To those that have supported us over the past few days: thank you. Your words and thoughts have meant the world to us and in times like these your voices are incredibly valued.
To those that have expressed disappointment, annoyance, even those that have felt anger which they have then thrown our way in the form of hate: we are sorry our decision offended you.
Most of what you will read below is our stance reiterated, perhaps with more clarification than you were previously provided. This blog post is an attempt to get our complete take on the situation in one location, so that moving forward we can direct those with questions or concerns here.
Some content is from the email I personally sent LeaAnn Saul discussing her request for us to host their official Republican Party in our building on election night.
Some content has been pulled from the event page we have created, explaining how we feel our space would best be utilized on November 6th.
Some content is fresh material.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Upon receiving the request to reserve our space for an election night party, I had immediate concerns. I envisioned our space on the local news, filled with a single political party gathered around a television screen, hoping for a single set of election results. I did not like that vision. It did not ring true to me. It did not display what SingleSpeed is all about.
Let’s talk about what I said. Actually, let’s just insert my entire email response to LeaAnn Saul here.
Good morning LeaAnn -
It appears I should try to clarify my take on this specific event request for you, in hopes of gaining your understanding.
At SingleSpeed we not only believe in great beer, but perhaps more importantly, we believe in authenticity.
We attempt to have every decision we make tie back to our core set of organizational beliefs and principles.
On a daily basis we welcome people of all beliefs, origins, ethnicities, etc. - and we will continue to do so for as long as we are lucky to have a base of customers that wants to visit us.
We love diversity.
We love differences of opinion that lead to educated discussion.
We love the fact that beer is a liquid that can bring people together and help generate these discussions.
We love the fact that many of these discussions take place right in our TapRooms.
Over the past five years, I've heard multiple elected city, state and national representatives mention that beer, specifically the craft brewing industry, is the only thing that politicians from all affiliations can agree they are in support of right now.
That makes me both happy and sad all at once.
All of this said, hosting an official election celebration, for a party that currently stands and fights against many of our beliefs, does not ring true to me. It lacks the authenticity that I value about our brand so much. Simply put, it just doesn't feel like the right fit.
I hope this email has helped define my stance a touch, and although you may disagree with my decision, that you understand it. I'm certain there are topics we have different views on, this event being a very minor one in the big scheme of things, but the fact that we can disagree and still respect one another is one of many things that makes our community, and our country for that matter, such a special place.
There is nothing in this email that I do not stand behind today. It is 100% authentic, and authenticity is a quality I prize perhaps above all others.
The question has to be asked: In hindsight, do I feel there was a better way to deny the request? Do I wish that I had not pointed to the fact that our organization leans left, but instead stated that we preferred to have a more diverse atmosphere in our TapRoom that evening? That we wanted to see our TapRoom filled with people of all affiliations, of no affiliations, of whatever, but not of a single political party.
Absolutely I do.
It would have been an authentic statement, not one rooted in hypocrisy. It is simply the truth.
On election night I want our TapRoom to appear as it does every other day of the year. I want it filled with people of all beliefs. It is a much more appropriate use of our space.
I mentioned that having a room filled with members of a single party affiliation on election night didn’t feel right, that it didn’t seem to express what our organization is all about.
So, what is our organization all about?
Who is SingleSpeed Brewing Company?
This is who we are.
We are about producing beer of the highest quality.
We are about sharing this beer with all people, whether it be in one of our TapRooms, or any other location in which they choose to transport our product.
We are about sustainability.
We are about community.
We are about historical preservation.
We are about diversity, in both people and in thought.
We are about maintaining a space for people of all ethnicities, all ages, all backgrounds, all beliefs, all political affiliations, all heights, all shoe sizes, to enjoy food, beverage and the company of others.
We are about trying to do the right thing, whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself.
As election night grows near, know that we will be throwing a party, one to which everyone is invited. If you are interested in more details follow the link above. We would love to have you join us.
So what now?
Where does SingleSpeed go from here?
Forward, as always. We go forward.
Adversity is an interesting thing. It’s ok to have it around from time to time.
Adversity transforms into motivation.
SingleSpeed leaves this encounter with adversity stronger, wiser, and yes, motivated. As motivated as ever.
Thanks for all the support.