If you’re anything like me, then you end up acquiring brewery tee shirts at a frightening pace. Seriously, my dresser drawers look like that giant wall of logo tee shirts that takes up one entire side of the Great American Beer Festival. But what do you do when your brewery tee shirts now bear the symbols of breweries owned by AB InBev or MillerCoors?
Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co. claims to have the solution. The spin-off brewery from Stone Brewing Co. is implementing a tee shirt exchange program — you simply give them your old shirts from sold breweries such as Wicked Weed, Golden Road or Four Peaks, and in exchange they’ll send you a new one of their own. Or as they put it: “follow the instructions, and be cleansed.”
By popular demand (I’m popular, and I’m demanding it) I bring to you the return of the “Fizzy Yellow Beer T-Shirt Amnesty Program.” Historically, it was an amnesty program that allowed those that had recently converted to real beer to turn in their old corporate fizzy yellow beer T-shirts. But today, the need is greater than ever, and it’s no longer just about fizzy yellow beer.
Face it, there are brands out there you used to love. They meant something to you, and you thought they stood for something. And then the rug was pulled out from under you, all for a stinkin’ big fat check. What did you get for your fandom? Jack. And now wearing that sell-out brand’s T-shirt doesn’t feel quite so cool does it? Of course not. They’re sell-outs. That’s simple math.
The brewery goes on to suggest that these shirts will be either given to charity, or mailed to Big Beer corporate headquarters in spite … let’s hope it’s the former, rather than the latter, for the sake of actually helping a few people out.
It should be noted that for all their bluster and symbolism, Stone isn’t 100% wholly independent these days either. In 2016, they accepted a $90 million investment from VMG, a venture capital firm that specializes in food and drink investments, although it would seem this minority ownership doesn’t currently jeopardize their ability to be labeled as “craft” beer by the Brewers Association. Let’s hope it stays that way indefinitely.
For more information about the tee shirt program, check out the site Arrogant Bastard has dedicated to that purpose.