It takes a lot to anger craft beer drinkers but when they start flushing mass-produced swill down the toilet, then clearly a line was crossed.
With the encroachment of macro beers (Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors -- a.k.a. "The Big Three"), Wynwood's Kush is taking a stand against them with a ceremonial flushing of their product down the porcelain throne. And Kush is going to need the public to help them on this one.
On August 13, there will be a release party for Founder's Dissenter IPL imperial lager. During the party, the owners of Kush will place a toilet fitted with a drain on the curb of the sidewalk. Anyone can bring any six-pack of cheap, mass-produced beer (basically anything that is not craft beer) and empty its contents into the bowl, while onlookers can cheer as macro-beer disappears into the concrete oblivion. In return, each person who performs the symbolic act of defiance will receive a free pint glass, while supplies last, of course.
"With what happened with that law almost passing this is our F-you stand," said Kush co-owner David Rodriguez.
The law Rodriguez refers to is SB 1714, the bill introduced in the Florida legislature earlier this year that would have crippled the craft beer industry in South Florida. Among other things, it would have forced breweries to buy their own product back from distributors just so they can sell it in their own taprooms.
Current law allows Florida breweries to sell their own product on the premises provided that they promote "the tourist industry of the state." The way breweries do this is to offer tours of their facilities, along with a few free samples. It's the same law that allowed Anheuser-Busch to operate a taproom at its Busch Gardens brewery for several years.
The bill advanced through the Florida senate in April only for its momentum to fizzle less than a week later when the legislature ended its session in early May. For the time being, at least, Florida's brewery laws remain the same.
Other than the Dissenter release (which is a one-time release), Kush will have several other Founders beers on tap: Bolt Cutter, a 15 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV) barleywine (also a one-time release); Devil Dancer, a 12 percent ABV triple IPA; Double Trouble, a 9.4 percent ABV imperial IPA; Red's Rye IPA, 6.6 percent ABV; Nitro Pale Ale, 5.4 percent ABV; Rubaeus, a 5.7 percent ABV raspberry ale.
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"I really want to get the craft beer community to go because I feel like they would participate," Rodriguez said.