MobCraft Beer thinks a lot of things are “weird” – so weird that they are hosting a Weird Fest Block Party in front of their tasting room on Saturday, July 17.
This concept, however, caused a controversy today, as first reported by Milwaukee Record.
The "weirdness" the fest has on tap, according to social media posts, includes Mondo Lucha wrestling along with the limited release of “Zany Zucchini Bread” and “Dill Pickle Sour” beers.
They also released a now-edited post about the ”weird” food that will be available during the fest including octopus, pork, mushrooms and ... spring rolls.
Within minutes, commenters questioned the inclusion of spring rolls – a common Asian food – as “weird.” In usual social media form, follow-up posts ranged from saying the correlation was “xenophobic” to accusations of cancel culture.
MobCraft eventually deleted the original post, removed the “weird” food items from the online menu and posted this apology:
From the start of MobCraft it was common for people to call our beers weird. We have always embraced the positive aspects of that "label" and out of that Weird Fest was born. This celebration is centered around the hope that people would come together to have fun and enjoy experiences that they may not normally have tried. This includes beer, music, entertainment, and food.
No food, by nature, is weird. Our kitchen normally serves pizza so the idea behind the Weird Fest menu was to offer something that a pizza kitchen would not normally offer. Calling any food “weird” was a serious misstep on our part. We are sorry. It was not our intention to hurt or offend any culture by labeling any food strange or bizarre. This food may not be common coming from a pizza kitchen, but is common for many people. We made a mistake. We will be removing the spring rolls from the menu for this upcoming event, but, more importantly, we will continue our work to be better aware of how our actions impact our community.
Comments on the previous post have been turned off due to racially-charged posts and hateful speech. This is not who we are as a company and we do not want to perpetuate negative and unconstructive dialogue in any manner.
We do want to hear your creative and constructive feedback to understand how we can do better and learn from our mistakes. Please email us at email@example.com.
We take this very seriously and know we need to do better. We deeply apologize for any harm this has caused, and we will keep doing the work to better educate ourselves. Our goal is always to be better, and we are already working on ways to be a more inclusive member of our community.
That apology wasn't good enough for some on Facebook.
While some commenters called this just another example of "political correctness" gone wild, Milwaukee's Shary Tran, herself an Asian American, wrote:
"You are failing spectacularly at apologizing for your xenophobic post about Asian food. Turning off the comments on a post that IS STILL UP ON YOUR PAGE is not how you listen to the voices of people you disrespected. TAKE IT DOWN. THROW THE WHOLE THING AWAY. Your words are hollow if you say sorry but do nothing. MobCraft Beer is supposed to listen to the “mob”. You’re not listening. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell them to take the post down."
This is not the first time MobCraft apologized for being perceived as culturally insensitive. In 2016, they were confronted by the community for printing beer labels featuring racial stereotype caricatures.
They also received outraged feedback when they introduced a potential new beer flavor called “Date Grape,” a play on the expression “date rape.”
ModCraft also apologized for these events at the time.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.