John Rich Responds To Garth Brooks’ Promise To Sell Bud Light At His Nashville Bar: “Might Find Out Not Many People Are Going To Order It”

John Rich Garth Brooks country music
John Rich/Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks caused quite the stir last week when he seemingly weighed in on the Bud Light controversy for the first time.

Of course by now I’m sure everyone is familiar with the backlash that Bud Light’s been facing after their decision to partner with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The brand has been struggling to win back customers as sales have declined over 20%, and Bud Light has also since been displaced from their long-standing position at the top of the list of best-selling beers in America by Modelo (which is also, ironically, another Anheuser-Busch Brand).

In the wake of the controversy, country star John Rich announced that he would be removing the beer from his Nashville bar, Redneck Riviera, and Kid Rock posted a now-viral video blasting a case of Bud Light with a rifle. 

But during a Q&A as part of Billboard’s Country Music Live in Conversation, Garth discussed his upcoming Nashville bar, and wanting to make Friends in Low Places (yes, that’s really the name of it) a “safe space” for everyone – and that includes selling Bud Light.

“I want it to be a place you feel safe in, I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another.

Yes, we’re going to serve every brand of beer. We just are. It’s not our decision to make.

If you come into this house, love one another. If you’re an a**hole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway…

In my existence, one a**hole can turn the whole tide down there. My thing is, let’s create a place that you feel safe in.”

After the comments (which were first reported here on Whiskey Riff) started making their rounds, many took to social media to express their displeasure at Garth calling those who don’t support Bud Light “a**holes,” with many saying Garth’s bar was now on the list of places not to visit.

But one unlikely voice jumped in to defend Garth: His fellow country star and Nashville bar owner John Rich.

“Garth Brooks has always been the guy that that said, ‘everybody come to my show.’

It’s something that we love about Garth. You know, he makes his music for everybody.

And that really is what music is about. You’re making your music for everybody. Beer’s for everybody, too.”

But Rich continued in an interview with Fox News Digital by saying that Garth may realize that, even though he’s selling Bud Light in his bar, it doesn’t mean that people are going to buy it:

“If Garth is serving Bud Light in his bar, that’s fine. Garth can do that.

Garth might find out not many people are going to order it.

And at the end of the day, you have to put things in your establishment that people are going to purchase if you’re going to run a successful business. So, he might find that out.”

And Rich says that he wishes Garth the best in his new bar:

“I think he probably sees the pain and division that’s going on in the country and wants to try to help that.

If I know Garth at all, and I know him a little, that’s probably the impetus behind a statement like that. So, good for him. I wish him the best.”

Rich has previously explained his decision to sell Bud Light at Redneck Riviera as a business decision, saying that people just aren’t buying Bud Light right now – and that it all comes down to dollars and cents:

“The customers decide. Customers are king. I own a bar in downtown Nashville. Our number one selling beer up until a few days ago was what? Bud Light. We got cases and cases and cases of it sitting back there.

But in the past several days you’re hard-pressed to find anyone ordering one. So as the business owner, I go, ‘hey if you aren’t ordering it, we got to put something else in here.’

At the end of the day, that’s capitalism. That’s how it works.”

I guess we’ll have to see if things are any different down at Friends in Low Places when it finally opens – or if they have the same trouble moving Bud Light that other bars, stores and restaurants are facing.

Garth Announces FIVE New Chris Gaines Albums

The world’s greatest rock legend is coming back.

If you’re not familiar with the Garth Brooks alter-ego Chris Gaines, I don’t know what to tell you at this point but you’re missing out on one of the most bizarre, intriguing, downright wild things a superstar has ever done.

It was all supposed to be based around a movie in which Garth would star as fictional rocker Chris Gaines, a sex-addicted rock legend who nearly had his face ripped off in a car crash and had an affair with his manager that caused him to lose his house.

Like I said, it’s some weird sh*t.

To promote the movie, a Chris Gaines “greatest hits” album was released by Garth’s alter-ego, and there was also a VH1 Behind the Music special that told the rocker’s troubled life story.

(If you haven’t watched the whole thing, it’s well worth your time).

But ultimately, the Chris Gaines movie never happened, and the whole incident became just a bizarre footnote in Garth’s otherwise wildly successful career.

Garth has even joked that he still gets beat up for the Chris Gaines era of his career:

“A lot of people misunderstood it, and my ribs are still sore from getting the sh*t kicked out of me for it.”

Well apparently Garth isn’t QUITE finished with Chris Gaines yet.

During a Q&A today as part of as part of Billboard’s Country Live in Conversation, Garth said that there’s more Chris Gaines music on his to-do list: Five albums, to be exact.

When asked about where the songs from the “greatest hits” album came from, Garth responded that they were from the five fictional previous albums that this fictional rocker had released in this fictional world:

“Yeah, there’s five of them.

The five albums have to come out.”

But it doesn’t sound like we can expect them any time soon:

“I don’t know if it’s just because I’m 114, but now everything takes three hours more than it took time to do before. Business-wise I’ll say I’ve never been this busy before in my life, and I’m not as in the eye of the public as I was. 

So I think what it’s telling me as an older artist, you have to work a lot, lot, lot – not work, put in more time – to get the same results. So the Gaines project was a lot of time put in because it’s not natural. You’re acting on record.

But I want to do it just simply for the people who love the Gaines project. Selfishly, I love the Chris Gaines record.

So I want to do it for me.”

And he confirmed that his to-do list includes all five of those “previous” Chris Gaines albums:

“I don’t know when we’re going to get to it, but it’s on the list and hopefully we’ll get it done. Five albums.”

Sign. Me. Up.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock