four fathers brewing

More fallout over Ford visiting Ontario brewery as vendors pull out of holiday market

Backlash directed at one Ontario brewery for hosting a visit from Premier Doug Ford doesn't look like it's slowing down anytime soon, with some vendors pulling the plug on their relationship with the business. 

Four Fathers Brewing Co., located in Cambridge, was at the centre of controversy after receiving a visit from the premier on Dec. 5. 

According to an Instagram post by the brewery, the meeting was based around "explaining our offerings, the brewing process, our commitment to our community in these trying times, and our involvement in supporting local businesses." 

The brewery is hosting a Holiday Craft & Craft Market with over 30 local vendors this weekend, some of which have already announced they will no longer be attending as a result of the visit. 

One of the vendors, Fire and Fiber, which is owned by Audrey Hill, announced they were no longer attending the Four Fathers' holiday market in an Instagram post yesterday. 

"If you're new to following me, listen up: around here, we support human rights, we protect trans kids, we believe survivors, we value nurses and educators," the post reads. "We do not support cuts to education, we protect the green belt, and we don't support a fool who got elected on buck a beer and then dismantled our entire healthcare system." 

The Indigenous-owned business sells polymer clay earrings, vinly stickers, and crochet-knit items. 

Hill told blogTO that her company's relationship with the brewery was fine before the visit, and she chose to believe that they had severed ties with their controversial co-founder. 

In 2018, one of the brewery's co-founders faced assault charges from his former partner (who also faced multiple charges herself). 

Hill said she was excited about the brewery's holiday market, and keen on selling her products in her own hometown. 

She also notes that the event organizers were very professional, and gave her all the necessary information from a vendor's perspective. 

However, when she saw that the brewery had welcomed Ford to their site this past week , she decided to pull the plug. 

"I saw that they had welcomed Doug Ford on a tour and that made my deicision really easy," Hill told blogTO. 

She decided to email the organizer and let them know her business was pulling out, to which she says the organizer was very understanding, validated her reasons, and stated that they would be speaking to upper management about the situation. 

"I'm lucky to be in a position where I can make the choice to say I'm going to miss out on not only losing money for my vendor fee, but also losing any profits from that day, to be able to say that I don't want to align myself with a business that supports the Ford government," Hill explained. 

Although she received tons of positive feedback for her decision, Hill recognizes that it's not an easy choice for all vendors to skip the market. 

"I feel bad for vendors who maybe aren't in a position to pull out, but I'm at the point where I want to be able to align my values with my business," she said. "I also don't want to throw shade on vendors who have to or choose to still do the market, people's financial situations are different, and I don’t want to call anyone out on that." 

Another vendor that was due to appear at the holiday market, The Syd Collective, also confirmed to blogTO that they will not be attending. 

blogTO also reached out for comment from Four Fathers Brewing Co., but did not receive a response. 

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