The Schlafly Beer Employee Blog

November 1, 2017

Top Fermentation - November 2017


The Monthly Editorial Blog By Schlafly Beer Co-Founder Tom Schlafly

November 7th is the 100th anniversary of The October Revolution.  That’s right.  The October Revolution of 1917 actually took place in November.  Alert readers (ARs) who are versed in Russian history will recall that The Great October Socialist Revolution (aka The October Revolution) was an armed insurrection of Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin. This led to the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, which eventually became The Soviet Union.

These same ARs will also recall that in 1917 Russia still followed the Julian Calendar.  Even though the Gregorian Calendar was more accurate, it was unacceptable to the Russian Orthodox Church because it had been instituted by a pope.  November 7th on the Gregorian Calendar, which the Soviet Union  belatedly accepted, was October 25th on the Julian Calendar, thus explaining why The October Revolution took place in November.

On November 8, 1917 Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized the Winter Palace in Petrograd, the seat of the provisional government that was overthrown.  Ninety-nine years later, on November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, a result that most pundits had failed to predict.  In the ensuing months many have claimed that the outcome of the election was attributable to Russian interference.  Specifically, Russia, under the direction of Vladimir Putin, is said to have set up fake accounts on various social media.  Russians have also been accused of running political ads without disclosing who was actually behind the ads.  The extent to which these fake social media accounts and ads influenced the outcome of the election is now being hotly debated.

While some have questioned the integrity of the U.S. election of 2016 because of alleged Russian meddling, no one has argued that the election should not have been held.  This was not, however, the case in Iraqi Kurdistan or in Catalonia in northeast Spain.  Both of these regions held referenda on independence; and in both cases the respective national governments did everything they could to prevent the elections from taking place.  Both  elections were held anyway; and  both the Kurds and the Catalans voted overwhelmingly for independence.

baindependentseal1000wComing soon to Schlafly packaging.

It should be noted that this enthusiasm for independence may not be universal, including among players in the National Football League. As improbable as this might seem, I’m not sure how else to explain the different reactions on the part of NFL players  to the playing of the respective national anthems of the United Kingdom and the United States. 

As most ARs undoubtedly know, the British national anthem is “God Save the Queen.”  That of The United States is “The Star Spangled Banner.”  When both national anthems were played prior to recent NFL games in London, a significant number of players chose to stand for “God Save the Queen,” but not for “The Star Spangled Banner.”  At this point it’s worth recalling that in 1776 The United States declared its independence from the British monarchy in an historic document detailing a multitude of grievances against the incumbent king. This led to the American Revolution, which culminated with the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781. In 1812 The United States fought another war against Great Britain in defense of American sovereignty.  “The Star Spangled Banner” was written to commemorate one of the important battles in this second war. In light of this history, which I’m sure all NFL players would have been taught along the way, it would appear that the players were happy to stand for a song celebrating the monarchy against which the United States fought a war for independence;  but they declined to stand for a song commemorating an important battle that helped confirm this independence.

More than two centuries after The War of 1812, there’s a major debate in the brewing world over the value of independence. On one side you have American-owned craft brewers that have not sold out to multi-national conglomerates. On the other side you have the breweries that have sold out.  You might call them the Tories.  The Brewers Association, whose membership consists of craft brewers, has authorized qualifying brewers to use a logo identifying themselves as “Independent Craft.” Schlafly is a proud member of the Brewers Association and is eligible to use the logo on our packaging.  Our plan is to introduce it gradually as we use up the packaging that was printed before the logo was adopted.

Not surprisingly, the Tories have responded indignantly by claiming they didn’t really sell out when they sold out.  They have argued that the logo in question is divisive, irrelevant and misleading. As for these objections by the Tories to the “Independent” logo, one wonders why they protest so much.  Why do they want to conceal the identities of the foreign conglomerates that own their breweries and design their ad campaigns? It’s almost like concealing the true identities and nationalities of  the masterminds behind fake social media accounts and political ads.


Tom Schlafly