Controversy & Coffee – Black Rifle Coffee Company Interview, Evan Hafer

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Black Rifle Coffee Company. You probably know them for the skits they regularly produce to market their products, which, depending on who you ask are either laugh out loud funny or deeply offensive.

Or maybe you remember them as the company who took on Starbucks last year in a very public, very controversial do-gooder tug of war. Public perception aside, their roast to order coffee is regarded by many as among best in class, and their mission to support those who have served our country is a hard sentiment to disagree with. It’s likely a combination of the aforementioned factors that has lead the company to unprecedented growth since the first beans were shipped in early 2015.

Black Rifle Coffee Company

As the company has grown though, they have attracted the ire of some left-leaning media outlets and social media critics who have taken jabs at the troupe of outspoken coffee roasters led by Evan Hafer. Evan, a former Special Forces soldier turned founder and CEO of BRCC, sat down to talk about some of the negativity leveled at his company recently.

When you founded BRCC, did you anticipate the backlash that has been directed at your company’s mission and marketing materials lately?

Evan Hafer: Of course I understood that our approach was edgy and that our brand of humor is not what most people expect from a coffee company. But I’ll admit I have been taken off guard by some of the accusations that have been leveled at us lately. At my core, I have always been just a coffee roaster that loves my country, the constitution, and the veteran community. My hope is that this is how people view the company as well.

A recent article painted you as an “Iraqi war veteran who presumably began roasting coffee beans in his combat helmet outside Fallujah.” Is there any truth to that?

Evan Hafer: I wish there was, but I started roasting coffee on a stove-top burner from my home. I eventually graduated to a one-pound fluid bed roaster and then a larger 12-kilo drum roaster. Obviously, I have taken my passion for good coffee around the world with me on my various deployments over the years, but I’ve never done something so grandiose as roast coffee in the middle of a city under siege.

What is the company’s relationship with NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, and media personalities like Sean Hannity and Buck Sexton?

Evan Hafer: We have no relationship with Dana– though I hear she is nice. Sean Hannity and Buck are friends, and we sponsor their shows. We are friends and/or do business with a variety of high profile personalities, some of which might surprise the critics if they bothered to look beyond the people that they can use to further their narrative.

Evan Hafer
Evan Hafer

There are frequent comments made online asking how your company could be so anti-hipster since you seem like kind of a hipster yourself. What do you say to those people?

Evan Hafer: It’s kind of funny isn’t it? I mean yeah, I wear flannel and have a beard, and roast coffee. I enjoy reading books. Does that make me a hipster? It’s kind of a sad state of affairs if it does. But look, what we do in a lot of our marketing is social commentary through satire. Do we poke fun at hipsters? Absolutely. But we also know there are veterans who fall into the hipster category, as well as other genuinely good people who are contributing members of society. Ultimately, I’m not concerned about the people who don’t understand our humor. And trust me, we are far more harsh towards each other than we are with the hipster crowd.

Some critics have connected your branding and imagery, specifically the Silencer Smooth coffee blend, to those of the Nazi movement. Is there any truth to those allegations?

Evan Hafer: Well, considering the fact that my COO and I are both Jewish, I have a huge issue with people who compare us to or accuse us of being Nazis. It proves just how crazy some people are, and how far they are willing to reach in order to criticize a company they don’t like. They are literally willing to call a Jew a Nazi in order to get traffic to their blog article or gain more Twitter followers. It seems that many in our country these days will automatically default to accusing people of being a Nazi, or being a racist, misogynist, or… the list goes on. I don’t think we’ve earned or deserve to be compared to Nazis by any stretch of the imagination.

Accusations of misogyny and gay-bashing have been repeatedly leveled at BRCC based on the company’s multimedia content. Has this affected BRCC’s approach to marketing and branding at all?

Evan Hafer: Once again, we use satire to convey points. Is there stuff that we have taken down because we realized people were interpreting our intentions differently than we expected? Yes, absolutely. But we believe that all people are created equal. We believe in freedom of speech too. It surprises me that people can watch SNL every week, and their sketch comedians can act feminine or make fun of specific demographics in U.S. culture, and people understand that it’s humor. However, BRCC can’t do the same thing without people misunderstanding the intent. I think everyone needs to relax a little bit, laugh a little more, and remember that we are joking. We aren’t the evil monsters that some are making us out to be.

Belt Feed Coffee Happiness
Belt Feed Coffee Happiness

With the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and companies backing away from the NRA in response, what is BRCC’s stance given its clear pro-gun foundation?

Evan Hafer: Being pro-Second Amendment is something I and our company will always be. Mainly because I don’t believe that we should sacrifice our individual freedoms for security. In 1755, Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment. To specifically address the NRA though, look, it’s a massive organization. We support the positive initiatives they have like their focus on gun safety and educating our youth on the proper handling of firearms, among other great programs they have. I’m sure there are things I disagree with them on too, but I could say the same about any organization of that size.

When you see negativity about your company, what goes through your head?

Evan Hafer: I think the country has gone a little crazy. People from both sides of the political spectrum have abandoned efforts to come to legitimate solutions, based on facts, that will help our country. They seem to be more consumed with proving that they are right rather than solving the actual problem. And we have some serious issues that need to be addressed in this country.

Evan, thanks for taking the time to talk with us, lets go get some coffee.

Visit Black Rifle Coffee Company at www.blackriflecoffee.com


  • 16 thoughts on “Controversy & Coffee – Black Rifle Coffee Company Interview, Evan Hafer

    1. Your coffee may be a bit expense but if you really enjoy good coffee it’s worth it. Yes I’m a proud supporter of our military. Second amendment and I’m a NRA member. Thank you for your service and your great coffee.

    2. This company’s products are expensive and I prefer African and Indonesian varietals. I also prefer buying full pounds, the ones I looked at were Colombian, typically much lighter bodied than I prefer, and only 12 ounce bags. The roaster I buy from has a good selection of varietals from Africa and Indonesia, including organic, and estate, and also Central and South American varietals, and most come in full pounds – for less than most of the 12 oz. offerings from this company.

      I understand why, because of their marketing gimmick, Ammoland featured them. That is not enough of a reason for me to buy an expensive product that doesn’t provide what I am interested in. I am sure they will do well, and trying to generate support based on their support of the RKBA and veterans will probably be enough of a reason for some to buy from them.

      1. Hey Heed the call up,
        Way too much info about you and YOUR coffee. Brother–get over that stuff. . Most don’t care that you like African and Indonesian. Holy crap Pal. All we need to hear is “I don’t like BRCC or I do like BRCC “. What these guys are doing is awesome. They started from scratch and are being successful. They employ veterans and piss off the left. I’d drink their coffee if it came out of a boot and tasted like crap because of that alone—but I like their stuff and am willing to pay for it.
        “Taj”

      2. Their marketing is not a “gimmick”. As a coffee professioinal myself, each business has its own Unique Selling Prospect, and they have chosen theirs. Personally I’d mever even mess with the coffee pods, as NO machine that uses them can possibly ever produce a great cup of coffee. But, they are not me.

        As to the 12 ounce bag… it is common in the industry, and for several reasons. One is that, when green coffee is roasted, about twenty percent of the weight is lost due to driving off water in roasting, loss of the silverskin or chaff, and “shrinkage”, the minor spilling, culling, etc, that is part of the mecnanics of roasting. Thus, for each pound put into the roaster, one can not count on much more than the 12 ounces ending up in the final retail bag.

        Other valid reasons…. most folks use coffee at a rate that has the 12 ounce bag lasting about a week…. and once a bag is opened you really need to use it all up before about eight days pass, the staling of the coffee renders it nasty and sour by then.

        BUT.. if you REALLY make your buying decision based on the size of the retail bag, fine. The price per roasted pound is the real factor to consider.

        As far as their offerings… again, their model is theirs.. I have coffees from many more origins as well, but origin is not the sole determinant of flavour profile OR quality. Some origins are, by nature, simpl more dear to buy than others. I’ve had Kenyan coffees that are six bucks the pound green in the 60 kilo bag landed that are not drinkable… and others from Kenya at four bucks the pound in the 60 kilo bag that are astounding. Same with any origin.

        I do know that Black Rifle pay attention to the ethics of HOW that coffee is produced… something that we, as consumers, might take into consideration. I likes me my coffees, but when I know the backsotry of whta I’m drinking and the folks producing it are living in abject poverty, or are hired near-slaves, somehow MY enjoyment is not so satisfying. Yes, I want quality in MY cup else I won’t buy the bag of beans….. (MY bags are 60 or 70 kilos, a three year supply for most folks) but once the quality is in the bag, the people who laid down their lives to put those beans into MY bag do matter. I make my decisions partly based upon that. I know BRCC do as well. Charbux do not.

        I do not believe they are “trying to generate support of the RKBA and veterans”.. they are producing great coffees at a price commensurate with their identity as veterans who love coffee.. and are just a bit “crazy”.. face it, I’ve not yet met a military vet who isn’t just a litltle “crazy” compared with they who have never served. What those folks see and endure DOES set them apart. That said, I’ve nothing but respect for our veterans…. though I believe most of us can fairly call into question a signficant portion of where we go and why and to do what But that’s a horse of a whole nuther colour. I’ll leave him to roam about on the loose for a while.

    3. We’ve tried several of their blends and we’ve liked them all. My favorite is the Beyond Black but Gunship and Knife Hand are close behind. Heck, even their instant that I bought to have at the office is pretty good, especially compared to other instant coffees. We like their coffee so much we joined their coffee club to save time ordering and get a variety.

    4. If BRCC’s libtard detractors cared anything about our service people, then the libtards would know that one can not roast or boil anything in a Kevlar helmet. As long as we care nothing for the commentary of the mind control socialists, then they have no power.

      1. I learned much from the interview and I’m now Jonesing to try me some Black Rifle Coffee.

        Just out of curiosity, why were the questions in the interview wrong or inappropriate and what questions would you suggest instead?

          1. No, I meant “interview”, the transcript of which I READ in this article. But, more to the point of your correction(?), I VIEW interviews daily, online and televised, and LISTEN to them on radio so I’m unsure why you’re trying to make a distinction between how an “interview” is PRESENTED or received, written transcript, video, or audio only. In each case, it’s still an interview. So, please, help me understand the reason for your correction?

    Leave a Comment 16 Comments