Wicked Weed Buyout By AB

The announcement a few days ago that Wicked Weed was purchased by Anheuser-Busch has brought a dark cloud over what should have been a glorious payout for hard work and investment. Wicked Weed started brewing five years ago at the brewpub in Asheville and has expanded to have four locations and almost 200 employees. Their sour beers have gained notoriety and they had several collaborations in the works which have now been cancelled, drain poured, distanced, or remixed to create new beers. The NC Brewers Guild has revoked their voting privileges and the craft brewing community has begun to distance themselves from the brewery. Wicked Weed had a festival planned for July and tickets were to go on sale this week, but the sale has been pushed back to May 20 and thus far over 20 breweries have backed out of the festival with more to follow.

With every buyout there is backlash, but sooner or later the public forgets or the beer does an end run around the beer geeks and ends up with the general public. I’m not sure in this case if the sour portfolio developed by Wicked Weed will survive the current negativity. Joe Beer Drinker is not going to try, nor buy, a $10 bottle of funky beer. Even if they dumb it down it won’t fly off the shelves. So what will AB ultimately do? I’m not sure, but if the Wicked Weed beers don’t sell I would assume they will ask them to focus on the beers which do sell.

Readers of the blog already know I had given up on the Wicked Weed bottles as I found them all underwhelming. I was a fan of The Funkatorium in Asheville, but have always found the brew pub to be a place to far too many unwritten rules. Not going back to the brew pub will not break my heart and my wallet will thank me for skipping The Funkatorium. Will I never drink another Wicked Weed beer again? I’m sure somewhere along the way the best beer on tap will be a WW and I’ll have a glass, but until that happens I don’t plan to put any of my money into the AB machine.


Rest In Peace Mark Binker

Longtime readers of the blog may recall in 2012 a database of concealed handgun permit holders in North Carolina was published. It contained streets and some house numbers to alert residents who had a permit in their area. Mark Binker was one of the people behind that database and he caught some heat from the public for it and was mentioned in this blog several times until the database was taken down in 2013 because House Bill 937 made the information private.

Mark passed away unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 43. He leaves behind his wife and two young sons. While many disagreed with his publishing of the concealed handgun permit database, no one wanted to see any harm come to Mark or his family.

There is a YouCaring fund which has been set up to received donations for Mark’s family. Please keep the Binker family in your thoughts.


House Bill 500 and Farm Breweries

Part of what remains of House Bill 500 as it came out of the ABC Committee included Farm Breweries. Representative Hurley, a Republican from Randolph County proposed an amendment to remove that verbiage from the bill. It failed, but let’s take a look at which members who are on the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers payroll voted FOR the amendment to remove the Farm Brewery verbiage so we can decide who should not hold office again in NC based on their proven record AGAINST craft beer.

No surprise to see the name of Representative James Boles Jr. of Moore County who heads the ABC Committee. He has thirteen thousand five hundred reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Representative Josh Dobson of McDowell County. He only has one thousand reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Representative Chris Malone of Wake County. He has four thousand five hundred reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Representative Shelly Willingham of Edgecombe County. He only has one thousand reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Now there are others who should be held accountable as well. The sources of their campaign contribution have not been investigated, but if they are your representative you should take note.

The following reps voted FOR the amendment:


L. Bell; Brisson; Hanes; Insko; Quick; Willingham


Arp; Blust; Boles; Boswell; Cleveland; Collins; Dobson; Elmore; Ford; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jordan; Malone; McElraft; McNeill; Millis; Potts; Presnell; Riddell; Sauls; Setzer; Shepard; Stevens; Strickland; Torbett; R. Turner; Warren; White

How about those who ultimately voted AGAINST House Bill 500 when it hit the floor. That list includes:


Brisson; Quick


Adams; Bert Jones; Cleveland; Collins; Dobson; Ford; Henson; Howard; Hurley; Jordan; McNeill; Millis; Presnell; Riddell; Sauls; Setzer; Shepard; Stevens; Strickland; Torbett; R. Turner; Warren; White

So there is a nice list of people who should not earn your vote as they do not support craft beer. I see my representative on the list and he should know he will not get my vote when he is up for reelection. I like it when politicians show their true colors.


NCGA House Alcohol Beverage Control Committee

You know how they say a picture is worth 1,000 words. How about several photos which demonstrate a point. I got to wondering the House ABC Committee and their decision to gut House Bill 500 and why that might have happened. Then I took a few minutes and looked at the campaign contributions they have received from the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers and it paints a picture of pay to play politics. Take a gander at the screen shots below and see if you come to the same conclusion.

It should be noted a few are not in the pocket of the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers, but it should be obvious a majority of the committee are on Tim Kent’s payroll through campaign contributions.

ABC CommitteeBellBolesDobsonGillHastingsHolleyLucasMaloneSaineWillinghamYarboroughZachary

House Bill 500 – Gutted?

Word on the street is House Bill 500 was gutted in the ABC Committee to remove the language which would increase the cap for self-distribution. The problem is the NCGA website doesn’t reflect any changes. I have it on good authority what happened is backroom politics spurred by generous giving from Tim Kent and the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers. Deep pockets have made fast friends. I guess legislators don’t care who they get in bed with provided they are getting paid. So our good friends at Craft Freedom will have to hope for a miracle or take the state to court to win their freedom. I know I’ll be looking hard at who has received funding from Timmay in the next election and will be sure to let everyone know when the jury has been rigged.


Tim Kent Is At It Again – H500

So this week Timmay went on a smear campaign against House Bill 500 by declaring 23% of North Carolina breweries are not paying their taxes. What he and his cronies did is take information and twist it to make it look as if small breweries are tax evaders. What was actually stated was “23 percent of resident breweries are not in total compliance.” So what does that mean exactly? Is it some of the breweries have asked for extensions of tax filings? Is is they have not paid their taxes? Is the check in the mail? No, what TK has done is twist the facts. So 23 percent becomes 1 in 4, which is a falsehood from the beginning. Tim could say 1 in 5 and be covered, but by stretching to 1 in 4 he becomes a slimy liar. Then to go further and say they “DON’T PAY THEIR TAXES” also pegs the pants on fire meter. He doesn’t actually know if they pay them or not or what level of “not in total compliance” they are. If he did then the personnel who told him would be breaking confidentiality which I’m pretty sure would end their employment with the state and might actually land Timmay in some hot water. I’m not showing the front side of the mailer below which indicates it comes from the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers and ends with the NCBeerFacts so we now have definitive proof of just how shady Tim and his gang are by depicting themselves as factual when in reality they are far from it.

Tim and the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers do not act in the best interest for North Carolina. We have no large Bud-Miller-Coors breweries anymore. We do have some big breweries, but not on the level of Miller which left the state. Most of Tim’s cronies are distributing for the Bud-Miller-Coors of the world and are working in the interest of foreign corporations so by default Tim is a pawn of foreign companies. What House Bill 500 will do is allow mid-sized breweries to become larger and hire MORE staff which will create jobs in the brewery and with their distribution. It will not take jobs away from beer distributors because they are already employed and busy keeping up with demand for the foreign corporation products. So if those people are not in danger of losing their jobs all this bill can do is CREATE jobs. Tim and his ilk would prefer to have this bill never get out of committee so you should help him fail. To do so please contact each of the members of the ABC committee via phone and urge them to vote for House Bill 500. Also take note of which representatives vote against the bill. You can use that as a voters guide on which representatives to oppose in the next election cycle.

Boles 919-733-5903
Bell 919-715-3017
Gill 919-733-5880
Dobson 919-733-5862
Hanes 919-733-5829
Hastings 919-715-2002
Holley 919-733-5758
Hurley 919-733-5865
Jones 919-733-5821
Lucas 919-733-5775
Malone 919-715-3010
Murphy 919-733-5757
Potts 919-715-0873
Richardson 919-715-3032
Saine 919-733-5782
Willingham 919-715-3024
Yarborough 919-715-0850
Zachary 919-715-8361

Smear Campaign By Tim Kent

McClelland’s Highland Single Malt Scotch

When McClelland’s Highland Single Malt Scotch went on sale in NC I decided to give it a whirl since it was a single malt for $22 a fifth. Unfortunately every inexpensive whiskey cannot be a winner. This one was rough around the edges and everywhere else. It did work well after having other palate numbing foods and beverages, but had a rough raw oak/wood character which had undertones of cedar. It just did not trip my trigger and for the same price I can pickup a blended Scotch or Bourbon which would be more enjoyable. I tried it neat and with water and never found the secret sauce to making this wonderful other than having it once your tastebuds had been beaten to submission by another alcoholic beverage. The finish was acceptable, but the harsh wood character is just a bit much for my tastes. At $22 it is a pass and so if you find it for more, it is even more of a pass. The wood also made the alcohol present as almost hot. At 80 proof it really should be easier to consume. Pass on this one if your tastes are similar to my own. It really is not worth the price of admission.


No Sense Common Or Otherwise – House Bill 723

House Bill 723 was introduced yesterday and passed the first reading today. There is so much wrong with this bill that nothing is right. So what that means is every gun grabber will be on board with it and tout it as common sense. What does it do you ask? Removes your right to protect yourself in the workplace or vehicle so get ready to run boys and girls. You’re still good to go INSIDE your home or residence, but otherwise you have to retreat if this passes. Got a kid coming by, better make sure the kid isn’t an idiot because if they gain access to your firearm your butt is on the line. The way I read it, that is true even if it isn’t your kid. More warnings if someone purchases a firearm. Gee thanks, that will solve a perceived problem. Better run out and get liability insurance if you own a firearm, it will be mandatory if this passes. Got a magazine capable of holding more than 15 rounds? Better hold on tight because you will not be able to buy any more if this passes. There’s more, but just that quick list should be enough to have every gun owner calling their representative and telling them this bill should die a quick death.

On the bright side here is a list of representatives to vote AGAINST in any future election if you care about your Second Amendment rights.
Rep. Pricey Harrison
Rep. Verla Isko
Rep. Susan Fisher
Rep. Carla Cunningham
Rep. Cecil Brockman
Rep. Elmer Floyd

This is a terrible bill and it should never see the light of day again!

PS: The news is saying they are getting rid of the NC Stand Your Ground law. We don’t actually have such a law. We have a Castle Doctrine instead. The difference is Stand Your Ground means wherever you are, Castle Doctrine covers your home, vehicle, and place of employment. Just goes to show if you want to know the law do not rely on your representatives and the media.

Castle Doctrine

Celia Rivenbark – Do Signs Make Us Safer?

Happened upon a column this morning penned by Celia Rivenbark entitled Going Shopping With Guns. Apparently this was an earlier column entitled Guns In A Bookstore – – Really? It was marked as humor, but Celia describes sitting in a gift store/bookstore and seeing a family walk in with both parents open carrying firearms. Celia grew up in Duplin County and now resides in Wilmington, NC. She called the couple Bonnie & Clyde and mentioned after the family left the store posted a “no firearms allowed on premises” sign. My question for our country girl is since when to signs make us safe? Would a sign on your property to not break in ever cause someone to turn around who was intent on breaking into your home? Do speed limit signs keep people from speeding? Do nutrition labels keep us from overeating or getting fat? I was not aware of Celia before noticing her column and will probably ignore her moving forward, but if she believes a family legally open carrying is a problem and signs will keep us safe she truly has issues she needs to work through. Perhaps she should herself check out that self-help section of the bookstore.