147 Comment

  • If its about a black eye, then boo on abuse

    the other implication is kinda rape-y……

  • Signs like that are usually trying to be clever, usually via double entendre. So we have one interpretation: your true love will buy you beer. What are some possible second readings other than the black eye?
    And the owner kicked you out?? I feel like I need so much more information…

  • Its a beer… don’t over think it.

    Shiner Bock


  • Jesus. Can you people be more whiny and PC?

    It’s a advertisement…no double meaning. You deserve to be kicked out for complaining about something so stupid.

    Its a goofy double entendre for Shiner Beer- something tells me you may have been overreacting, and had a few too many crappy, sugary Margs and sent this email to Dan. And probably didnt get tossed out to Cantina Marina, by “The Owner”.

    • So what’s the second interpretation of this goofy DOUBLE entendre?

      • Hence the “goofy”- not exactly my first choice, that’s for sure…yikes! But def not worth getting upset over.

      • General Grant Circle

        Meaning 1) True Love comes with a beer
        2) True love comes with a black eye

        I dont see how the 2nd interpretation is any more terrible than “Id go through he11 for you” or any other notions that love is something that one suffers over.

        • Because “I’d go through hell for you” is generally seen as supportive whereas a reference to a black eye generally implies someone being beaten?

          • General Grant Circle

            You see you are reading into it “True Love Gets Your Significant Other To Beat You”
            I read “True Love Socks You in the Face” Like *Bam* Wow! *Fireworks* “RIGHT IN THE KISSER”

            Getting floored

        • The comments won’t let me reply to your below comment, but to be clear “right in the kisser” still also a reference to domestic violence.

  • justinbc

    Not offensive. But you shouldn’t have been kicked out “just” for expressing your views to “the owner”. Although with a complete lack of details provided this reads as an unnecessary / unfounded smear campaign.

    • I was kicked out of a bar for expressing my views regarding the display of a Confederate flag (American theme bar in the UK). I assure you, my ‘expression’ included lots of f-bombs and may or may not have been influenced by one too many drinks in celebration of the 4th.
      A lot of times it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

      • justinbc

        I absolutely believe that. If you’re unruly and making a scene a manager or owner has every right to remove you from private property. But we know nothing of their account, and his / hers is less than a sentence, devoid of context other than the sign, which is sponsored by Shiner Bock.

      • Was this the Texas bar next to Trafalgar Square? Ah, memories.

    • “I was just kicked out for expressing my offense by the owner.”
      I agree with Justin. If you said to the owner, “You know, shiner is a euphemism for black eye – given the horrible nature of domestic abuse, I don’t really think it’s appropriate.” I would be astonished if you’d been kicked out. Tell the truth, it went well beyond this, right?

  • Not familiar with the term to be honest.

  • LOL – I see what they tried to do, implying true love is shared over a beer together – but I guess the owners don’t what a shiner is??

  • Allison

    I think this could be read a lot of different ways (but it’s my job/occupation to find 100 different ways to interpret things…). One possible meaning is that the “shiner” refers to emotional damage, not necessarily physical damage. There’s a general philosophy out there that one cannot truly love without getting emotionally burned at least once. Not saying it’s the “right” reading, but it’s one that probably doesn’t immediately come to mind.

    • I have never heard of an emotional shiner. Ever.

      • Casual attitudes towards domestic violence are the worst….

        • Allison

          It was intended to be, as one poster below aptly characterized it, a potentially charitable reading of the sign. Not an attitude toward domestic violence.

        • General Grant Circle

          Shiners arent always given in domestic violence.

          In my reading of it its a suggestion that you would get “beat up” over true love.

          Defending a lady can get one a “shiner”

          Why do you jump to domestic abuse?

          • Because domestic abuse as a sign of “love” has a long history of being deemed as acceptible in society, per your earlier reference of “pow, right in the kisser.” This phrase was commonly used in the popular TV show the Honeymooners. It’s a shame, you’ve been preprogrammed to know these things and never questioned what they actually meant.

          • Are you being intentionally obtuse, or is it possible that you genuinely don’t see the comparison?

            I wonder what the gender breakdown is here. It is clearly meant to be a “joke” about domestic violence. Would people be so accepting if it were a “joke” about lynching of black men?

  • Just because you aren’t personally offended doesn’t mean it’s not distasteful. Word play on Domestic Violence isn’t a clever way to sell beer, it’s gross.

    • +1. Not offensive but definitely not in good taste.

      • justinbc

        I would agree, if we could confirm the owner’s intent in posting it. It’s possible they’re just naive, although not entirely likely. If they actually knew it to mean a black eye, and did that jokingly, then I would say it’s at the very least insensitive, and for sure bordering on what we consider offensive by today’s standards.

    • Not to mention the correlation between alcohol and DV, and the third date rape interpretation. (For the obtuse posting over and over here “what’s the other meaning, huh, huh” – and yes, I do realize this is a form of trolling – the implication is that you get a woman drunk and she “falls in love with you”…or, you know, blacks out and therefore can’t stop you.)
      But, honestly, I wouldn’t expect better of CM. Some of the douchiest people I know love this place…

  • My first reaction was to say give me a break, but after thinking about it, I voted Yes. I have never been in an abusive relationship but there is just too much of it out there to make a joke out of it. FWIW, I am a male. May is suggest that you do what you are doing, make your point known and then boycott the place. This worked for someone in Chapel Hill about the Blurred Lines song. It’s not censorship if you are not the state and you just decide to take your dollars elsewhere and encourage others to do the same.

  • Hmmmm I don’t think the double entendre is in doubt here. It’s clearly referencing both beer and a homage to when domestic abuse was considered acceptable and a sign that a man loves you. The question is whether or not one finds joking about domestic abuse acceptable. I personally do not, so I’m siding with the OP and saying the sign is in poor taste. Casual attitudes towards abuse, rape, etc. lead to environments where this behavior is tolerated.

    • Many people are assuming the reference is to abuse but it could just be about rough sex. I’m not arguing it’s a clever joke but I don’t assume it’s about abuse.

      • skj84

        I have never heard that term in regards to sex. A black eye yes, but never sex.

        • Yeah, shiner = rough sex is a big stretch. That’s trying too hard.

          • Again, that is not the reference whether you think it’s rough sex or abuse. “Shiner” does not equal either of those things.

        • Shiner isn’t a term for abuse either. The reference is that you can get a shiner from abuse or from rough sex.

          • http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shiner

            I’ve shown you mine now you show me yours.

          • PettyShabazz, I have no idea what point you are trying to make. The link you posted tells me that a shiner is a black eye, but we all already know that.

          • Well it also says shiner is a fish or anything that shines, but I assume you weren’t trying to highlight those.

          • Jesus Christ. I will spell it out for you. The quote is, “True love comes with a shiner.” The only two reasonable interpretations are:
            1. True love comes with a Shiner brand beer. That’s generally inoffensive, although I could contort myself to come up with offensive interpretations.
            2. True love comes with a black eye. Now, when you hear that phrase, the most obvious thing to which it refers is domestic abuse. I have to believe that all those arguing these completely implausible alternative interpretations (rough sex, walked into a door, got hit with a baseball, overdid the eye shadow, whatever) are merely bored on a Friday or delight in playing devil’s advocate. The alternative is too disheartening to dwell on.
            I can’t believe I had to type that all.

          • dcd, you didn’t have to and you didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. (good lord I’ve written that too many times on this site.) You think the “joke” has to be about domestic abuse and can’t possibly be about rough sex or anything else; I don’t. Or did I miss something else?

          • +1 to dcd.

      • Many people are smarter than you then.

        • skj84

          As a voracious reader and open minded person, I assure you I’m smarter than most people. And a much better person than you will ever be. Go step on a lego.

          • So I typed out this long response to SKJ84 only to realize that he/she misunderstood who my post was in response to (it was to anonymous) not to you, per your previous posts we agree. Apologies on the confusion.

          • skj84

            PettyShabazz, I am so sorry. I realized my mistake after rereading, so maybe my reading skills aren’t as up to par as I thought! So embarrassed right now.

        • Many are indeed. But still many more are stupider.

    • “Casual attitudes towards abuse, rape, etc. lead to environments where this behavior is tolerated.”

      Yes! Thank you!

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Shiner is a well known beer. The first beer I tasted at Brew at the Zoo was Shiner Boch. Very tasty.

  • The fact that OP says it’s a “code word” rather than “slang” tells me that OP is probably hypersensitive to language usage and probably did not express his/her offense in a reasonable way.

  • skj84

    Not loving it. I get what they mean, but I don’t think its the best taste. I think the OP has a right to be offended. It reminds me of the DV storyline from Carousel where Julie compares being slapped to a kiss. And I can vouch the owner is a d-bag. I had a horrible intercalation with him last year. I almost didn’t come back this season.

  • I’m glad Julie Jordan got a job writing ad copy.

  • I read it metaphorically… that love can hurt. Dostoyevsky said, “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”

    • General Grant Circle

      That is how I read it too. All these people go right to “domestic abuse” – as if getting beat up by your spouse is the only way for love to hurt!

      • I think most of us are reading it literally. As it is written. (The fact that many men exist who actually think domestic abuse is okay and maybe even FUNNY is not helping the situation…)

      • HaileUnlikely

        I’m a dumb guy, not well-read, not into poetry. The concept of using the word shiner to refer to an emotional wound never even entered my mind. I’m ok with that, though. I can’t possibly believe that somebody sophisticated enough to have used “shiner” in that way would not have also recognized that the straightforward unsophisticated interpretation is something awful and not to be joked about, and in recognition of that reality, decided against putting that on the sign, existence of some sophisticated interpretation unrelated to domestic violence notwithstanding. I mean, there are probably more women who have been or are in abusive relationships than there are people in the world who have ever thought to use the word shiner in the (ridiculous) way that you suggest.

  • I voted yes. I’m not personally offended by it, but I can see where others may be offended, especially those who have been a victim of domestic violence. I do find it tone-deaf and distasteful.

  • A charitable reading is that it’s a metaphor for the emotional pain of love, like a version of “love hurts” or “love is a battlefield.” I would still take it down though, even if that was the intent. Too easy to read it as a suggestion that domestic violence = passion/romance.

  • You always hurt the one you love.

  • It’s only offensive/in poor taste if one looking for something to be offended by or be a perpetual victim. Otherwise–who cares.

    • “It’s only offensive/in poor taste if one looking for something to be offended by or be a perpetual victim.”
      So someone who is a *survivor* of domestic abuse shouldn’t find it distasteful at all? Unless you have been a victim of domestic violence I don’t think you have the right to judge their reaction to the phrasing in question.

      • I’ve been on the receiving end of physical and emotional domestic abuse.

        And I’m not offended by the sign, nor do I find it distasteful.

    • Or if one is a decent human and cares about people effected by abuse…

    • You’re wrong. It’s definitely in poor taste. Where on the Outrage Continuum (it starts at “tacky” and goes up to “repulsive”) you might want to place it is up for debate, but sly references to punching your lover in the face — possibly while drunk on mediocre cult beer — are definitely in poor taste.
      Not that poor taste can’t be pretty fucking funny.

      • justinbc

        Using mediocre to describe Shiner Bock might be the most offensive thing in this thread. It’s nowhere near that good.

        • skj84

          now, now. The Ruby Redbird is pretty tasty. However the Trader Joes knock off of Shiner is better than the real thing. And a steal in price.

      • I’m with Irving here. Definitely poor taste, but I’m not saying that it’s not (somewhat) funny.

  • This is absolutely not acceptable. Yes, it’s advertisement for the beer shiner- you guys don’t need to keep mentioning it. They are clearly doing a play on words about domestic violence. They could have chosen to use shiner as a pun in a bunch of different ways, but they chose domestic violence specifically, and that is something that should never be joked about or made light of. They should take this down immediately and apologize to survivors.

  • General Grant Circle

    Having worked in the bar industry I loved the tongue in cheek and edgy and funny signs we would put up.

    Honestly if any of them offend you, just dont go to the bar. Picking a fight with the manager is poor taste and disruptive to other patrons. Vote with your feet if you feel you must.

    • skj84

      I think there is a difference in tongue in cheek and outright offensive. There is a thin line, and this one crossed it. I’ll be honest I have a twisted sense of humor. I also come from hospitality and know people say outrageous shit to each other all the time. But I know to read my audience. There are things I can joke about with my friends and family that I know would not fly with a stranger. This is the same concept. If the owner wants to joke about DV with his friends than so be it. But in public its not ok.

      • General Grant Circle

        See where we differ is dont see that domestic violence it the ONLY way one can read it. It doesnt say “true love comes with beating up your spouse” it says a “black eye”. Have you ever gotten in a fight defending your girlfriend?

      • General Grant Circle

        Also you say “i know to read my audience” if you arent the intended audience of this (that is if this sign offends you) just dont go to the bar, vote with your wallet and your feet, I dont see what is gained by causing a fight with the owner

        • skj84

          Vote with your feet and voice. If you see something, say something. Let them know its wrong.

          • And we’re letting you know that you’re wrong. There are other opinions out there. You have to learn to accept that.

          • Kingman Park – no one here is wrong. We’re allowed to have a difficult back and fourth — that’s how people grow. Asking someone to listen to your opinion and then telling them that you are right and they are wrong is… well, wrong.

        • skj84

          not going to accept an opinion I don’t agree with. We can agree to disagree, but I’m not going to smile and laugh cause someone tells me to.

      • justinbc

        Nobody posting here so far has spoken to the owner about her or his intentions with this sign, or if they have they’ve conveniently omitted that fact. Yet we all keep insisting that she / he was “clearly” being provocative or joking about domestic violence. If you want to judge someone over something, especially in a public hanging like this, I think it’s important to at least let them have a chance to speak.

        • The fact that the owner could have been oblivious to this sign’s double meaning doesn’t prevent reasonable people from finding it offensive. It’s not a criminal charge whereby the intent needs to be proved for wrong to have occurred.

          • justinbc

            Yes, but context is important for me to answer the question “is this sign offensive”. Maybe for someone else that’s not the case, they’ll view it as offensive regardless. I don’t read it as “True love comes with a (black eye)”, because that’s just fucking stupid and I’ve literally never heard anyone say that. I read it as a beer advert, because I’m not searching for something to be offended by. Now, if the owner were to come along and say it was a “joke” about domestic violence I would think he or she was a shithead and actually find that offensive because I don’t think hitting your spouse is something to joke about (I was once married to someone who was bi-polar and used to assault me regularly, and regularly threatened me with knives, so it’s not just women who can feel that way).

        • skj84

          debated sending them an email. I do think it’s fair enough to ask intention. There was an article in WCP on social media snafus in hospitality. The infamous Royal incident was mentioned. An employee posted a horribly offensive tweet about Bill Cosby and qualludes from the company account without the owners clearing it. Once the owners were made aware, the tweet was deleted and employee fired. This could be a case of management not being aware.

    • I didn’t think it was particularly clever and it’s flat out stupid from a marketing/PR standpoint. They could have done so much more with shiner. Not a big surprise that CM couldn’t to better.

      • General Grant Circle

        Sure they could of – My first statement is that this actually isnt that unusual (bars using their signs to make raunchy or edgy jokes).

        I read it as true love “floors you” “socks you in the face” etc. and that the AGENT was “true love”, not “your boyfriend”. Because, you know, the sign mentions true love and not your boyfriend

        • Of course, but it isn’t all that common for bars to make domestic violence jokes to sell crappy beer.

          You’ve lost me on your agent comment. Your true love is presumably a person who has, in this situation, given you a shiner (a black eye or a beer). I’m not sure the authors of the sign had the mental capacity to think more metaphorically than that.

          • General Grant Circle

            I guess I am reading it literally, where True Love is the agent committing the shine, has opposed to make the (in my mind, illogical) leap that True Love is really an abusive boyfriend (wouldnt your true love not be abusive -presumably, if they are your true love?)

  • Everyone here is free to think this is distasteful. You are free to voice your concerns to the owner because you don’t agree with him. The owner is free to escort you off his property because he doesn’t agree with your opinion. You are then free to boycott that bar as you see fit. But don’t think because you are offended means the owner has to do anything but throw you out, or that everyone else in the world agrees with you.

  • Cantina Marina is one of the trashiest, sleaziest bars in all of DC. Seeing something this dumb on a sign there comes as no surprise.

  • If I see a sign in a bar with the word Shiner on it, I assume they are referring to the Shiner Brewing Company. If I see a marquee with “Shiner” in lights and underneath that marquee is a sentence with the word “Shiner” in it, I assume the marquee is referring to the Shiner Brewing Company. What else would the sentence be referring to but the name on the sign, which is the name of a brewing company?
    Maybe the OP should write a letter to the Shiner Brewing Company asking why they named their company after a physical injury.

  • Domestic violence isn’t something that should be the subject of a casual joke because it normalizes abuse. Sent this picture to Shiner Bock.

    • + 1000 I bet a Twitter post that tags Shiner Bock would not be very well received by the brand.

    • +1 Thank you. I was just about to mention that. Send it to Shiner Bock; actually Tweet it to them so that anyone following will also see it.

      • Um. Explain? Shiner Bock didn’t hang this sign. What are they going to do, refuse to sell to Cantina? Issue an apology on behalf of Cantina Marina? I don’t understand what this is supposed to accomplish.

        • They can advise CM not to use their product in offensive advertising.

        • Among other things, they can (and for the sake of the brand, should) ask Cantina Marina to take it down. Some people (doesn’t have to be everyone) are finding this message really troubling. Why would a brand want to be associated that?

          • Maybe I’m too cynical, but I don’t see a company this large caring much about what a relatively small bar advertises. Maybe I’m wrong. But I also don’t think involving Shiner, and giving them poor publicity, is fair. Any reasonable person who sees this would recognize the bar is at fault, not the company. Posting it to their Twitter seems vengeful to all the wrong people. Send it to Buzzfeed, Yelp, Washington Post, whatever else you want that’s going to hurt the bar. They’re the ones being distasteful.

        • They might tell Cantina Marina to take the sign down. They likely don’t want that kind of publicity.

      • skj84

        Sent them a Facebook message. Maybe they’ll respond, maybe they won’t. I mean, maybe its authorized branding coming straight from Shiner. Clarification is in order.

    • Thanks for doing that. The trolletariat on this blog can make as many excuses for it as they want. But i’m pretty sure that in this day and age of social media warp speed, Shiner Bock is not going to enjoy something that even has a hint of impropriety. Kudos.

  • General Grant Circle

    I guess I just dont see how you twist the agent around into “true love = abusive boyfriend” (or “boyfriend” generally) and not “true love = true love”. That is – the “thing” doing the black eye is true love. *bam**pow* ‘right in the kisser’

    The Romans and Greeks reified true love into a flying baby that shoots you with an arrow, the notion of “love” has a thing that hit you in the face isnt that new to me.

    But I guess if you view the world through a pessimistic lens then this is nefarious.

    • I’m assuming this was in response to me from above. But isn’t that thing/agent, true love, a person (without determining a gender or status?)? I could see where you’re coming from if it wasn’t so clear that the bar was trying to be crass about it. I really think you’re stretching on this one. It’s clearly just a bad joke and I don’t think it makes my world view pessimistic.

      I’m not particularly outraged by the sign, I just thought it was in poor taste and isn’t particularly effective from a marketing/sales standpoint.

      • General Grant Circle

        Ah no I replied above. I guess I am reading True Love as a reified idea that smacks you in the face. I think conflating a true love and abusive boyfriend is confusing to me as presumably if someone is your true love they are not beating you – this doesnt seem like “true love” to me – but the notion of Love as being something that strikes you is actually very old and makes sense to me.

  • I Dont Get It

    Maybe because its Friday and I’m tired but when I first read it I thought it said “Shriner” which gives it a whole ‘nother meaning.

  • Don’t take a poorly written double entendre out on a wonderful beer!

    Shiner is a city in Lavaca County, Texas, United States. The town was named after Henry B. Shiner who donated 250 acres (1.0 km2) for railroad right of way. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 2,069.

    Spoetzl Brewery is a craft brewery located in Shiner, Texas, U.S. The brewery is the oldest independent brewery in Texas. It produces a diverse line of Shiner Beers, including their flagship Shiner Bock, a dark lager that is now distributed in 49 states. The brewery is owned by The Gambrinus Company, a family-owned company based in San Antonio.


  • I’m sorta surprised anyone under 40 knows what a “shiner” is. When’s the last time it was widely used in popular culture?!! The 70s at the latest?

  • Too many posters read “true love” as referring to a relationship. Love comes in other forms to! Love of country, love of pets, love of your life. An abusive relationship is “not” true love! Ergo, this sign must be interpreted that healthy love, too, can come with a punch. And isn’t that so?

  • Well, I’m over 40 and don’t know all my beers. The very first thing I thought of was domestic violence including getting a black eye. After all the responses I read, I’m not really sure where that mental image came from, but yes, I immediately thought of a guy beating up his girl and then telling her how much he loves her.

  • Are we just assuming that it’s not perfectly reasonable to assume the intent here was just a single entendre relating to beer? Why do so many people jump at the chance to find the worst in other people? Even if the sign poster knew of the meaning of shiner for bruise, that person may not have made the connection to DV.

    Cut people some slack and be a bit more reasonable about others.

    I truly worry about this growing trend to jump to instant outrage and knee jerk reactions over everything. It seems if you can catch someone saying something that wasn’t focus grou and poll tested and you manage to make a big deal over it, someone gives you a gold star (and I hope my careless use of “gold star” isn’t a trigger to any holocaust survivors out there)

    • Because true love has nothing to do with beer. So it’s not even witty if you’re not considering the double entendre.

  • Maybe Florence Welch does their signs?

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