Ontarians are passionate about two things, craft beers and politics. When it comes to beers, we like the flavours, we like the graphics on the cans, and most of all we love describing drinks to people. With new breweries popping up in the province every day it really feels like the age of the D.I.Y brewery has come. However, Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) is now facing backlash after being accused of endorsing an anti-abortion MPP. 

Ford’s government announced back in September that it would be investing $15 million in small wineries, cideries, and distilleries, cue the applause, right? Well, although it’s excellent news for the province’s small-time alcohol producers, the people involved in making the investment happen are catching all kinds of slack on social media.

Ontario Craft Brewers faced intense scrutiny on social media after they shared a photo featuring controversial Progressive Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff. The 22-year-old politician has become infamous for his stances on abortion rights for women and gay marriage. He believes both of them should be illegal.

According to the Toronto Star, the OCB posted a picture on Twitter of several of its members raising a glass with Oosterhoff following a round-table discussion about the industry at Bench Brewing in his Niagara West riding on the weekend.


It didn't take long for social media to catch onto the photo and attack the OCB for its alleged endorsement of the views of Ford’s youngest MPP.

After users quickly targeted the company for their photo, the OBC quickly released an apology about the tweet:

“The OCB is a single-issue trade association made up of craft breweries of all sizes from all over the province. For a sector that is completely controlled by government policy, and at this time of major regulatory change, it is critical that we engage with elected officials of all political stripes,” a statement from the group read.

“We fundamentally believe in a diverse, equal, and inclusive craft beer community, where everyone feels welcome…this weekend was a reminder that there is much more to do,” it added.

Despite the OCB's speedy removal of the photo and formal apology, Ontarians weren’t satisfied. "This isn’t nearly enough. Call him out by his name. Tell us you don’t support him and his ideas,” wrote one user.

“Maybe sometimes you shouldn’t sit down with the bigot, or just tell them to scoot right off. Not even his portfolio, just a clever photo op,” wrote another.

However, despite the backlash, the OCB has made it clear that they wish to support and make everyone around the province feel welcome in their breweries.  

Narcity has reached out to Ontario Craft Brewers for comment.

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

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