Tacoma brewery owner speaks out after internet backlash over hateful statements

The owner of the Dystopian State Brewing Company has received backlash after the owner messaged a patron with comments that the patron found threatening and homophobic.

The patron said on a Facebook group that Dystopian State Brewing was the only place he had to spit beer back into a glass.

“Spit that back into your boyfriends mouth you piece of [expletive],” the owner, Shane McElwrath, wrote in response. McElwrath continued with expletive-laden messages.

McElwrath spoke to KIRO 7 reporter Joanna Small on Wednesday and said he’s received death threats and hate messages, which is why he is not going into his business Wednesday. But the brewery is still open.

McElwrath said he’s not homophobic and is concerned his business will suffer.

“We really screwed up,” a statement on Dystopian State Brewing’s webpage said. “We lashed out to one of our customers who made a negative comment about our beer on a beer group on social media. We made it personal. And have sent him messages in very poor taste. This is unacceptable and it was wrong.

“This is unprofessional and we take full responsibility. Gus Erickson - thank you for giving us a chance and please accept our deepest apology for sending you hateful messages.”

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