Earlier this week, Reckless Brewing owner Dave Hyndman composed a post on his company’s Facebook page promoting the renaming of his black lager to Black Lagers Matter. That post leaned on a series of African-American stereotypes, racist themes and even riffed off Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech. That post instantly took on a life of its own on social media, being reposted and discussed via numerous online forums. While some fans of the business attempted to defend Hyndman as a non-conformist known for his against-the-grain humor, the vast majority of people commenting on the post felt it was racist or, at best, ill-conceived and in poor taste. Hyndman’s follow-up posts consisted of multiple, defensive apologies that failed to move the needle of public opinion.
Three days of virality and volatility led Hyndman to post the following on Reckless Brewing’s Facebook page earlier today:
I’ve decide that I will close reckless brewing. So, those that wanted that, you have accomplished your objective.
I just want to repeat how sorry I am for any and all the hurt I caused with my insensitive post. It was a terrible mistake. I’ve certainly learned some things from this. But for those that have been hating me for this terrible lack of understanding, if you are interested in knowing the actual human being that you have been hating, i invite you to come and talk to me face to face as two human beings. I am flawed, no doubt, for I am just a man, but i invite you to talk to me and look into my face as a fellow human being and see if you still think i am such an evil person. This has nothing to do with damage control because the damage is done and the business is closing, but maybe some people can see that you cannot know a person from one lack of judgment.
For those that know me and are fans of Reckless, I am sorry I’ve let you down. I’m sorry to the people that love reckless brewing because it will be going away. I just cannot deal with this. I have always been really uncomfortable with hostility and hatred in any form and I really just need to remove myself from this situation. I’ve never been the subject of hatred and it will kill me if I don’t get away from it. But I will do what I can for you guys to get closure before I go away. There will still be some chances to get some beer and to visit me as I plan for Reckless to be open its usual hours for at least a few weeks until I can use up all the beer and give away the swag. I love all you guys and will truly miss all the great times and people that having reckless has blessed me to know.
Hyndman has been irreverent since originally opening as Wet ‘N’ Reckless Brewing in 2012, utilizing a naming scheme for his beers considered classless and misogynistic by many, and writing satirical posts that, like the one that kicked off this week’s online maelstrom, come across as crass or inappropriate. After a 2014 fire destroyed the original facility in Mira Mesa, he re-opened the business under its current name in 2015 directly across the street from Ballast Point’s San Diego headquarters in Miramar.