On Friday night, people who are OK with paying $28 for a bottle of craft beer started lining up outside the Other Half Brewery in Brooklyn, New York, in the hopes that they'd snag its most recent release, called Bourbon Barrel Aged Bananaversary Imperial Stout.
"We've been waiting all year to pull this from its bourbon barrel slumber and now that we have we packed it with bananas, macadamia nuts, coconut, toasted coconut, and vanilla. Bourbon banana goodness," Other Half wrote on Instagram, reminding would-be collectors that they'd be limited to one bottle per person. In a second post, it said that it would hand out wristbands to those in line by 11 p.m., so they didn't have to spend the entire night freezing on the sidewalk while they waited to buy Bananaversary, or one of its other limited-edition four-packs.
But before Other Half got to the wristband distribution, and before the already-long line of customers got to head home for a few hours, an unidentified man and his girlfriend started talking trash to the beer lovers who were standing on the sidewalk. According to the New York Post, the man—who volunteered that he was staying at a nearby Airbnb—is said to have insulted the group, then went back to the rental, then returned to shout some additional abuse while he drank a can of White Claw.
"The guy was telling us we were a bunch of idiots waiting on line for beer, so I said, ‘Oh what, is this the only Airbnb you can afford?'" one Other Half attendee told the Post. "Then he got super pissed and threw a White Claw at us, which was the funniest part of the night.”
After some of the beer drinkers told the man to maybe stop throwing hard seltzer at them, he said that he might "put a Glock in your mouth" instead. He walked away again, but then returned again, allegedly carrying an actual handgun.
“Nobody thought he would actually have a gun, because who the hell would bring out a gun over something this stupid?" the witness said. At that point, the crowd started to "de-escalate" the situation, and some people in line called the police.
When the cops arrived, they found the man in the rental apartment he'd told everyone about, and the officers asked those in line to confirm his identity. After they essentially said 'Yeah, that's the jerk,' the man was taken away in handcuffs, and everyone on the sidewalk probably went back to quietly thinking about their own mortality (and shivering).
The man with the gun has not yet been identified, but witnesses described him as a "regular white guy with a beard." The NYPD confirmed in a tweet that the gun was "illegally possessed" and that the man had "pointed it at multiple individuals in the street." (Surprisingly, it also became the first account to ever use the hashtag #GivingWhiteClawsABadName.)
On Sunday, Other Half wrote that it still had some cans of its special 6th Anniversary brew left in its taproom. It also thanked everyone for staying calm in line, and gave a shoutout to its "friends in blue at Precinct 76 for keeping us safe and protected." Hopefully its 7th Anniversary celebration won't involve any guns. Or any White Claw.
VICE has reached out to the NYPD and to Other Half for comment but has not yet received a response.