Friday, January 14, 2011

New Belgium: I Tweeted a rumor

Mea culpa.

I re-Tweeted a rumor that started this small corner of the world buzzing. Without checking sources, I provided a link to another blog where the following announcement had appeared on 6 January:

Although a definite time table is unlikely to have been set, the well known and respected craft brewery New Belgium (Colorado) apparently has made plans to expand distribution, finally, to the state [Virginia] this year.

The author of the blog provided no source for his claim and no link to an official news release. So, let me be clear. Until the day we receive corroboration from New Belgium itself, any comment that the brewery will distribute its delicious beers here in Virginia is only rumor or conjecture.

I've since deleted my Tweet, but such things gain virtual permanence on the internet. For better or (in this case) for worse, many folk read my blog and Twitter feeds. I owe them the reasonable expectation that I verify sources before I write. In this case, I didn't. I apologize.

On 26 January, Greg Kitsock, beer columnist at the Washington Post, actually confirmed the rumor, per a press release from New Belgium's media relations director.

New Belgium Brewing Co. announced yesterday that its Fat Tire Amber Ale -- perhaps the most requested brand that's not currently sold in D.C. -- will finally become available in the District, Maryland and Virginia in September.

New Belgium -- the third largest craft brewer in the United States after Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. -- has yet to determine who will distribute its beer locally or what product mix will be shipped here.

The point still stands: to maintain credibility, sources must be verified, as did Mr. Kitsock. A few years ago, months before a New Belgium distribution deal was announced for North Carolina, I had information suggesting that that might happen. I didn't have confirmation, so, in that case, I did NOT post the story.

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