I have attempted to remain professional and impartial in my discussion of Blue Lobster Brewing Company, in Hampton NH. I have maintained as much neutrality as I could, both as a beer geek and beer writer throughout the process of starting up, brewing, and the recent brewer transition – but today I have to point out something unpleasant. Warning – this post includes the first curse word I’ve put to the page since I began this blog in seven years ago – because it is part of the beer’s name.
In full disclosure, I have not yet had any beer brewed by the new brewer, and thus can not and have not commented on the quality of merits of the brewery since the personnel change out of respect to both the current and former brewer. However, today, I came on here to write this because of the brewery’s unprofessional conduct.
Today, photos surfaced of a bottled beer released by Blue Lobster that was a beer brewed by the former brewer, David Sakolsky and collaborator Paul Vaughn.
According to Sakolsky, Vaughn contributed significant time and his own funds to brew the beer, which had the planned name of “Paul’s Boutique” at the time of Saklosky’s departure from Blue Lobster – approximately two months ago. However, the beer that was the result of Sakolsky & Vaughn’s collaboration has shown up in photos bearing the name, “Broke Ass Hobbie” which is both offensive and appears to be targeted towards the former brewery employee.
Secondarily, when brewers collaborate on beer, it is customary for that collaboration to be noted on the packaging, or at least the materials accompanying the release. As you can see by the photo, there is no such notation on this beer.
According to posts by Sakolksy on Facebook and Twitter:
It is a 7.8% Biere De Garde brewed with Tennessee grits and aged 10 months in Arrington Vineyards Port barrels with a mixed culture. It has multiple brett variants and bacteria. Paul not only built the bacterial culture, bought the grits, flew up here to brew with me on his dime, and got us a deal on the barrels, but also designed the recipe with me.
He deserves more than a mention for that beer.
While the specific intent and meaning of this label is not known (as the brewery has yet to publicly comment on it) I am here to express my disappointment that a brewery would act unprofessionally towards former employees, and, worse, collaborators. This release, which was not announced by the brewery, bears a name that is offensive, contains a curse word, and also has no mention of the collaboration anywhere on the label. In the beer business, this is just bad practice.
I hope that anyone reading this will consider this when evaluating this brewery’s merits going forward. I hate to have to write these types of things, and they are rare in the beer industry.
Post Script: Another beer brewed by Sakolsky but sold by Blue Lobster after his firing – an Imperial Stout – was also tapped at WHYM last night. The name for that one? Last Call.