Anti-PG&E beer sparks backlash against California brewery

A California brewery is facing a wave of negative reviews after people found the name of one of their beers offensive, but the owner says it’s all a big misunderstanding.

Shady Oak Barrel House released a new beer called “F--- PG&E,” a reference to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California. The name of the drink is a reference to accusations that PG&E was responsible for several California wildfires.

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However, some people thought the brewery was taking a shot at locals who worked for the company, including crew workers and linemen.

The brewery's owner, Steve Doty, claimed that the controversy was caused by a misunderstanding. He also said that he was the one who came up with the name and that his employees did not deserve any harassment.

The brewery's owner, Steve Doty, claimed that the controversy was caused by a misunderstanding. He also said that he was the one who came up with the name and that his employees did not deserve any harassment. (iStock)

On Facebook, the brewery explained that the inspiration for the name “is how the corporate bigwigs at PG&E chose to line their pockets and ignore their responsibilities in their role that led to the destruction of communities across California. There were obvious decisions that could have been made and procedures set in place that could have possibly helped avoid such horrific disasters. And now we’re all paying for it.”

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The owner of Shady Oak Barrel House, Steve Doty, spoke with Fox News and said that the beer name was his decision, and that his employees don’t deserve to be harassed. As he explained, “Our local power utility is on the hook for loss of life, destroying around 23,000 structures and devastating communities. It should be fairly obvious that this made people in our community upset. We named a beer after (the power company) that echoed these sentiments."

He maintains that other breweries have similarly-inspired names for their beers.

“Someone inferred a different meaning of the beer name and thought we had a problem with the very people that have been affected and have been rebuilding our community,” Doty explained.

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“We've been bombed on rating websites by people that haven't even been here, or been through the very real trauma that comes from such a large scale natural disaster,” Doty continued.

“The heart of this is that someone thought we had ill intentions to our own people,” he explained. “We never said anything close to this, never would have, and anyone that actually knows me or my company is very aware of this.”

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On Facebook, the company issued an apology for anyone who was offended by the misunderstanding.

“So, once more, I would like to send a sincere apology to those that misinterpreted the meaning of this beer name," Doty wrote. "I hope this helped clarify some things for each of you and we can all move forward from here.”