The Kitchener-Waterloo Region is home to a plethora of great breweries — and almost none of them have founders who were charged with two counts of assault and one count of assault with a weapon.
Off the top of my head, the region boasts Barn Cat, Bitte Schön, Block Three, Jackass, Rural Roots, Stockyards, Together We’re Bitter Co-op, Wavemaker, and Willibald and — to my knowledge — none of these breweries were founded by a man who was captured on video striking his girlfriend with an object and who subsequently faced charges for the act.
It is unfortunate then that, when the City of Kitchener recently opened up their Requests for Proposals (RFP) process to find a “non-premier brewery partner” to serve beer at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex and Kitchener Golf Courses, they awarded the contract to Four Fathers Brewing Company in Cambridge. Unfortunate, of course, because in 2018 Four Fathers founder and University of Guelph Professor John Kissick actually was charged with two counts of assault and one count of assault with a weapon. Those charges were ultimately dropped in 2020 when Kissick entered into a peace bond with the party who brought forward the charges, but to craft beer drinkers and any feeling humans who watched video of the (alleged) assault (myself among them) the incident likely left a bad taste in their mouth.
Indeed, for many in the craft beer community, especially women and folks who have been marginalized, this relatively high-profile “partnership” will likely lend credence to a prevailing sentiment that I’ve developed lately about the industry’s desire and ability to police itself, namely the realization that no one actually gives a fuck. Continue reading “The Uncanceled”