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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Diesel Filling Station Boycotts Sweetwater

Sweetwater

It all started with a report in Creative Loafing earlier this month that beer from other Georgia craft breweries had been pushed out of Turner Field by an exclusive sponsorship deal between the Braves and Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Co., which included a bigger presence around the park and the takeover of the former Coors kiosk in the Fan Plaza near the front gates.

Soon after, baseball loving beer geeks were crying foul, noting that beer from Red Brick and Terrapin were missing from the opening day lineup.

Over the weekend, Diesel Filling Station in Virginia-Highland posted a message on its outdoor sign declaring that the bar would boycott Sweetwater and no longer carry its beer.

“It was 420 weekend, so we thought we’d have some fun,” Diesel owner Justin Haynie said today, referring to 420 Fest, the big Sweetwater music and beer festival that was going on Friday-Sunday at Centennial Olympic Park.

“The decision was based on the Turner Field thing,” Haynie said. “We only carry domestic beer and we try to sell mostly local Georgia beers. We have 20 taps that we rotate. When we read that Turner Field was exclusive to Sweetwater we made the decision.”

Sources at Sweetwater claim that their “exclusive craft beer sponsorship” means that they are an official Braves sponsor — not that Sweetwater beers should be the only craft beers sold at the ball park.

Aramark, the national food service company that runs the concessions at Turner, is in charge of ordering beer through its distributors, including United Distributors, the wholesaler for Sweetwater and Terrapin.

Of course, Sweetwater is an Atlanta success story, and as Georgia’s biggest craft brewery recently rose to 19 on the list of the top 50 American craft breweries.

In a business that has grown by fighting David and Goliath battles with the big beer companies, namely Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, passionate beer geeks often take sides. But the Sweetwater controversy hits much closer to home, highlighting how far craft beer has come in recent times.

What do you think? Is the Sweetwater and Turner Field deal a good thing or a bad thing for local craft beer?

— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.

48 comments Add your comment

Chad

April 21st, 2014
2:23 pm

I have been messaging them on twitter about it and apparently this goes back for three years. They wouldn’t divulge as to why they don’t serve but rather that it doesn’t directly have to do with Sweetwater. I think it’s a dumb form of passive aggressiveness. Politics (whether beer or law) don’t belong on your signage.

Spivedog

April 21st, 2014
3:29 pm

The irony here, is that my friends and I have been boycotting Diesel for the past 3 years. The staff that works there, particularly the hipster bartenders, are probably the rudest staff in Atlanta. For some reason, they (the staff) think it’s “cute” to be rude to customers. It’s a very odd bar to say the least. Do not waste your money there b/c they don’t appreciate your business.

Lisa

April 21st, 2014
3:41 pm

Wow Spivedog – I find it to be quite the opposite. As a neighbor, I have always found them to be courteous, nice, and welcoming. Definitely appreciative of the business and supportive of the neighborhood. And as a business owner, they have the right to put anything they want on their signage. If you don’t like it, don’t go. Pretty simple.

Mason Gill

April 21st, 2014
3:58 pm

I like turtles.

Freeeeeeee

April 21st, 2014
4:06 pm

I support Diesel.

Mr Smiley

April 21st, 2014
4:10 pm

If I’m going to pay $9 for a beer at a game, it better be any kind of beer I want. Moral of the story…tailgate hard on your couch.

Geoff

April 21st, 2014
4:13 pm

Diesel, in my experience is the epitome of loyalty. They have a solid regular crowd, but don’t waste time on the “weekend warriors” who hem & haw, can’t decide on a drink on a busy weekend night, then tip like amateurs
Sounds like Spivedog might be one of those. Also, there’s never been anyone who could even be closely described as a “hipster” bartender there until the last year or thereabouts. And those are excellent bartenders.

Jasper Jones

April 21st, 2014
4:36 pm

Hipsters have been rude to me in East Atlanta a few times. If you don’t look grungy enough they tend to be rude. And I am by no means one of these preppy, Polo shirt fluffy hair with a visor dbags either.

Politix

April 21st, 2014
5:03 pm

If you act right when you come in to Diesel they will treat you like you have been coming in there since day one….. If not….. don’t be a dick next time and see how your experience changes.

Be good to the D and the D will be good to you…. simple!

drew

April 21st, 2014
5:08 pm

Dogfish Head…now THAT’S a good, craft beer.

Dolemite

April 21st, 2014
5:26 pm

The last time I was at Diesel some regular in the corner decided to yell “I’ll give $5 if any white person in this bar can tell me who Dolemite was.” His friends thought it was hilarious. So did me and my friend, because we knew who Dolemite was. We went over to collect our $5 and for some reason he didn’t think he owed it. He even got this really skinny guy with a long, thin beard out of the kitchen to try to kick us out. Too bad it didn’t work. He eventually handed over the $5 and we put the $5 bill in the jukebox and played a bunch of 70’s blaxploitation funk and left. If you take the side of the guy who lost $5, Diesel is for you.

Seabass

April 21st, 2014
5:40 pm

You should have kicked hisass, Dolemite. What’s worse? A neighbor bar wiener or a “craft brew” wiener?

Ned Ludd

April 21st, 2014
5:45 pm

Dolomite /ˈdɒləmaɪt/ is an anhydrous carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg(CO3)2. The word dolomite is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock, which is composed predominantly of the mineral dolomite (also known as dolostone).

pease

April 21st, 2014
6:40 pm

Va high;and bar nuff said

domin8er

April 21st, 2014
7:38 pm

Nuke the gay baby whales.

Teressa

April 21st, 2014
7:51 pm

Burnt Hickory Brewery!!!! give them a night in the beer spotlight at Turner Field.

Steak

April 21st, 2014
9:46 pm

As long as that hole Diesel lets people smoke, I’m boycotting them, so who cares what they sell.

Grasshopper

April 21st, 2014
10:54 pm

“Hipsters have been rude to me in East Atlanta a few times. If you don’t look grungy enough they tend to be rude. And I am by no means one of these preppy, Polo shirt fluffy hair with a visor dbags either.”

Moral of the story: Make sure you are dressed in the correct cliches and you will be treated well.

the truth hurts

April 22nd, 2014
2:45 am

Diesel is nothing more than a gathering place for young, punka$$ posers.

Andy

April 22nd, 2014
6:11 am

Why would someone go to a braves games in 2014?

Ale

April 22nd, 2014
6:48 am

Match-lit smoke and a pint keeps the kiddies away. I’ll have what ales ya.

sansho1

April 22nd, 2014
7:03 am

Been to a game yet this year, Mr. Smiley? The going rate is now $10-$11….

Peter

April 22nd, 2014
7:12 am

Well the pricing of Beer at the games is one reason to just not go in the first place.

Let management pay for over priced players like BJ and Uggla on their own.

They are moving the stadium and making it less likely folks can tail gate. Best to them without my money.

PTC Bernie

April 22nd, 2014
7:13 am

So, they want to showcase local beers but they exclude Terrapin? Someone’s not paying off the right person………..

Let's Be Honest

April 22nd, 2014
7:49 am

Hipsters are financially inept and narcissists. They actually can’t afford decent clothing, Braves tickets, or craft beers whether served inside The Ted or at Diesel. Boycotts don’t work, if they did then BP would have been shut down and so would Chick fil A. Real people with real money to spend at a Braves game don’t think twice about the hipster simplistic mindset or agenda. Being rude is simply a sign of their self loathing. Sounds like a personal problem. Grow up.

Baltisraul....

April 22nd, 2014
8:57 am

Andy-”why would anybody go to a Braves game in 2014″? Couple reasons; they are true baseball fans, Braves are in 1st place; their pitching leads the ML in combined ERA, I could go on but you might get the point. Try that new soccer team, that should excite you! lol Stick to food Andy, sports is not your deal.

N-GA Online

April 22nd, 2014
10:51 am

It seems the problem is Aramark. Their business model is interesting, to be sure. They have very, very few employees. What they do is solicit non-profit organizations to staff each venue and pay them a percentage of the gross. Much cheaper that way with no real HR hassles. They also pay a percentage (by contract) to the stadium authority and they pay for the products they sell. They stock what sells and provides the best profit margins….really.

peaches30305

April 22nd, 2014
12:32 pm

N-GA Online – This has nothing to do with Aramark. Absolutely nothing. Your comment about Aramark being the problem is incorrect and the diatribe is way off topic.

Richard Bagge

April 22nd, 2014
1:09 pm

Let’s Be Honest, the purpose of the Chick-fil-A boycott was to force them to stop sending money to hate groups. The boycott worked; they quit financing them. Another local boycott forced Dragon-Con, after spending years claiming that they couldn’t get their founder kicked out of the convention’s profit sharing, to dump his butt after about six weeks of bad press. So there are two that worked just fine.

Hal

April 22nd, 2014
1:33 pm

Quite a battle. Seems like alot of douchebaggery by all parties involved.

Tweedman Stone

April 22nd, 2014
2:43 pm

I’m a professional person, and I dress and act that way.
I don’t take myself too serious and I tend to treat people with respect.
No one ever acts rudely to me.
I don’t have “encounters” or “situations.”
I don’t get bad service, and I go all over town, Brookhaven to Old Fourth Ward, from Buckhead to Va-Hi, from Decatur to West Midtown. People in hanging out in bars and working in the hospitality industry don’t want trouble and most are glad to make a new friend.
Just be straight forward and polite.
True hipsters are dirty trust funders, and they have plenty of money and just as much self entitlement as you and I. I get along fine in East Atlanta and O4W.
I went to that bar Diesel about six weeks ago and the bartender was friendly enough. Most of the patrons were white-trash neck-beards, but no one was discourteous. I got drunk, and I didn’t get my feelings hurt. The problem is too many people looking for reasons to get their feelings hurt.

PTC DAWG

April 22nd, 2014
3:20 pm

To some of you guys posting here, if EVERYWHERE you go, you think the folks are rude, or hipsters, or look at you funny, you my fellow posters, are the problem.

Robert

April 22nd, 2014
3:24 pm

Well said, Tweedman, and PTC. We are an easily offended society.

BlueRidgeRick

April 22nd, 2014
4:12 pm

Go Braves Go – and take the Falcons with you. I haven’t been to a game since the Braves went on strike in the late 70’s or early 80’s. They made 8 – 20 times what I was making, they were doing a job they loved and still they went on strike. The Braves haven’t gotten a penny from me since then. I don’t care what beer they sell.

EducateYourself

April 22nd, 2014
4:33 pm

This was a decision from Aramark, not from the brewery. Reading another article from BSJ, it cites that Aramark is reducing the number of SKUs carried onsite and trying to reduce glass products. They’re looking for cans made in 16-oz variety – which SW makes locally right now. Makes total sense to me. Do your research people. Plus, Terrapin is coming back to the Ted shortly, obviously SW didn’t kick them out. Stop hating, and celebrate the growth of craft beer.

JM

April 23rd, 2014
12:37 am

Do half of you idiots even remember what the OP was about???

Like a bunch of children.

“NO!!! I’m WAY better than you”

“NO!!! I AM BETTER!!!!”

“FINE!”

Sheesh

Ned Ludd

April 23rd, 2014
7:27 am

Aramark provides food and drink services to sports venues, hospitals, and prisons. Customer feedback is not their concern. I’m sure they are great folks but their decisions certainly aren’t made on such a local issue or concern for responding to the individual customers desires.

Baltisraul....

April 23rd, 2014
7:45 am

Ned…….I agree with the above but they do have a school/university division that does care about customer feedback.

Ned Ludd

April 23rd, 2014
9:04 am

No doubt about that Balt—tough to serve as many people as they do and keep them all happy, but as stated above it is usually not their employees actually serving the customers, which is very important when gauging their satisfaction and getting comments and feedback.

Baltisraul....

April 23rd, 2014
11:00 am

Ned……customer feedback from the prison population is low on the priority list for evaluation. I do know that during holidays in prison, the employees do the serving for the ham, turkey etc. Otherwise they would run out in a hurry. My wife, in her younger years, worked in 2 prisons. One in Ga (women) one in Fla (men). She quit the womens prison, she said it was not safe for women employees. The men’s prison was safer, she said the prison inmates protected her in the kitchen. Her employer in Fla was Aramark. The pay scale for Aramark was way above avg. at the supervisory level. She really liked that company.

Baltisraul....

April 23rd, 2014
11:18 am

Ned…..Back in the day, Aramark added what in the military they call, combat pay, to her weekly salary. Upon retirement, you years of employment was multiplied by 3.5% for the same reason. The State of Florida still does that but I doubt private business still has this benifit available.

Ned Ludd

April 24th, 2014
10:28 am

Glad they are good to hard working deserving employees Balt,— world needs more of that. Agreed that feedback from felons is not a high priority but stand by my contention that very few comments from you and I buying a cold (or warm) one at a braves game make it to powers that be.

Observer

April 24th, 2014
12:36 pm

Tweedman hit it on the head … “too may people looking for a reason to get their feelings hurt”
Look just as hard for a good time, and I bet you find one !

Baltisraul.....

April 24th, 2014
1:11 pm

Ned, Had a hard time understanding your post @10:28. Please rephrase, sometimes I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer!

Ned Ludd

April 24th, 2014
2:26 pm

Your wife worked hard and was rewarded.
Who cares about felons.
Beer vendors at The Ted are monopolistic.
Aramark is the common thread of all of the above.
No slight intended.

Baltisraul.....

April 24th, 2014
4:30 pm

Ned, believe me I could care less about felons, it was just a story. Our only dealings with Aramark was a good one. But we could list a lot more that big that was not so pleasent. Thanks for makinging it easier for me. No slight taken.

AzCat

April 24th, 2014
10:53 pm

Go to beerstreetjournal.com to get the rest of the story which, per usual for a tempest in a teapot like this, is really no story at all.

Big boss man

April 27th, 2014
11:32 am

I’ve been a patron of this bar since it opened. The rules are very simple. Behave, pay your tabs, tip correctly and enjoy. Diesel has been involved with as many charities and food drives and fund raisers in the last 5/6 years, as possible. Many more than any other local bar in VAHI area. It’s a fact! The bar wasn’t built for everybody. They have a demographic to be sure, but notion of hipsters and or degenerates is just stupid! It’s simple, don’t be an ass and you won’t be made to feel like one! Diesel is a great bar. It may not be for you, but don’t cry about it just go some where else.