A craft brewery in the Hamptons is drawing outrage from the community for declaring its support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Weeks after the Montauk Brewing Company publicly posted their backing of the group on a chalkboard outside their tasting room, and pledged to donate some of their profits to civil rights groups, the beer company has become ensnarled in an online boycott.
Robert Frank, a Suffolk County police officer, and his real estate wife, Valeria, created the private Facebook group “Defund Montauk Brewing Company” on August 12.
Even though the group is private, it boasts a massive 30,000 Facebook followers as of Sunday.
The group’s purpose is “to bring awareness to the recent events that Montauk Brewing Company has decided to take…by supporting an extremist organization,” according to its Facebook page.
The New York Post reported that some of the questions the group asks social media users before they are invited to join the group include, “Do you support extremist radical organizations?” and “Do you believe ALL LIVES MATTER?”
Many people also took their grievances to Yelp, where there were so many negative reviews about the craft brewery, Yelp had to put a disclaimer at the top of the page saying that it would be “monitoring” the page for content related to media posts.
The Black Lives Matter support message was initially written on June 2, a week after the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minnesota Police.
“The founders and team at Montauk Brewing Company support the movement with all our hearts. Black lives matter,” co-owner Vaughan Cutillo wrote.
As the boycott strengthened in numbers, the company’s owners issued a lengthy letter via Instagram on August 15 doubling down on their support for Black Lives Matter, noting that they made contributions to other nonprofits including the NAACP and the Wounded Warrior Project.
They even said they “consistently donate” to police precincts and firefighters as well.
The brewery posted another chalkboard message saying, “We support people doing good things.”
The craft brewer was started in 2012 by three friends who went to East Hampton High School together, and it has grown to become the second-largest brewery on Long Island.
A spokesperson for the brewery did not comment on whether the boycott hurt business.