Southern Star Brewery has been met with a barrage of harassment and even some threats after the company announced on Friday that it would no longer host a rally against censorship featuring Kyle Rittenhouse later this month.
“It’s been kind of a sh__ storm,” CEO Dave Fougeron said in an interview on Saturday. “But now I’m more certain than ever that I made the right decision.” In a statement, he clearly stated that his establishment “is an apolitical organization, but we feel that this event doesn’t reflect our own values and we could not in good faith continue to rent out space for the event. … We don’t do rallies, we make beer for people who like beer.”
Fougeron said that he only found out a few days ago that Rittenhouse was the “special guest” at the event. He rejected any claims that the cancellation was due to pressure from a “woke mob” or distributors like H-E-B. Instead, he said the decision came after numerous patrons expressed their concerns to the brewery.
Southern Star is known for its craft beers, such as Bombshell Blonde, and it prides itself on being a place that is welcoming to all. The business is located in Conroe, Texas.
“Our place is super inclusive,” he said. “We are super pro-veteran, super pro-law enforcement. We’re trying to be good people in the community. We’re friends with our firefighters, with our police department…. We have a lot of gay patrons who come in because it’s a place of inclusivity. It’s crazy that we’re getting threats from people.”
Kyle Rittenhouse, who was famously acquitted of killing two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020, joined in on the harassment via Twitter, saying it was “It’s really disappointing to see that places continue to censor me and not allow my voice and many other voices to be heard because they bend to the woke crowd,” Numerous other right-wing accounts also joined in harassing the brewery and accusing it of censorship after it announced that the event didn’t align with their values.
The rally was organized by Defiance Press, a Conroe-based publisher that publishes “conservative” books and materials including one that advocates for Texas to secede from the United States. They have also published a book about the criminally convicted (and later pardoned) sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. The event spokesperson said it was definitely getting rescheduled elsewhere.
Rittenhouse’s defense was based around his claim that he was only at the rally to help people and protect businesses. Apparently, he has no interest in protecting a business or people with different values from his own. For those types, he seems more than comfortable to harass and bully them.