Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Omaha World Herald article clarifications

A few posts back I posted an article about the hop shortage and how that is going to effect local brewers. Today I received an email from Jim, at Empyrean, requesting that I post some corrections to the article. If there are other brewers out there that see something wrong in an article or one of our posts please don't hesitate to call me or them to the mat. Bad information can sometimes be worse than no information at all and we are all here for the common good. Anyway, here is Jim's email.

I know there have been several lines of discussion on yours and other web sites pertaining to accuracy in the press when it comes to beer – we’ll there were a few things this writer did that are fairly sloppy in my humble opinion.

First – when I talked to him on the phone and found out what he was writing about I said “yeah there have been a lot of articles recently about the increase in hops, barley and beer prices.” He said “really?” I got the impression he had done zero research other than to find something to write about. I forwarded him articles from the Wash. Post, Denver Post and from papers in Texas and Wisconsin on the subject.

Second – he lists me as the owner of Empyrean when I explicitly remember telling him I was the production manager – right after I gave him the proper spelling of my name. I can only guess that since he quotes Paul right before me that he had a slight mix up in his notes. Is there an editor that should be checking facts?

Lastly – the line about the price of a pint of Third Stone. He totally took my words from two separate conversations – one about our best selling beer, and one about how much I thought pint prices would go up – and put them together. Now I’m left hoping our Omaha draft accounts don’t think our beer is too expensive if they have to charge that much for a pint. Way out of context – hopefully we won’t loose any draft business over that.

I shouldn’t complain if for no other reason than it’s an article about craft beer – and I always think it’s good to remind the Joe-Sixpacks of the world that beer is a product of agriculture – every glass is grown – rather than some magical soda-pop like substance created in a factory.


There you go, don't believe everything you read no matter the source. I scanned the original article initially because, honestly, I basically feel I have a very good handle on the hop shortage and didn't need to read another article on it. I will do a better job to potentially catch errors like this in the future. Thanks Jim for your email and your interest in our little blog here. It is unfortunate that writers are more often out to meet deadlines and fulfill requirements than to get the stories 100% accurate.

Jim also let me know that he voiced his concerns with the writer of the article and he has apologized for his mistakes, but in the effort to restore the truth Jim felt it necessary to voice his thoughts.

Cheers and stay warm!

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