‘We have witnessed your growth’: Brewing company names beer for Carson King after tweet controversy

An Illinois beer company is tapping a new pilsner named Iowa Legend in honor of the generosity of an Iowa State fan who helped raise more than $1 million for a children’s hospital.

Carson King has risen to fame over the past 10 days after he was featured on ESPN College GameDay in Ames asking for beer money donations. His GameDay sign went viral and he decided to donate all the funds to the children’s hospital in Iowa City. He has helped raise over $1.14 million in donations.

After he went viral, he publicly apologized after a controversial tweet of his from 2011 was discovered. A reporter with the Des Moines Register first called attention to the tweet in a profile of King. King, who was 16 years old at the time, called the tweet “hurtful and embarrassing” and that he didn’t want it to take away from all the good the donations can do for the kids at the children’s hospital.

Anheuser-Busch, which promised to match King’s funds for the hospital, then cut ties with King. The company said it will still stand by its committment to match the funds through the end of the month.

Shortly after, offensive tweets made by the reporter, Aaron Calvin, between 2010 and 2013, surfaced. He also apologized, and he deleted his tweets.

After the ordeal, Geneseo Brewing Company’s head brewer, Glenn Cole, said Sept. 25 in an open letter to King that it was “appalled at the actions taken by The Des Moines Register and the Anheuser-Bush, InBev company.”

“We at Geneseo Brewing understand the growth that happens in an individual from the age of 16 to 24. It is the same reasoning the legal age of an adult in the eyes of the law is 18 and that 21 is the legal drinking age. We also understand that the inappropriate jokes people like yourself and Des Moines Register journalist Aaron Calvin made eight years ago on social media were unfortunately more acceptable back then…”

The letter went on to say: “We have witnessed your growth through your later social media content and accept your apology. We believe that your selfless act to raise funds for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is truly a noble act.”

The letter promises to donate $1 from every pint and 16 ounce can will go to his cause until the batch is sold out. The beer was to be brewed Thursday.

Continuing coverage. 

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