When Naming Goes Awry (Follow-up)

Just before leaving the country, I commented on what appeared to be a beer named "Mouth Raper IPA" by Springfield's Hop Valley.  Although I didn't realize it at the time, it amounted to a fire in the hole that exploded about the time I hit Bristol, England.  The women's site Jezebel picked up the story (which I loved, incidentally), as did Eugene Weekly and a number of blogs. In the interest of closing the loop, here's a follow-up.  (Sorry to all who long ago tired of the issue.)

Let's start at the top.  Hop Valley was slow to respond, but they finally did, posting two comments on their Facebook page (1 and 2):
We have a series of draft beers named Mr. Orange, Mr. Black and Mr. IPA. It has come to our attention that an urban myth and street name has emerged surrounding Mr. IPA. We take this very seriously and are sensitive to these issues. Accordingly, we have pulled the product and are instructing our distributors to replace any remaining kegs with other offerings. We apologize for any harm or misunderstandings this has created.
We have not given any of our beers street names. The beer in question’s only name is Mr. IPA, and is part of our pilot series including Mr. Black & Mr. Orange.
This in turn provoked a fair amount of discussion (click through to see what people wrote at Facebook). 

This whole thing is pretty mystifying.  I applaud Hop Valley for the apology, but the whole business about saying the name never existed is odd.  If you click through those links, you'll see a lot of evidence for it.  And if it never existed, why is Hop Valley apologizing, exactly?  And what's a street name? 

I think the discussion the incident provoked was valuable.  For the most part, people conducted themselves pretty well.  I know some people were unsatisfied with the way Hop Valley handled this--and it was, admittedly, not particularly adroit--but let's give them the all clear.  They don't defend the name and apologized, which is good enough for me.  I'll be happy to order up a Czech Your Head the next time I see it. 

Oh, and note to breweries.  If you find yourself in a situation like this in the future, go back and look at how Burnside Brewing handled a similar incident.  That should be your blueprint.
Jeff Alworth9 Comments