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A Little Finger Pointing: The Beer Loves Eugene Event

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“Beer Loves Eugene”, part of the marketing firm uHaps Media based in Kentucky, has had a significant presence in the local bar scene. The company planned an event for today at Taylor’s Bar and Grill near the University of Oregon, featuring 25 cent beers. The event was promoted through the social media website Facebook. A Facebook event was created a few weeks ago to spread the word about the happening.

Hundreds of people had been invited via Facebook, and well over a hundred people had RSVP’ed for the event.

But a few days ago, it was announced on the Facebook event page that the event had been cancelled due to “OLCC regulations.” The OLCC is the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, created in 1933 by the Oregon Legislative Assembly in order to provide control over the distribution, sales, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the state.

A number of Facebook users spoke out against this move, speaking negatively of the OLCC. When asked about the event, though, the OLCC denied any such cancellation on their end. Joy Spencer, from the OLCC’s Communications Division, said that both she and the Eugene OLCC office knew nothing of this cancellation.

“Our Eugene office does not know anything about it. They [Taylor’s] were good on their licenses. They have not been told to cancel anything.”

Today the event was completely deleted from Facebook.

Spencer said that the OLCC talked to neither Beer Loves Eugene nor Taylor’s. While it is against Oregon law to advertise a specific price for drinks outside of an establishment (on an outside sign, for example, or in a newspaper advertisement), normally a violation of this law — especially by an outside group holding an event at a bar, rather than the bar itself — would be met with a verbal warning. On their Facebook event page, Beer Loves Eugene mentioned 25 cent beers. However, according to Spencer, that was not even an issue.

“There was no discussion of any fine because we didn’t even know about the Facebook event. The monitoring of the social media by the OLCC is not frequent. We don’t do that. That would appear overreaching.

And had the OLCC been aware of the public mention of 25 cent beers, Spencer says the OLCC would not have made Beer Loves Eugene or Taylor’s cancel the event.

“Usually they just give a verbal warning.”

Pete O’Rourke, regional director of the OLCC Eugene office, talked to the bar manager at Taylor’s this afternoon after EDN’s inquiry. The bar manager told O’Rourke that the cancellation was not due to the OLCC, as the Facebook event page stated. Rather, he cancelled the event because he had disagreements with Beer Loves Eugene.

O’Rourke said,

“From what I hear the 25 cent beers would have caused consternation but other than that we let the bars use their best judgement.”

Neither uHaps Media nor Taylor’s Bar and Grill could be reached for comment by the time of publication.

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