Photo courtesy of Vegan Shop-Up

The well-known phrase “Knowledge is Power” hit a little too close to home this past week at Pine Box Rock Shop, as they were tipped off by a customer that a beer they had on tap came from a brewery that wasn’t exactly, erm, in a nutshell, chill.

A customer asked Jeff Rush, co-owner of Pine Box: “By the way, did you know that that War Flag brewery is owned by the Koch Brothers?” referring to their offering of the brewery’s American Pilsner.

After a little research, the owners Jeff and Heather Rush found out that the Greenpoint-based brewery contributes to conservative Super Pacs, which means that Pine Box was inadvertently fueling the Tea Party.

war flag pilsner

Manager Alec Stephens III matter-of-factly stated that the political contributions and social constitutions of War Flag are “not really what us or our clientele stands behind.” And so, they took the War Flag’s American Pilsner off the menu for a few weeks. Then, in light of the recent awesome Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, the owners decided to rename the beer “Pride Flag Pilsner,” donating 100% of its profits on the last keg to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization to provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth in the ages 13-24. Knowing that the other three finished kegs’ profits were already locked in for the local brewery, Heather and Jeff thought that direct action would win in the end. How’s that for reappropriation?

On Thursday July 9th they tapped the beer known as Pride Flag Pilsner, which finally went dry on Sunday the 12th. “Even though some people don’t generally drink pilsners, they drank Pride Flag because it was for a good cause,” Alec told us.

Since the decision, this little protest has apparently made waves with the bartenders down in Park Slope as well. A customer at Pine Box who had business relations with an unspecified bar in Park Slope immediately texted the owners of this news, who then immediately pulled it from their menu.

Pine Box’ flyer Statement:

Alec told me that retrospectively he should have known from their rhetoric that the brewery supported the radical right wing organization, instead of chalking up the website’s description of themselves as being “ironically patriotic.” However, with a constantly changing beer selection it can get time consuming and tedious to conduct heavy research on every brewery. So, he says, “it helps when customers help us, and other businesses, not to fund organizations that we knowingly wouldn’t.” As their flyer states, “The More You Know…”

Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan St, East Williamsburg, is open every day from 4 PM- 4 AM.