Edward Teach Brewing Files Lawsuit Over QR Codes and Objectionable Posts by Former Employee

Edward Teach Brewery has initiated a lawsuit against one of its former employees on charges of tampering with its products and bringing disrepute to the company and its owner, Gary Sholar.

Edward Teach Brewing Lawsuit Against Erik Peterson

The lawsuit was filed by Edward Teach Brewing on January 25, 2023, in which it indicted its former chief brewer, Erik Peterson, currently the director of operations for Flying Machine Brewing Company, for pasting QR codes on ERB beer cans that led to a highly derogatory Facebook post. The lawsuit alleges that the motive behind the action was to cause a loss of sales as well as damage to the reputation of the company. The lawsuit also alleges that the tampering was done on its beer cans at two Harris Teeter stores in the Wilmington area.

The incident provoked several bars and restaurants to boycott ETB products after the Facebook post, which featured the brewery’s owner, Gary Sholar, involved in an incident with a performing musician. ETB also took legal action to get time to file a lawsuit on the alleged tampering with its products.

There are three main points on which the lawsuit has been filed-

  • Peterson acted deliberately to extract economic advantage by damaging ETB reputation
  • Redistributing a defamatory and malicious Facebook post
  • Violation of Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, N.C.G.S. § 75-1.1

The Facebook post in question was a viral video that depicted alleged misconduct by the owner of Edward Teach Brewery. Erik Peterson, the former employee, was the head brewer of Edward Teach from 2017 to 2022. He later left ETB and joined as the director of operations for Flying Machine Brewing Company in February 2022.

The lawsuit also alleges that the QR code directed consumers to an FB post authored by Peterson, showing Gary Sholar as a terrible person. It also provided a hyperlink that took users to an FB post that soon became viral on the internet in the Wilmington community.

The actual FB post was created by local musician Madonna Nash and published on December 29, 2023. It depicted Gary behaving inappropriately at her daughter’s performance. The post also stated that Sholar had touched inappropriately, disrespected, and was visibly drunk. ETB has described the post as false and defamatory.

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