Garth Brooks Defends Decision To Serve Bud Light At His Nashville Bar
Last week during a Q & A session during CMA Fest, Garth Brooks told the crowd that his new Nashville bar will be serving “all brands of beer.” The statement drew almost immediate backlash as several other country star-bar owners have chosen to pull Bud Light from their menu in the midst of the Dylan Mulvaney controversy.
During a Facebook Live Monday night, Garth Brooks made no apologies for his decision to serve Bud Light at his Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk.
“Diversity. Inclusiveness. That’s me. That’s always been me,” the 61-year-old singer said. “We got the same kind of thing on ‘We Shall Be Free.’ We got people wanting to burn our stuff. So I get it. Everybody’s got their opinions. But, inclusiveness is always gonna be me. I think diversity is the answer to the problems that are here, and the answer to the problems that are coming.”
Brooks went on to say that he understands that there will be differing opinions on the matter, and he is okay with that.
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The “Ain’t Goin’ Down” singer also addressed the issue from his new position as a bar owner. Brooks stated that it’s not his call what beer is sold in the establishment. It’s a decision that only the patrons can make when they place an order.
“If they don’t want it, then I have to go to the distributor and say, ‘Hey man, your stuff’s not selling.’ Then action gets taken,” said Garth. “The truth is, it’s those people in those seats that make those decisions, and that’s what Friends in Low Places is gonna be.”
He follows up with a request for everyone who visits his new bar. “If you want to come to Friends in Low Places, come in. Come in with love. Come in with tolerance, patience. Come in with an open mind…and it’s cool. If you’re one of those people that just can’t do that…I get it. If you’re one of those people that want to try it…come on. Let’s go have some fun.”
Garth Brooks’ statement Monday night came on the heels of criticism and calls for a boycott of the singer’s music and bar.
Fellow country singer John Rich defended Garth’s initial statement during CMA Fest saying that the singer’s response is true to his character and that fans should expect nothing less.
“Garth Brooks has always been the guy that that said, ‘everybody come to my show,’” Rich told the outlet. “It’s something that we love about Garth. You know, he makes his music for everybody. And that really is what music is about. You’re making your music for everybody. Beer’s for everybody, too.”
Rich added that the customers will decide what is served in Garth’s bar, an approach Rich himself took with his own Redneck Riviera venue in Nashville.
“If Garth is serving Bud Light in his bar, that’s fine. Garth can do that. Garth might find out not many people are going to order it,” he said. “And at the end of the day, you have to put things in your establishment that people are going to purchase if you’re going to run a successful business. So, he might find that out.”
When the Bud Light controversy started gaining steam in early April, Rich made it clear that he opposed the company’s partnership with trans social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. But, he chose to continue carrying Anheuser-Busch products and let the customers’ purchases speak for themselves.
“Instead of tossing Bud Light out of my bar when the story broke, I gave it a week to let my customers decide. Well, they spoke. Bud Light went from our #1 selling beer to flatlining in sales. My current inventory of Bud will be skunk before it’s depleted. Case closed,” Rich wrote on Twitter.
A grand opening date for Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk hasn’t been set. Follow the venue on social media for updates HERE.
Hear Garth Brooks double-down on his decision to serve every brand of beer in the Studio G video below.