North Carolina Breweries Fight HB2 With Delicious Beer
Thirty-six NC breweries have agreed to put a special brew on tap as a statement against anti-LGBT legislation
The breweries of North Carolina are fighting the state’s anti-LGBT legislation with the thing they know best: beer. Two local breweries have created the Don’t Be Mean To People: A Golden Rule Saison, a statement against the discrimination HB2 stands for that will be sold, in liquid form, at breweries around the state.
A collaboration between the Mystery Brewing Co. and the Ponysaurus Brewing Co., the duo have persuaded 36 breweries around the state to sell the saison. Supporters of a crowdfunding effort for the project, which has raised $27,000 so far, will also receive cans of beer (if they live in North Carolina). The organizers say one hundred percent of the profit from the effort will go to organizations that support LGBT-related causes, including Equality NC, a group that fights for equal rights for LGBT people, and QORDS, one that hosts summer camps for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth and their families.
There has been plenty of opposition to the law so far, but beer counts as one of the more creative forms of resistance. PayPal recently announced that it won’t go forward with a planned expansion in North Carolina because of HB2, and earlier this week Deutsche Bank said it is pausing its own expansion in the Tar Heel state. A number of movie and TV productions have threatened to pull out of North Carolina if the law persists, and Bruce Springsteen canceled a Greensboro concert over the weekend. But North Carolina’s residents argue that these boycotts hurt their state. Myers explains on the Don’t Be Mean To People fundraising page:
We see this beer as a means to an end and a social statement. We’ve seen businesses, municipalities, and even rock legends from around the country punish North Carolina for passing this law. We’ve seen business expansions and job opportunities pull out of the state. We see that our communities are being harmed by this action. But we can’t do that with our businesses. This is our home, where we’re trying to establish roots and grow. We can’t leave; we are left to deal with the consequences created by our General Assembly. But we can do this: empower.
This comes during a week where Governor Pat McCrory signed an executive order to “clarify” HB2. Essentially, it adds the ability for people to sue for discrimination, but it’s really just been seen as a way for the governor–who is up for re-election in November–to save face. But ultimately the order leaves most of the bad parts of HB2 intact, which is why protests like this persist.