If it seems like everything centers around politics these days, it's because everything does center around politics these days. That's true for beer, too. Earlier this month, Philadelphia brewery Dock Street launched Short Fingered Stout, a beer that pokes fun at presidential candidate Donald Trump, the first in a series of politically themed beers they'll release during the election cycle.
While Dock Street is having a little fun with beer and politics, breweries in North Carolina are using beer to protest anti-LGBT legislation the state recently passed, House Bill 2 (HB2). The brew is called Don't Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison. A growing number of brewing industry-related businesses (up to 40 at the moment) are donating ingredients, time or effort to get this beer brewed, according to crowdfunding site Generosity.com. The initial goal was to raise $1,500. As of now, more than $33,000 has been donated, and donations are still being accepted.
Three dozen breweries have signed up to sell the beer on their draft taps, NPR reports. One hundred percent of the profits made form Don't Be Mean to People will be given to two organizations: Equality NC, a North Carolina organization that works to secure equality and justice for LGBT people, and QORDS, an organization that hosts summer camps for queer and trans youth or youth of LGBTQ families.
The N.C. beer industry is banding together because they "didn't feel like the law that was passed represented us as constituents, entrepreneurs or business owners,” say the organizers of this protest beer — Erik Lars Myers, founder of Mystery Brewing Company, and Keil Jansen, owner of Ponysaurus Brewing Company — on the crowdfunding page. Don't Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison invokes a reference to Jesus' "Do Unto Others" rule, which probably (and purposefully) offends many social conservatives who are in favor of HB2.
The beer industry in North Carolina is not the only industry protesting a law that, among other things, requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex. Other industries are hitting the state where it hurts by pulling their business out and costing the state revenue. Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have both cancelled upcoming shows there, and businesses that were planning on opening offices in the state, such as Paypal, say they will go elsewhere.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order on April 12 that lessened some of the effects of the bill, but the legality of the order is in question.