More on Rogue’s Alleged Green Dragon Takeover

Brewpublic just received a clarification and retraction order from Rogue’s lawyer.  We originally wrote:

(Portland, OR) It looks like the Green Dragon is a Dead Guy.  According to reliable and undisclosed sources, Rogue will purchase what is currently the Green Dragon Pub and Bistro.  One source says “Apparently papers are to be signed Friday (November 14).  Officially no one has been fired but no one is expecting to have a job and they already have new people lined up. They are going to close down the Dragon on Monday for three days which is some kind of legal thing to change over ownership of the business. No employee is promised a job after this week.”  Another source reported that Loren “Lolo” Lancaster still remains a 1/3 owner of the establishment, and the brewer and publican is trying to find a means to stop the changeover. It is also unclear whether the switch will even be totally legal.  This will mean no more eclectic tap offerings outside of Rogue’s own brands and perhaps a limited guest taps at the location.  What started out as one of the best beer bars in Portland will simply become another Rogue location.  A local beer lover and blogger said of this potential move “Say it ain’t so.  That would be a pisser.” Another regular of the Green Dragon and employee of a local bottle shop sarcastically commented “It’s a good thing, too. I’m sick of rotating tap offerings and visiting brewers. I’ve always said we needed a place in SE where we could buy $5.50 pints of house-made beer and $15 cheeseburgers.”  Rogue was founded by University of Oregon frat brother Jack Joyce and Bob Woodell and another friend Rob Strasser in 1988.  Joyce, a former CEO, and supposed Coors drinker, and his comrades currently offer no happy hour at any of their ten locations. The company distributes brands to twenty countries, many of which feature repackaging of other available brands.  With some of the most expensive local beers around, Rogue recently sent out a press release boasting of its awards in the Annual Beverage Dynamics Advertising and Promotions Awards.  These awards claimed by Rouge include those for “New Product Packaging”, “Banner Streamer”, and “Press Release Streamer.”

More to come…”

Here’s a letter from Rogue’s lawyer:

Angelo-

We have read your post on brewrepublic.com.*

We request an official retraction and clarification of the following:

-no employees at the Green Dragon have been fired

-we do not have new employees “lined up”

-the proposed purchase is not final and is subject to regulatory approval

-the Green Dragon will not be closed down for 3 days.  It will not be closed at all.

-while it is true that we export Rogue Ales, Stouts, Porters, and Lagers to 19 countries, it is not accurate that “many feature repackaging of other available brands.”  We make special bottles (Red Fox, White Crane, and Brown Bear) in Japanese for our long-time importer, bar owner, and Japan craft beer pioneer Phred Kaufman.  All other Rogue Nation countries offer the same beers made available in the U.S.A.- no “repackaging” at all.

Cheers,

Brian Schweppenheiser

Attorney General, Rogue Nation

Also, a comment in the last post from Brett Joyce:

“We have requested the following retraction and clarification from brewrepublic.com*:

-no employees at the Green Dragon have been fired
-we do not have new employees “lined up”
-the proposed purchase is not final and is subject to regulatory approval
-the Green Dragon will not be closed down for 3 days. It will not be closed at all.

Cheers,
Brett Joyce
Rogue Ales

So, the rumors are true that there is a proposal, but nothing concrete. Glad to hear the staffs jobs are safe for a little while. Everyone at the GD always treated me great, sad to see it go.

This information about closing for three days and the uncertainty of Green Dragons employees’ future contradicts what has been reportedly said by current Green Dragon majority owner Ed Schwartz to a reliable source. Further, by the term “repackaging” Brewpublic meant putting a different label on the same beer and giving it a different name. For instance, the several “alternative” labels listed on Ratebeer.com and other sites like many of Rogue’s Aquarium series beers. We apologize if what we believed as fact was incorrect. The information we received about Rogue’s distribution to 20 countries was from a press release that stated “Rogue has 550+ awards for taste and quality and is available nationally and in 20 countries.” We were counting the USA as one of those countries. We were in search of the truth on this story, but so far, neither Rogue or the Green Dragon have responded to our inquiries.

Angelo De Ieso II
Brewpublic.com editor

*this website is  brewpublic.com not brewrepublic.com

Thanks for knowing the difference.

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This post was written by admin on November 13, 2008

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23 Comments so far

  1. da November 13, 2008 10:27 pm

    Thanks for all the good updates Angelo.

  2. Dr Wort November 13, 2008 10:33 pm

    Wow…. You know you F**ked up when the lawyers are contacting ya.. :-O

  3. brewcaster November 13, 2008 10:49 pm

    So, Green Dragon Sold Out?

  4. Andy November 13, 2008 11:25 pm

    Attorney General of Rogue Nation is a pretty sweet title.

  5. zak November 13, 2008 11:51 pm

    Hey, would it be possible for you sneak in any more thinly veiled disgust for Rogue in your article?

    Obviously the haterism from bloggers must not be affecting Rogue’s bottom line too much, as they seem to be expanding and producing more beer than ever.

    I say kudos to Rogue, and too bad for the GD. Shit happens. Most bars and restaurants don’t make it past year two. People should be happy that the GD isn’t closing down outright.

  6. Angelo November 14, 2008 12:03 am

    I obviously didn’t sneak anything in if you are getting it. Seriously, there’s no hate for Rogue, just skepticism of their practices, prices, and intentions. Rogue will not suffer from this enterprise, but their appeal to the type of people who really made Rogue and others what they are will be tarnished. Further, I agree that the Dragon has as much to do with this as Rogue. The way prices at GD have been lately ($6/8oz for stuff that is half that at Bailey’s etc) is reflective of their bottom line attitude as well. And whoever said the good stuff about Rogue, they were right. I am not a Rogue hater. But I am not going to sit back while they rip people off in the name of marketing. Afterall, we live in the land of plenty. We have other choices. Rogue will last as long as they cater to markets like the Pearl District, the Oregon Coast and SF. I will continue to get my free b-day beer, too. Thankfully next year I can do it smokefree.

  7. Dave November 14, 2008 12:07 am

    I just started a facebook group in protest!

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34772023286

  8. Adam November 14, 2008 1:02 am

    Owned by the man!!!

  9. Adron November 14, 2008 6:21 am

    Hope they don’t get purchased actually… or if they do, just leave it like it is. The place is awesome. If it becomes Rogue though, I’m not going back. period.

  10. co November 14, 2008 7:26 am

    Man..pleeeese just leave the Dragon as is and just add a few Rogue beers. If they loose the wonderful beer selection…I’m gone

  11. Brewer November 14, 2008 12:51 pm

    If Rogue is making an offer to buy the GD than perhaps the GD is looking to sell. Which means that your beloved pub is “selling out”. A pub is only as good as its employees and owners.

    So while you might not like Rogue’s business strategy, marketing schemes, 15 dollar cheese burger, and/or there beers… they are either making your beloved publicans wealthier or getting them out of a jam because they can’t pay the bills. And if you publicans don’t care what happens to it’s employee’s than it is a place I’d rather not support anyways.

    In the end it’s business… at least its not Miller/Coors or InBev gobbling them up.

  12. johnny rotten November 14, 2008 6:08 pm
  13. Chris November 14, 2008 7:24 pm

    I went to the green dragon last night and went to the bathroom. I looked up on the chalk board and loved the big “Fuck Rogue in the ass” that someone had wrote on it.

  14. jake November 14, 2008 8:38 pm

    “I went to the green dragon last night and went to the bathroom. I looked up on the chalk board and loved the big “Fuck Rogue in the ass” that someone had wrote on it.”

    I guess that sums up the mentality of the average Green Dragon patron/employee. No wonder two sets of owners couldn’t seem to make the place work.

    It’s not a hostile takeover–Rogue wouldn’t be buying if GD wasn’t selling–I wonder why that’s so hard for some people to understand.

    And I’m no fan of Rogue. In fact, I hate their pubs.

  15. admin November 14, 2008 8:47 pm

    The situation is more complicated than it might seem on the surface as an observer. There are many different people involved with a lot of different ideas, aspirations, and fears.

  16. Lucas November 14, 2008 9:07 pm

    To the people who are commenting with sentiments like, “But it’s not a hostile takeover, it’s just a reality that GD is selling and Rogue is buying, etc., so you shouldn’t be mad about it.”

    That’s got nothing to do with it. Here’s how I feel: I hate the Rogue pub, so I never go there. I like Green Dragon, so I do go there. If Rogue buys GD, I won’t go there – not because of any misguided opposition to capitalism or corporate hegemony, but just because I hate Rogue. End of story.

    I’ll be at Green Dragon after work today for (probably) the last time. I have no problem sucking down beers at Lucky Lab or Roots or Bailey’s or any number of other beer joints. But Rogue is shit, and would be shit even if they never bought Green Dragon.

    Fuck Rogue in the ass indeed.

  17. Lickit November 15, 2008 5:41 am

    F- the GD, their prices are atrocious, their service is off the charts horrible and rude. I’d happily pay $15 for a cheeseburger and $5 for a full pint if I could get it on time and in a courteous manner.

  18. LoLo November 16, 2008 5:37 pm

    The Facts are that Ed wants out of the business and only notified after talking to Rogue well beforehand. I just want to make beer and run the place that I built. It’s a rough business so I can see why Ed wants out – but anything worth doing is worth fighting for! There may be a reason rogue hasn’t even contacted me. I know you guys are looking so feel free to call me. My # is 541-350-8864. Cheers, LoLo.

  19. rich November 17, 2008 8:27 am

    That Rogue would try to hurt our distillery and drive us out of business is no question; 2 of us worked with them and though they act as though they are visionaries, they are as bad as Denny’s
    Ed didn’t know the industry and we can’t fault him for that, but it wasn’t the original plan for the Green Dragon to charge too much or to be like the corporate guys. This issue is complex and fraught with stories that would take more than a beer to discuss.

  20. LoLo November 18, 2008 8:30 am

    Declaration of War

    We the minority owners of The Green Dragon, the little people, the Founders Club, the loyal patrons who love the Dragon so, openly declare war on the oppressive forces of the Rogue Nation. We make this Declaration in response to Rogue’s direct attack upon the Dragon.

    For those who do not know, Rogue is seeking to execute a hostile take over of the Dragon. This takeover is against the wishes of the masses. Our pockets may not be deep, but our hearts are, and our numbers many.

    I implore you to visit Rogue’s website and read their creed, their declaration of independence and what they believe in. Their creed makes many claims about the beliefs and values of the Nation. If you read the creed you will see that the Nation’s actions are in direct violation of their creed. Due to the Nation’s direct violation of their creed we request that all members of the Nation, who believe in what Rogue allegedly stands for, to stand with us in our new revolution. We encourage you to act in some sort of symbolic protest. Perhaps all members of the Nation who are against the Treasonous acts of their leaders, mail or deliver their Nation ID’s back to Rogue. Ghandi was at the forefront of non-violence protest, the art of Satyagraha—the résistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience. Join us!

    Rogue claims to be a small revolution. They aspire to be a successful organization “without being big.” Rogue claims they will “stand up to the big guy trying to bully his way into whatever business or territory he wants.” They claim Rogue will be “David.” In Rogue’s “Fundamental Agreement” they make many claims such as: “they will be honest on the battlefield, and most important “cut out the BS.”

    The Nation further believes as stated in their “Declaration of Independence” that the members of their nation “are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these Freedom of Expression, Absence of Bull Shit, Variety, and the pursuit of Beer with Taste. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituting among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Consumers: that when any Form of Government becomes destructive to taste, Expression, Quality, or Fun, it is the right of the Consumers to alter or to abolish it and to institute a new Government.” Further, they declare that all members of their Nation shall “of Right ought to be Free and Independent.” Well Rogue, we the Consumers, we the family of Green Dragon, wish to abolish you from our nation.

    The leaders of the Nation need to take a long look in the mirror. There they will find a bunch of hypocrites. They are a large multi-national corporation, seeking to take down the little guy. I am certain this backdoor sneak attack, an undercover theft of the Dragon, is not “honesty on the battlefield.” The Dragon’s alleged crime: trying to build a place for the neighborhood, a place where friends and family can drink good beer and food at reasonable prices. We the family of the Dragon truly represent David and we will take down the Goliath known as Rogue. If they truly believe the claims they make on their website, they will lay their arms down and leave the battlefield. If you, the leaders of the Nation surrender now, we many revolutionaries will take no further action, you will be allowed to return to your homes. However, you will get no spoils of war from us.

    Just like the founding fathers based at the Original Green Dragon, who formed a revolution to crush the British, we also will spill Rogue’s Tea. The Founding Fathers of the United States wrote in their Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal stationed to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the cause which impel them to separation.” (July 4, 1776). We, the many of the Dragon, are equally stationed, our opinions dictate and require that you remain separate. Two separate nations free to do what they desire.

    This aggression will not stand….man (“The Dude”)

    “Let us cry havoc and release the [dragons] of war.” (William Shakespeare and his dogs)

    Signed—

    The Many. The Proud. The family of the Dragon.

  21. Justin November 19, 2008 3:28 am

    As to what Brett Joyce stated above, “-we do not have new employees “lined up””. This is quite an ambiguous statement. Is it not true that people have been “lined up” to replace the General Manager, The Chef, and the Sous chef, as well as eliminate the position of the dishwashers? It is true that no one has been fired. Some people whose positions has been eliminated, or they have been replaced, were lucky enough to be offered a nice position down in San Francisco, and Eugene. Thanks Brett! Your generosity will not go unnoticed.

  22. T.Sully3 November 26, 2008 5:35 pm

    I am employed by a company that is owned by my sister in law. I suppose you could consider me the S.A.B.I.L. (sorry assed brother in law). Most (not all) of my fellow employees are nearly half my age, yet I feel that the work I do is done well as efficiently. The pay is adequate. The job requires that I travel all over the U.S. and sometimes even into Canada, I usually stay just less than a week in each work location.
    I like beer and especially micro brewed beer. In addition I love collecting beer shirts and caps. So trips to Portland, Or. are especially anticipated. Recently I was assigned to a job in Vancouver, Wa. I arrived a few days earlier and had planned a two day “pub crawl” I plotted out numerous pubs to visit. Essentially, my first afternoon was spent on the West side of the river and the next day on the East. One of my favorite beers is made by Deschutes, so my first stop was the new location in the Pearl District. I then went to the Rogue location and then to Bridgeport. I have been to the later location before and I was in awe of the massive sized urinals. Finally I arrived at the New Old Lompoc location and had a quick pint. My (sober) driver then took me to my motel over across the Columbia. As I estimated, I was not able to visit all of the pubs I had planned to visit on my first day. Regardless, I feel I accomplished what I set out to do and I really looked forward to the following day.
    The next day started with my third attempt to find Hair of the Dog brewery actually opened. Once again it appeared closed so I drove away. I called the brewery as I was leaving and luckily Alan answered and informed me that he was, in fact, there in the brewery. I turned around and spent about an hour chatting and helping to place bottles into boxes. I purchased a tee shirt (Fred) and a sampler six-pack. My next stop was Hopworks Urban Brewery. I was very impressed. Then I went Root’s and then the Lucky Lab. I was disappointed with the Lucky Lab. Actually I was turned off by the people working there. Everywhere I went the people were truly hospitable and friendly. Usually they would ask what sort of beer I liked and to be honest I find that a difficult question to answer. Most provided multiple samplers until I found one I liked. While I was at the Root’s location the young lady at the bar recommended that I visit the Green Dragon. It was not on my list and I had determined by that time that I would never make all of the pubs on my list. I had planned to visit the Horse Brass Pub (which happened to be my last stop) but as I was leaving I passed the Green Dragon so I decided to go off of he list and try it out.
    This turned out to be a wise choice. The staff was so friendly and helpful. The bartender gave me a “blind taste” sample of a beer and I think I may have impressed him when I identified it. I loved the tee shirt with their logo. But I was sad to find that they did not have one in my size (XXL). I keep hoping one may be available I hated to leave the Green Dragon but I had to move on.
    I have read that the Green Dragon may be purchased by Rogue and some of it “essence” by be lost. I suppose that is true. I probably never will be able to get a Green Dragon tee shirt either. But this is America, the land of free enterprise. Where Portland’s largest brewery is 39% owned by AB Inbev a European company and both Miller and Coors are owned by the government of South Africa (SAB). Texas’ beloved Lone Star ( the national beer of Texas) and Pearl (three X’s for Texas) are owned by Pabst Brewing and Shiner Beer and Bridgeport Beers are owned by the same company that imports Corona. Craft brews have made their case and they are here to stay. Persons from Portland should be especially proud of that. I live in Central Texas and the availably of some of my favorite beers is limited. (Rogue does have some here). I live about 60 miles from Austin, Texas. Austin is the closest thing I have found to Portland. But their Brew Pub scene is microscopic compared to Portland’s.
    In a way I am sorry about the Green Dragon losing it’s individuality, but I would be willing to suggest that the owners of same will make a healthy profit on their venture and after all is not that the American Way?

    I normally do not write as much as I do and probably no one will read this. But I will list my top five beers.

    1. Red Seal Ale
    2. Magic Hat # 9
    3 Harpoon I.P.A.
    4. Deschute’s Black Butte Porter
    5. New Glarus Brewery “Fat Squirrel”

  23. Duane Lujan September 29, 2010 7:13 pm

    Wow! Such hatred from people that are “So cool” about people that had the courage to be great Americans. Don’t hate! Go,out and brew better beer than the ones you hate on! Bravo to Rogue Brewing which was my favorite brewery before opening my own in Colorado.Find out what you are good at and enjoy and go make a difference in the world instead of sticking your noses in others people’s business and you won’t have time to walk and just talk.
    Cheers Duane Lujan

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