Santa Rosa brewery apologizes for 'F—PG&E' beer after fierce backlash

A Santa Rosa brewery issued an apology over the name of its newest ale that was inspired by Pacific Gas and Electric. 

Shady Oak Barrel House announced the new release of its “F—PG&E” beer on Facebook last week describing it as a "classic California pale ale, featuring Cashmere and Simcoe hops and a touch of malt sweetness." But beer's name, a blatant dig at PG&E, didn't sit well with some people.

The business received fierce blowback in the comment section under the post. Many argued that the brewery's apparent frustrations with PG&E were misdirected and disrespectful to the electric utility's lineman and service workers. 

One woman wrote under the post:  "As a wife of a very hardworking, compassionate PG&E gas serviceman who was born and raised in Santa Rosa, I find your new beer label completely insulting. My husband has been working 18 hour days and not seeing his little boys for the past two weeks to help our local community. Your label is hurting the men and women that work day in and day out for their community. They are your neighbors and they were your customers. You will not have our business in the future. Please do yourself a favor and consider all sides and parties before labeling your future beers. Also, do yourself a favor and look up inverse condemnation." 

Another person echoed the same sentiment adding that the utility's corporate officials should bear the burden saying, "Your quarrel with PG&E is with the corporate officials. Utility workers work hard and get harassed by normal people who don’t understand the process of what they are doing, and most definitely do not deserve this. Those men risk their lives daily. Respect goes a long way. There’s also that old adage your marketing department should listen to- you have to give respect to get it." 

In an apology issued on Monday, Shady Oak Barrel House tried to clear up any misconceptions over the beer's name and "set the record straight." 

"The name was not intended to go after honest hard-working people that have been and still currently ARE helping our community. It is not to undercut or attack those that have been away from their families in order to serve others in times of recent disasters. The name doesn’t suggest anything remotely like this; however, some people chose to read it this way," part of the post read. "The name instead was chosen in some contempt for the corporation itself."

PG&E has come under fire for recent shutoffs that left millions of customers in the dark and has been accused of negligence in some of California's most destructive and deadliest wildfires like the Camp Fire.