @hoopingtonpost

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