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Grapevine Craft Brewing CEO Responds to the Observer

10390465_707230086004160_289579665656264579_nSteven Harrell wrote a quick ditty for the Observer this morning, taking us to task over our best beer issue, and, more specifically, our crowning of Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s English Brown Ale as the best non-seasonal beer in Dallas.

I wasn’t aware of the post until Grapevine CEO Gary Humble sent over an email this afternoon. I’ll let it speak for itself. Please read to the end:


It’s writers like you that sometimes cause me to second guess what I’m doing owning a brewery. But then again, it’s our fans and the love of what we do that causes me to come back to reality and see your blogs and rants as little more than insignificant in the first place.

What you and writers like you don’t seem to get is that behind these beers are businesses, small businesses, local businesses. And for that matter, people, people who really care about what they do and work their asses off on a daily basis to do it.

There’s no doubt that the D Magazine article is at absolute best subjective. And frankly, I really wish all of the beer ranking crap would go away, especially from the Dallas County Medical Society communications director self-professed Dallas Observer beer expert. But I digress.

Regarding our Sir Williams English Brown Ale, it was an honor for us to get a mention from D Magazine. We didn’t ask for it. Hell, we didn’t even know about it until one of our friends walked into the brewery with the magazine. We were floored. But it is also worth noting that only a few short weeks later, out of 88 beers, a panel of BJCP certified judges gave the Sir Williams BEST OF SHOW at the Best Little Brewfest in Texas in Lewisville, TX. Needless to say, both Certified Cicerones, Master Sommeliers and BJCP judges have rated the Sir Williams as an outstanding beer.

All that said, does that mean it’s the best beer Dallas? Well, to some people, maybe. And to others, probably not. But that’s the beautiful thing about beer isn’t it. There’s something for everyone. Our local craft beer industry is young and full of sold out entrepreneurs with a passion for our craft. I know all of these guys and I consider them friends. Owning a brewery is not for the faint of heart. Working at a brewery is no cake walk. It’s hard work. That said, Steven it’s great that you spend your time writing and talking about local craft beer. And you’re lucky to be provided a platform to do so. Be a fan. Be constructive. Promote the industry. Just don’t be an asshole.


Gary Humble
Founder & CEO, Grapevine Craft Brewery

  • DK Davillovic

    Awesome response and a great beer!

  • Ricky Ferrer

    That was awesome

  • Monstruss

    It’s a little weird and petty to bring up where Steven Harrell works like it has anything to do with beer at all, but I digress. What a baby.

  • Aaron Chamberlain

    Yes, all beer “writers” should be fanboys, promotional mouthpieces…

  • WesWells17

    Totally agree with Gary. Too many of today’s writers (especially bloggers) err on the side of flippant which, in most instances, is merely a way to mask insecurity and/or deficiency in a particular subject matter. Out of what appears to be an appx 450 word piece (I didn’t count; just a guess), this is the only part that is relevant, and it’s a C- review at best:

    “It’s just beer. Brown, boring, not bad beer. I would rate it a solid 5 out of 10. It pours fairly dark without much lacing and there’s a bit of roasted malt on the nose. The flavor is fine — I got notes of vanilla creme balanced by a benign nuttiness. But on the whole, really, there’s nothing remarkable either way.”

  • Dan B

    Gary. Dude. Brother. He’s a critic, paid to be snarky. Don’t let it get under your skin- just keep on being awesome, and ignore the haters. Love Sir William’s, love GCB, but for the love of all things hoppy, don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit- and none of us read his super-hipster ‘I deem this inferior’ snark-fest anyhow.

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  • Bryan Perry

    What does Beer Advocate say?

  • Bryan Perry

    What does Beer Advocate say?

  • Bryan Perry

    Its BA score on Beer Advocate is 88; I can’t wait to try it!

  • Unknown

    Mr Humble. Your article is not very humble. You should learn to take the good with the bad. Stating where Mr Harrell works was rude and immature on your part. Hope you don’t act this way with all criticism.

  • DFWHeathen

    It sounds to me like someone got their feelings hurt. You own a business, grow up. Not every piece is going to praise you, no matter how highly you think of your own product. His article is basically the exact reaction I had. I suspect I am not the only one. You’re right that “there is something for everyone” so don’t be shocked when one of them is not for someone. At least we all agree that “best of lists” are total bs.

  • Carol Shih

    Did Steven get humbled by Mr. Humble?

  • Thomas

    Lol, this guys a clown and his brown ale is down right boring.