YouTuber criticises local brewery Pink Blossoms Brewing for being rude & not letting him film, netizens argue about who’s in the wrong

How would you respond if a local F&B business owner asked you not to film within their premises? A YouTuber specialising in alcohol reviews, James Marshall, who goes by the handle RampantLionReviews on YouTube, posted a YouTube video detailing his negative experience at local brewery Pink Blossoms Brewing.

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In the 20 minute video, titled “RampantLionReviews: Don’t Visit Pink Blossoms Brewing“, James explained that he was a tourist in Singapore and had wanted to promote local breweries as Singaporean beers were “not so accessible outside of Singapore”. He decided to visit Pink Blossoms Brewing on 28 Mar 2024, and recounted that when he reached, there were 5 people within the bar, one of whom was the owner. According to James, the owner had been eating a meal from McDonald’s when he arrived.

As the bar did not accept card payments, James had to take a while to sort out how he would pay for his drinks after ordering. Following that, he explained to the owner that he was a tourist and that he ran a YouTube channel where he promoted craft beer. He informed the owner that he wanted to make a video about Pink Blossoms Brewing in which he showcased the bar and its offerings. The owner then responded that he didn’t feel comfortable with the “impromptu things on social media”, but said that he wouldn’t stop James from filming as it was a “free country”.

James found this response surprising as other breweries were usually open to being filmed, and thought that it was “weird”. When the owner left, James started filming the taps in the bar, but the owner approached him and told him that he was “really uncomfortable” at his filming. A few minutes later, he returned and asked if James wanted anything to drink. To that, James responded that he found the owner’s reaction and aversion to filming weird, especially since he had filmed in breweries all over the world and that his experience at Pink Blossoms Brewing had been the most unusual by far.

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The owner then told James that he had already informed him that he was uncomfortable but James “filmed a bit anyway”, and asked what was the point of him asking for permission if he was going to do it either way. The owner also added that he could get fined by a health inspector if the video was posted as his McDonald’s ice cream was behind the bar. He then allegedly accused James of having an “entitled attitude”. James explained that in saying this, the owner had unintentionally admitted to “not having a cleanliness standard”.

James expressed that he had heard negative things about Pink Blossoms Brewing prior to his visit, and that they had a “reputation for not treating customers properly”, but he still wanted to visit with an open mind. He referenced the business’ Google reviews — a handful of them criticised the bad service — and told the owner that he did not want to support the business if the owner kept behaving that way.

To this, the owner asked James why he still decided to visit and behave in such an entitled way. James warned him that his attitude would cause him to lose business and left the establishment.

James then proceeded to upload the video on YouTube and also posted it in the Craft Beer Lovers (Singapore) Facebook page.

Netizens respond

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James’ video has received some attention on YouTube and within the Craft Beer Lovers (Singapore) Facebook page, with relatively mixed responses. Some netizens agreed with James and shared that they had also had negative experiences at Pink Blossoms Brewing, with some allegedly being kicked out or banned for giving the business a negative review.

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However, many others jumped to the brewery’s defence and directed their criticism towards James. One netizen expressed that James came across as “somewhat entitled and disrespectful”, with others also stating that he should not have filmed if the owner was uncomfortable with it.

This situation between James and Pink Blossoms Brewing highlights the issue of filming within F&B establishments— even within the SETHLUI.com team, a few of us have been asked not to film or take pictures when dining at a coffeeshop or hawker stall. While some businesses welcome the publicity from being featured on social media platforms and publications, others shy away from it. Who do you think was in the wrong here, and is this issue just a case of differences in culture and priorities?

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