A small Ontario brewery has found its Facebook page inundated with negative reviews after hosting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In a statement shared on Brewer’s Pantry’s social media, owner Chris Aucoin explained that the taproom and bottle shop in Bowmanville welcomed Trudeau on February 8.
“Our venue was asked to host as we are welcoming to all and supportive of our community. Our support of small-batch Ontario beer and craft beverages was highlighted many times leading up to and during the event,” reads his Instagram post. “Our pride was overflowing, and we posted a picture last night to share with our pantry family.”
But the business soon found itself on the receiving end of hateful comments and negative reviews.
“We have received an incredible amount of hatred from our so-called ‘community.’ People that have never supported or visited us before, of course,” he wrote. “We have received [hundreds] of hate comments on our social media. Dozens of negative Google reviews. Countless offensive emails. Phone calls at all hours of [the] night.”
Photos of Trudeau’s visit have since been taken down.
Although comments have been turned off on the Instagram post, a quick scroll through the company’s Facebook page reveals several angry comments, with one commenter stating, “I hope you go out of business.”
Aucoin explained that he’s “not political.”
“I am not a politician. I do not have thick skin. These are comments about my business that I am passionate about and very proud of,” he said. “Your comments and abusive phone calls hurt me. Your attempts to bring down my Google reviews hurt my reputation.”
But others supported the brewery, urging people to “ignore the hate.”
Aucoin concluded his post by thanking people who’ve reached out to express their support.
But for the haters, he stated, “To those of you that judge us by who we have in our business, then I suggest maybe visiting us before you wish us bankruptcy, protests, violence, and outright hatred.”