Texas

Conroe Brewery Receives Torrent Of Threats And Harassment After Kyle Rittenhouse Event Canceled

KONRO, Texas (TEXAS TRIBUNE) Conroe Brewery said it faced harassment and some threats after announcing on Friday that it would no longer allow an “anti-censorship rally” involving Kyle Rittenhouse later this month.

“It’s been a storm of shit,” Southern Star Brewery CEO Dave Fougeron said in an interview Saturday morning. “But now I am more confident than ever that I made the right decision.”

Fougeron also said he didn’t know a few days ago that Rittenhouse was the “special guest” of the event. And he disputed claims, including from Rittenhouse and others, that the cancellation came after pressure from the “awakened mafia” or distributors like HEB.

Rather, he said, the decision was made primarily because of concerns from local patrons. Fougeron has described himself as apolitical and said his brewery, which produces well-known local craft beers such as Bombshell Blonde, strives to be a welcoming place for everyone.

“Our place is super inclusive,” he said. “We are super veterans, super law enforcement. We try to be good people in society. We are friends with our firefighters, with our police department…. We have a lot of gay visitors who come here because it’s an inclusive place. It’s crazy that we get threats from people.”

On Friday night, Rittenhouse, who was notoriously acquitted of killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin during a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest, accused the brewery of censorship.

“Very disappointing that places continue to censor me and prevent my voice and many other voices from being heard because they obey the awakened crowd,” Rittenhouse tweeted to his nearly one million followers. Other right-wing authority accounts also accused the brewery of censorship after it announced the event was canceled because it “doesn’t live up to our own values.”

A spokesperson for the event confirmed the cancellation on Friday and said it was “definitely” being rescheduled elsewhere.

The January 26 event was also scheduled to feature the leader of TEXIT, a group that advocates secession of Texas from the United States. The event is hosted by Defiance Press, a Conroe-based publisher that has published headlines such as “Crown Fascism” and a biography of Joe Arprio, a former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff who refused a court order to end racial profiling by his department.

Defiance Press describes itself as “active in the fight against censorship, publishing conservative books that have been widely censored by the mainstream media” and has also published material supporting Texas’ withdrawal from the United States.

Rittenhouse has increasingly focused on crusades against the media and “anti-censorship” since he was found not guilty of murder and other charges in 2021. take place in Texas.

Last year, he announced his plans to attend Texas A&M University, claiming he dropped out after the university said he wasn’t accepted. Rittenhouse, an Illinois native, later said he planned to attend Blinn College, a two-year school in Branham.

Disclosure: HEB and Texas A&M University have provided financial support to The Texas Tribune, a non-profit, non-partisan news organization funded in part by donations from members, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Financial sponsors play no role in Tribune journalism. Find the complete list them here.

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