Monday, January 29, 2007

The Scott Morrison saga

I've had this in the hopper for a few weeks, but was prompted to finish it off when I saw this earlier from the man (uh, Dude) himself. We've been asked before if we had any plans to rip McKenzie Brew House and its owner for the firing of Scott Morrison (aka Dude) over a month ago, just before the holidays. We both agreed not to at the time, and I still don't plan to now. Here's why... Allow me to start off by saying what makes this story difficult is that Scott Morrison is just a downright likable guy and quality brewer. If he wasn't, the reaction, I'm sure, would be less passionate. But, my overall reaction from a business point-of-view is that it is just The owner (no need for names) has a business plan that has allowed him to succeed over the years in the restaurant business. No one ever said you've gotta be nice as a business owner. And, sometimes, being nice won't help you get ahead (not a rule, mind you, but sometimes the case). It just so happens that he advertises his business as a "brew house" and that's part of the reason why we care so much. We care especially when we see a talented brewer being stifled. But, man, when his talent was unleashed at McKenzie, he won awards...several of them. The full appreciation of this just does not supremely matter to the owner. Let's also remember that no one (I'll bet) knows all of the finer points of the relationship between Scott and his former boss. The relationship came to an end, and it usually takes two to tango. Once again, not casting blame, but it seems logical that a variety of factors came together to end this relationship. What do we object to? Well, of course, from a practical, compassionate, humanistic point-of-view most you hate to see anyone lose their job so close to the holidays with a new house project and family plans underway. But, perhaps, we should look at this on the brighter side. Most people seemed to see this coming...eventually...though maybe not in such dramatic fashion. Isn't this what many secretly hoped for? That Scott would take his talents somewhere that they could shine even brighter? That McKenzie could just go on being a family dinner place early on and a smoke-filled pick-up joint later on at night, complete with Texas Hold 'Em, Quizzo, and Karaoke? For the time being, it seems that we'll have access to the remaining batches that Scott and Ryan Michael brewed together. Then, we'll see how things go with Ryan or whomever they might bring in to succeed Scott. Will it stop me from going and getting some Vuuve when it goes on line soon? Probably not. In the meantime, though, if there are any Dude sightings, let us know!


Anonymous said...

Great post guys. And as an avid Scott M. supporter I'm with you guys. Of course the situation sucked...and was a shit sandwich forcefed at the most inopportune time but...

I think Scott will be better off in the long run, even if the salary doesn't immediately fall into the proper place.

Everyone knew the ice he and the owner skated on together was thin at best.

McKenzie was never really a "brewpub" had to see this change of "direction" with all? basic beers to come.

Good luck to Scott indeed. But I don't think he needs luck. Just an opportunity to prove himself.


Anonymous said...

The dude is back! He will be brewing his gabf award winning biere de garde, at Sly fox.The release party is at the Sly Fox in Phoenixville March 30th. Those Sly Fox dudes rock!