Late Wednesday afternoon, Deep Ellum Brewing Company's founder John Reardon posted on Facebook accusing Scotch & Sausage, Oak Lawn's recently opened bangers and booze joint, of pulling some shady dealings regarding selling the brewery's beer in their restaurant. Specifically, Deep Ellum claims the restaurant refused to carry their beer unless they "payed to play" — giving the restaurant $120 per week for the privilege of occupying one of the taps with their beer, or alternatively selling them the beer for half price. This practice, as the brewery described it, is illegal, but Scotch & Sausage tells an extremely different story.
According to the restaurant, the scheme Deep Ellum accused them of never took place — they say they just didn't like the beer enough to serve it. A Facebook post written a few hours after Deep Ellum's accusations took off explained that the brewery had been trying "for months" to gain the restaurant's business, but they're just not interested. Doubly so after last night, we're guessing.
Rami Rassas, co-owner of Scotch & Sausage, posted further comments on Facebook later that night, chiding Deep Ellum for "bashing the new kid on the block." Brewery founder John Reardon says the post was simply intended to make a larger point about small businesses exploiting local breweries with shady financial deals like the one he claims happened yesterday.
No matter what details continue to emerge from yesterday's uncomfortably public slapfight, the controversy probably isn't going away any time soon. The original accusatory post by Deep Ellum has nearly 1,500 likes and over 200 shares on Facebook, with the brewery occasionally wading into the comments to provide their own commentary, and the rebuttal posted by Scotch & Sausage is getting its fair share of attention as well.
Of course, this isn't the first rodeo for Deep Ellum. Last year, the brewery was hit with accusations that the "Goes Down Easy" slogan for their Dallas Blonde beer was sexist, and despite a sort-of apology and eventual international attention for the controversy, the company apparently didn't do much about it in the end. Facing backlash is apparently just part of a master brewer's job description, at least in DEBC's world.
· Deep Ellum Brewing Co. [Facebook]
· Scotch & Sausage [Facebook]
· DEBC Publicly Blasts Scotch & Sausage Over Sales Dispute [Central Track]
[Images: DEBC/Scotch & Sausage]