A brewery has seen a spike in sales following a bizarre Twitter spat with politician George Galloway.Matthew Halliday, owner of the Bradford Brewing Company said throngs of people have turned up at the brewery’s Brewfactory bar in the wake of the online row.
The argument started after Mr Galloway, the Respect Party parliamentary candidate for Bradford West, West Yorkshire, appeared to take offence when the brewing firm asked him if he was “still a thing?”.
Mr Galloway, who does not drink, was in combative mood when he responded to the beermakers.
Matthew Halliday, managing director at Bradford Brewery, said: “It all started after I had walked past his (George Galloway’s) office, which is only 30 seconds from our front door. It reminded me he was the only parliamentary candidate not to come in and say hello, and I was in a cheeky mood, so I tweeted him. It was not a publicity stunt, it was nothing more than a small business asking whether he knew we existed.”
Are you still a thing @georgegalloway ?
@BradfordBrewery what does that mean? And should you as a licensed premises in my constituency really be writing that?
Bradford Brewery responded: “You’re the only candidate not to come and say hi. Was just wondering”, before adding: “You’re a candidate. It’s not your constituency.”
Mr Galloway then wrote: “Well then, I shall return to this matter after the election. You have been most unwise.”
georgegalloway pop round and say hi George! Come for a coffee
@BradfordBrewery I will but not to say hi. You’ll be hearing from me
@BradfordBrewery no. Your premises are a constant source of complaints to me. I will be in touch about those in due course
Galloway later said this was “not a threat but a promise”. He even decided to get the police involved (well, via Twitter)
Mr Halliday said: ““We are now completely blocked and anyone connected to us has been blocked. It is a running thing in Bradford to be blocked by George Galloway,” he said. “It seems like half the city is blocked by him on Twitter.”
“But after this argument I don’t think we will be seeing Team Galloway in here anytime soon. The reaction has proved he doesn’t want us to exist as a business.We started this business in Bradford, and we are 100 per cent Bradford.
“If, sadly, he is re-elected, we will put up a candidate to stand against him.”
Mr Halliday said the spat has even sparked inspiration for a new brew, which the firm plans to name after the fiery Scot. He said: “We are planning to bring out a Galloway soon. I don’t want to say too much as it is top secret right now, but all I can say is it is weak, bitter and has a frothy head.”
And served in a saucer – meow.
Update – Galloway may have turned up his nose but others are keen to get involved.
Rev Graeme Dutton, minister of the Bradford South Methodist Circuit and a big real ale fan, is holding his Easter service in the Bradford Brewery, where, between hymns, he will give his blessing to some barrels of locally-brewed beers to wish them a safe journey on their way to pubs across the district.
The service marks the beginning of the 31-year-old’s boozy mission to bring God to the bar. He has called it St Arnold’s Pub Church ministry – named after St Arnold of Metz, Patron Saint of beer and brewing, noting that some of the world’s best brewers are monks.
“I’m not looking to bother anybody. I will be there so that people can approach me. It’s not about trying to go in and impose anything on anybody. . .”
Asked if he thought some members of Bradford’s large and ever growing Muslim population would look upon his mission with disapproval, Dutton said: “There may well be, in the same way that I am sure there are some dyed-in-the-wool methodists who will find the idea of having a worship service run by a methodist minister in a brewery as something which is very strange and they couldn’t comprehend. I understand that and I respect that, but this is about trying to create more responsible communities. It’s not about going and drinking to get drunk, it’s about enjoying something that God has granted to us.”